Sunday, May 9, 2010

Storyboarding etc.

I've been trying to find time to work on my next book, 'Hamilton's Hiccups'. When I originally knocked the principles of the story together in note form, it felt fine, if not a little bit leggy. Since 'Hamilton' is going to be a picture book, it means the lengthy adventure I'd blocked out has to be brutally manipulated to fit the industry template of 32 pages told in approximately five hundred words.
Take out two pages for front and back cover, one for the title page, then there are the endpapers and legals. That leaves around a dozen or so spreads to introduce the character, set the scene, tell the story in a (hopefully) entertaining way, and wrap things up all nicely. It's a bit like starting with a freshly felled tree and hoping to shave it down to a nice tidy chopstick.
It pays not to get too emotional at this stage and apply the simple rule: If in doubt, cut it out.
So, that's what I've been doing - hacking, chopping, cutting and shaving the story - I've not even begun writing the text. Balancing words and pictures. I've made and obliterated seven or eight 32pp mockups so far, trying to pace the story within the parameters. At the moment, my tree is more approaching the shape of a baseball bat, but I'm getting there.

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