How are fairy tales relevant today? Click to download this slide show presentation presented at the Alaska State Literacy Association Conference, Anchorage, AK.
Dan Yaccarino/author/illustrator says, “The images in a picture book are the driving forces that tell the story. The words tell only what the pictures can’t.”
For me, storyboarding is the best part of creating a children’s book. It is time to imagine words in pictures. It is to see the story, develop the pacing and fit it into a 32 page space. As an author, I let pictures inform words until I arrive at a story. As an illustrator, I’m always looking for a way to show something that the words cannot.
To begin, I read the manuscript, and draw a line after each scene where I feel a natural breath or a pause, and break the text into little chunks of action. Something should HAPPEN on each spread. Telling the story with stick figures, gestures and scenes, allows the thumbnail drawings to show me the shape of the story. Then I balance the text from one page to the next, not too much or not too little depending on the pace of the story. If you are the author and the illustrator, this is where you might find your changes. If you are illustrating someone else’s manuscript, you must problem solve your layout to fit the words and the number of pages allowed.
Here is one of the first storyboards for Aurora, A Tale of the Northern Lights. I used a horizontal layout to create the vast picture space of the wide open tundra. I fell in love with double spreads and full bleed as a way to further expand that picture plane.
Next Step: The Dummy
I draw up the thumbnails into about a quarter size of the finished book, expand on the compositions, check for imagery that might fall into the gutter, and let the details and continuity evolve. In this page turning phase I problem-solve, and discover how the storyboard actually works as a book.
see the book dummy for Coyote In Love
see the book dummy for Kayak Girl, written by Monica Devine