This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Friday, August 23, 2013

To write and illustrate or illustrate and write? That is the question.

During our move to Georgia, I have had some time to sit, think, and digest. I have always believed that a book needed to be lead by the words. Recently, a book crossed my path. It was a book of illustration. It began with a page of poetry and was lead from start to finish by illustration. I found it to be magical. As a person who loves to illustrate, this book grabbed me and lead me through an adventure of multiple characters while finding it's way to the original character. Then I handed it to my youngest who interpreted the story from a different perspective. His interpretation was full of magic and childhood chatter. Although the pictures articulated a direct language to me, my 4 year old found something else in the story. There were pleasantries, walks, and adventures that I did not see. This book won the caldecott award and deserved it.
Another thought came to me, Words do not lead a story. They are more of a guide. Words are faulted by the reader's perception. Meanings can lead to dozens of interpretations. Many stories can be created by a guided string of words and reader's perception. I think my manuscript is too wordy. When written, it was faulted by lack of illustration. Now I find myself illustrated by guide of the word. What if I reversed this story to lead itself by illustration and add words to where they are most necessary? Would a story heavily infused by kind words and introduction pleasantries play to the child's imagination. Could a picture truly say a thousand words without frustrating the new reader? Would a story be just as impacting and playful? Well, I think I may have found a challenge worth creating.

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