Friday, January 27, 2017

Storyteller's Journey

Dummy Book title page for Journey to Snowdonia
Dummy Books and Other Aids

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the next Lindstrom Wintertime Tale - Journey to Snowdonia - is scheduled to be released in the fall.

One of the steps along the path to publication was to create a dummy book for our yuletide tale. Since we publish these illustrated short stories independently, this one via our small press, Thistleberry Books, we are not required to make a dummy book. However, there are several advantages to creating one. I like seeing images pertaining to the tales I pen, it helps me have a sense of the flow of the story. It's also a great way to share the vision of your story with fellow writers, and in some cases, agents and editors. If you plan to write & illustrate a picture book and have it traditionally published, a "dummy" is a must.

The "one sheet" for my MG novel: Livvi Biddle.

Another great way to present your work is a "one sheet." It's a printed page with your pitch, an image that represents your story, and your contact information. While it's true you should be able to recite your elevator pitch in a moment's notice, having a "one sheet" is a bit of security. Also, if an agent is interested in your idea, you can simply give her the page.

Finally, there are endless ways you can inspire and inform yourself with regard to your stories. A "Missing Person" poster for your protagonist; a "Wanted" poster for your antagonist; or even a collage of interesting images that represent your plot, setting, &/or characters.

Be sure to save these fun and creative crafts. I failed to keep a couple for my very first novel, The Tale of Willaby Creek; I'm really bummed now. It's nostalgic to look back on your storyteller's journey!

Note: If you're a member of SCBWI, be sure to read the wonderful article in the recent Winter Bulletin by author, Candice Ransom. She creates a dummy book for her novels. I think I'll give that a try!