How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Monday, September 19, 2011

Template for Studying Picture Books (not a book dummy)

Here's something similar to a book dummy, but less paper, less hassle, and much simpler.

I have created a template for studying picture books. Not only is it useful for studying already published picture books, it is also useful for planning them when you write, at least in some stage along your path.

In the several picture book studies I've done, I've noticed that the story set-up usually takes 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 spreads. I like to deal in spreads because that's universal. The pagination can differ so much among books due to the different ways publishers print the title page, copyright page, etc. That's what the blue X's are for. Most books will either begin with a 1/2 spread OR end in a 1/2 spread. SOME do both. Just begin the book you're studying on the appropriate square. If it doesn't begin with a 1/2 spread, but begins with a full spread, just put N/A on the 1/2 spread spot.

The introduction to the story problem usually begins on spread 2 or 3, sometimes as late as spread 5. As you summarize what's happened on each spread, you will notice patterns. This is helpful when you go to plan your own books, even though the illustrators and editors will have control over how the actual spreads will appear. But if you know you can make it work, then you'll know they can too, even if it's different.

How to Analyze a Picture Book with a Story Board

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. This is awesome Christie! I'd love a pdf version if you get a chance.

  2. Yes - I would love the PDF please!

    Thank you!

  3. This IS awesome! I'd love a pdf:) How kind of you to create this and share it with us!


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