Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where art tells the story in "Bill the Boy Wonder"

One of my last steps in writing a picture book is to go through and pinpoint areas where I can cut text. Yes, that is a writing step. Because I’m not cutting meaning. I’m merely eliminating redundancy in instances where the art can show rather than the words tell.

Here are examples from Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

The name of the pivotal character is revealed not in the text but rather in the picture. Yes, it is done with words, but the words are part of the art.

The text says that Bill sneaked his son Fred into the American Museum of Natural History, but doesn’t say how. This means readers must look to the art for the explanation, and kids especially love figuring it out.

“Fitting shape” is deliberately vague. It forces the eye to the picture where the impact is greater than if I’d simply stated that Fred arranged the ashes into a bat.

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