Anastasia Suen stressed the importance of storyboarding for writers in her intensive picture book workshop. I heard her speak last Spring, and she had those of us in attendance, storyboard Harry the Dirty Dog (which my three year old calls “Dirty Harry”) in 32 thumbnail sketches.
Storyboarding helps pace your picture book and plan those all important page turns.
Kim Norman, author of Crocodaddy and Jack of All Tails, has a complementary storyboard available for download on her website full of helpful tips for writers. She has even split it into the three story arcs – beginning/ middle/ resolution.
For a sneak peak at an illustrator’s thumbnail sketches, hop over to Anna Alter‘s blog Painting Bunnies to see work on her newest book, Disappearing Desmond.
You don’t have to be an artist though, to storyboard. Stick figures will do. It’s all about pacing text, conflict, interactions, and flow of story into 32 pages.