| One of my dad's shots - he used to take promo shots for the theatre|
So guess where I spent some of my childhood?
Earlier this month as I read Abie’s fab post ‘Ten ways I use panto for picture books’ I began remembering one of my first jobs and how it now helps me write my picture books.
During my late teens and early twenties I worked in the local theatre as wardrobe mistress. It was a job I loved, even if it was hard work. When we had a visiting company I often helped with their costumes. This meant late nights (repairing costumes on the run and once the curtain fell collecting those that needed washing) then early mornings (mending and washing/drying costumes so they were ready for that evenings performance). However it also gave me to opportunity to watch a huge variety of plays, both good and bad.
Why am I telling you this? Well I now use some of the knowledge I gained from watching those plays when I work on a new story. I relate each double page spread in a picture book to a scene in a play. In a play each scene must:
- Keep the audience entertained and make them want to continue watching the play
- Move your character a step closer to their goal
- Encourage the audience to invest in the characters, even if they don’t like them
- Give the characters something new to do and say
Lastly if you give this a go please let me know if it works for you, I'd love to know.
Don't read unless interested in blatant plug:
My latest short story collection - Coyote Tales Retold is now up and selling on Amazon in ebook format.
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