These tips come from notes taken at a writer’s retreat several years ago when the wonderful illustrator Brian Lies helped us gain an illustrator’s eye view:

Think about how things look as you write.

Sometimes we writers choose creatures for a story based on how funny they sound to our ear. We might giggle at the idea of an elephant who goes to live with a family of mice––but think for a minute about the job of the illustrator. How big is an elephant? How big is a mouse? How do we make them both fit on a page? Are we saddling the illustrator with choosing between showing the whole elephant (and little dots of mice) or showing the whole mouse (and just the tip of the elephant’s trunk or perhaps a toe).

Consider little things that make illustrations interesting.

It might be interesting to read a story that is a conversation between two kids––but after the first illustration, it’s pretty dull to draw it. Keep the characters moving—new actions, new places, and new times of day can go a long way to making the story look good.

For more tips on how to be a good partner with your illustrator, listen to the podcast. Also, a comprehensive list of the length of children’s books from board books to YA novels to magazine article is discussed in this week’s episode.

Listener Question of the Week:

Sue asks:

How do I know if I have a story that’s worth publishing?

Listen to the episode for the answer!

Download this episode's show notes
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