When I started to thumbnail my first manuscript that I wrote, ever, I froze up. It was terrifying! Where to start? I made several pathetic attempts, but I was good and stuck. I decided to apply the same trick as in my last post. Not tracing, but thumbnailing existing books. Not just any books — epic books! I choose Creepy Carrots and No David!
Creepy Carrots is a favorite of mine by Peter Brown. This book is awesome in so many ways, but for this exercise, I chose it because of his wonderful and varied compositions. The key to this exercise is not to worry about making a pretty dummy, it’s all about seeing the big picture and capturing the essence of why a particular book is working. I found it also helps me to think bigger than I would if I hadn’t completed this exercise. Just like when I traced drawings in the last post, this exercise really opened my eyes to all of the possibilities! This is really just a trick to get me past my initial fear of starting.
|Thumbnailing Peter Brown’s Creepy Carrots|
For the second book, I chose No David! It has a simple premise and very few words, just like my manuscript. I have read this book over and over to my kids. I’ve listened to David Shannon speak at an SCBWI Illustrator’s Day, but it wasn’t until I thumbnailed the book that I noticed the genius of his compositions. The different angles and the brilliant use of space became clear.
|Thumbnailing David Shannon’s No David!|
I urge you to try this exercise! Good luck!