So my daughter and I unrolled a yarn as I was getting her to bed several months ago that went something like this: A pair of young giants are sent to the grocery store to buy sprinkles to finish their mother's cake. But things go quickly awry when the giants get there at the same time as a giggling little girl. Because young giants are particularly terrified of giggly little girls. And so they had to get that little girl to leave. By any ridiculous means imaginable.
As my daughter fell asleep, I thought about the concept. It was simple. It followed all of the rules of a successful picture book. It left an endless canvas for illustration. So I wrote it down. And then I spent the next two months working on the concept illustration.
I shifted how I wrote and drew based on feedback from the SCBWI conferences I've attended, with debts of gratitude owed to illustrators like Dan Santat, Janeen Mason, Loren Long, Paul Zelinsky, all my friends at Pixel Shavings, and editors like Katherine Jacobs and Stephanie Owens Lurie.
I worked tighter, pushed the perspective, paid attention to where the text would go and what would get lost in the gutter.
More interesting detail.
Better reference material, like this grocery storefront from the 1950's.
Particular focus on the page turn, drawing your eye to what happens next.
I'll take this concept to the next SCBWI conference, send out queries, and cross my fingers. And if that's where it ends, it's okay. We're each born with a billion ideas in our heads and a lifetime to explore them. More will certainly come.
Check back next week for something fabulous from Sheralyn Barnes.