Planning and presenting a picture book in storyboard form by Clara Vulliamy
Of interest, I hope, to anyone thinking of both writing and illustrating a picture book…
I’d like to show the first crucial stages of how I put together the story, the words and the images to make a book. In this case the book is Martha and the Bunny Brothers I Heart Holidays, because it’s coming out next week (hooray!) after a very long gestation, so I’ve enjoyed going back to the first few weeks when it mostly just existed in a thought bubble above my head.
I develop a storyboard on one long piece of paper so I can see it all at once.
(the biscuits are for scale, of course, not because I would like to eat them)
Here is a close up – it’s fiendishly hard to photograph, I’m afraid.
I don’t think too much about detail and I resist the temptation to colour in.
I’m thinking about the shape of how the story will unfold, the dramatic build up, the climax, the emotional pay-off, and I cut and stick and keep moving it around.
I can take this in to show the editor and designer, and because it’s not a detailed dummy we can all feel very un-precious about making big changes.
I try to keep all the older versions.
At one point I thought that in the story when it rains and the bunnies feel sad they could all be under their own sad rain cloud…
But then we thought no, keep the sunny energy flowing and show it like this instead…
So much useful concentrated thinking goes on at this stage, that when I look at the book now, real at last, it is incredibly close to that first exploratory scribble.