Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Magazine Article vs. Picture Book

Week of August 5, 2012—Odds and Ends
Tuesday, August 7—Magazine Article vs. Picture Book

A few weeks ago I featured posts about the top five problems I most often see in the manuscripts I critique. Well, here’s Number Six! I frequently say in face-to-face critiques, online critiques, and paid critiques, “This sounds more like a magazine article than a picture book.”

There’s nothing wrong with writing a story for a magazine. Many writers make their livelihoods from magazine writing. But it is important to know what makes a magazine story a magazine story, and what makes a picture book a picture book. Some distinguishable differences are:

·      R  Length (magazine articles often have a larger word count, than picture books)
·     R   Level of details (magazine articles include more details which picture book authors often leave to the illustrator to show)
·    R   Pacing (picture books have a “snappy” pacing, while the details and dialogue in a magazine article may slow its pacing in comparison)

When Cheryl (a critique group friend) shared an article comparing picture books and magazine articles, I knew it was something I needed to read and that I wanted to share with the readers of Picture This!

Below are links to some articles for you to explore to learn more about the difference between magazine articles/stories and picture book manuscripts:

As you write, know your genre and write to that genre. If you mean to write a picture book, but the manuscript comes out more like a magazine article, never fear. Why not submit that magazine article, and then find a picture book idea within that story that you can also write?!

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