Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 17, 2010

Writing Exercises

Here is something we did on Saturday during Anita Nolan’s Novel Workshop, which surprised me.  Anita told us to read through our first three pages and list the things a reader would discover about your main character.  I ended up with 16 things on my list.  I was surprised and happy that I had conveyed so much in those first few pages.  I don’t think bigger is better.  It’s just an exercise to make you think about your beginning.  

It doesn’t take long to do, so why don’t you take out something you wrote and see how you fare with your list? 

Pictured book writers, now is a good time to read over your story with an eye to see if you have enough visuals for an illustrator to use. 

Use the boxes below to lay out your text.  This is a good way to see if your story has too many visuals or too little. Remember, editors do not like paragraphs of text on a page.Illustrators like to do double spreads (one picture for two pages – notice the red arrows). This way they can cut down on the amount of artwork needed for a book, but it doesn’t mean that each book will lend itself to this approach. Your book may require single pictures on pages. The illustrator and art director will figure this step out.

Note:  Illustrators refer to the place where the two pages meet as the gutter. If you are an illustrator, you want to keep important parts of the picture and the text out of the gutters.


  1. Kathy did you put these little boxes here for me?
    Thanks! (-:


  2. I like that idea about going through the first 3 pages. I will definitely have to do that later today. Thanks! 🙂


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