Posted by: nancyisanders | April 5, 2008

The Dummy Challenge

Okay, okay! This challenge isn’t for dummies–it’s to learn more about how making a dummy can help strengthen your picture book manuscript! Smile.

If you’ve got extra time on your hands this weekend (as if that’s likely to happen!) try making a dummy of your favorite published picture book.

First type out the text of your picture book. Don’t include page breaks but write it as one long story, just as if it’s in manuscript format.

Then follow the instructions on my blog about how to make a dummy. (The four-part posts start here.) Cut apart the text you typed and then try to arrange the text as you think it should go. When the dummy is complete, get out the actual copy of the published book to compare. How did you do?

Taking this challenge will help you learn more about the weight of text and oomph on each page of a picture book as well as feel more comfortable with developing the structure of your own picture book manuscript.

Have fun!


  1. Fun challenge! I hope to get to it this weekend – if it rains I will…if it’s stays sunny…spring planting time! I may be a foul weather writer!

  2. O-oh–that’s a hard choice–spring planting or foul weather writer! Good thing you don’t have to make the decision all by yourself. Whichever it turns out to be–have a great day!

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