In a Saturday master class, agent Alexandra Penfold of Upstart Crow Literary shared her gold on picture book pacing. As a former editor at Simon & Schuster's Paula Wiseman Books, she had plenty to share.
She began her talk by saying, “Effective pacing is the heart of a picture book.” She discussed in depth the importance of each building block of a picture book: word count, word choice, specificity, joyful language, page turns, and rules of threes. (Did you know sets of threes are more satisfying to our brains – easier to remember and somehow funnier?)
Then, Alexandra dove deep into the behind-the-scene evolution of picture book text. She walked us through four books: the text at submission, at acquisition, and in the final book. We studied each building block, the progression of changes, and discovered how essential these blocks are for creating perfect pacing.