Behind-the-scenes on the NEW Knome book

I’m hard at work on the 8th Knome book and wanted to share a bit of “behind the scenes” work with you…

A ‘classic’ pictures book consists of 24 pages of story and approximately 1000 words.
The next Knome book is going to be 32 pages long, but I’m still aiming at 1000 words, so it won’t take too long to read aloud when your kid is going to sleep.

I have finished the story, it’s about 1100 words now, so I still have some editing to do.
I’m now in the process of laying out the spreads, creating dynamic compositions and designing characters.

Thumbnails

I make thumbnails of all 16 spreads on one sheet. This means I get an overview of the reader’s journey and experiences throughout the story. It also helps me make sure that I don’t repeat the same compositions, moods and angles.

Nom8_StoreRejse_12-13

This is a rough sketch of spread no. 4. It’s important at this stage to make ’empty’ spaces on the spread where the text is going to go, so it doesn’t ruin the composition once the text is added.

Concept_art

One of the things I enjoy the most is doing concept art. I’ve been doing it for years for LEGO and other clients, and now that I’m doing my own books the concept phase is still my favorite part of the preliminary work.

Nom8_StoreRejse_14-15

Here is a color test on a sketch of spread no. 5. In this book I’m going to deviate a bit from the style in the previous books. The Knome books are computer colored, as the 8th book will be, but I’m experimenting with different coloring styles to make the spreads look a bit less ‘computerish’.

Well that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of some work in progress.

Don’t forget that other versions of The Knomes are for sale on iBooks, Google Play and Amazon.

I love it when my readers prove me wrong!

When you write for kids, your life is full of surprises. You can never fully predict what they’ll like or how they’ll respond. I have done concept- and story development for kids for 20 years now. And I still get it wrong – once in a while. I have long since accepted this element of unpredictability – and I have come to treasure it. It keeps me on my toes.

One thing I have learned is that kids can never tell you what to invent. They will always refer to something that already exists and ask for more of that. So when you develop new worlds and characters – you really have no way of knowing how they will be received.

When I came up with the six colors of the Knomes, I did so based on the ‘professions’ that would be needed in the Knome Village to make everyday life run smoothly. I didn’t think too much about what the kids might want. But I made sure that there were the kind of Knomes I needed to tell the stories, I wanted to.

six_knomes

If I were to visit a school class, I would predict that most of the boys – if not all of them – would prefer being the red warrior Knomes. But boy, was I wrong.

I did in fact get a chance to visit a school and talk about the Knomes. There were 24 pupils in this 2nd grade class, and when I asked what Knome they’d like to be, I was amazed by their answers. There was exactly four pupils for each of the six Knome colors. A perfect split.

The boys had much more diverse interests than I had predicted. Once again I learned the kids will always surprise you. It’s what I love about my job … And in this case I was only happy to be proven wrong.