Friday 26 November 2010

What exactly is sparkle anyway?

I arrived home from the shops yesterday to the sound of hammering. It made me smile. Rod was repairing a stool. In the afternoon, while he pottered in his potting shed, I settled down to work on some picture books. Life is slowly returning to some sort of normality.

It’s quite some time since I worked on picture book fiction so I dug out some of my guideline notes from way back. In amongst all the bumf about double-line spacing etc it said to make sure the story had lots of sparkle. I had no doubt faithfully written this from a book I was reading or a talk I attended but I don’t think I stopped to analyse it. I mean, what exactly is sparkle anyway? And never mind getting sparkle into picture books. If it’s so important, then I need to know how I can get sparkle into my life.

In my last blog post I talked about how we felt about ourselves on a scale of one to ten, ten being fantastic. I can’t remember the last time I was a ten. A number of you said the same in your comments. If we could work out how to get sparkle into our lives would it increase our scores? An eight would be good.

As far as writing picture books is concerned I reckon that the way we can add sparkle is to write with an easy-to-read rhythm, to include a fine sprinkling of alliteration and inner rhymes, and to feed the illustrators with many and varied spreads so they can add sparkle too....

Hang on a minute! Maybe I can do the same with my life. Maybe it’s all about an easy-to-live rhythm or maybe I have an inner illustrator who needs to be fed? Now there’s a thought.

p.s. I tried to take a photograph of the sun sparkling on the frosty grass but it wouldn't show. However many times I tried and whatever setting I put the camera on, the grass and frost were there but the sparkle wasn't. Sparkle is elusive - official!