Show Not Tell and Page Turns


Do remember it’s not all about the words. Leave room for an interplay between words and pictures, a gap between what the words say and the pictures show, so that your reader can be engaged and active in the story, following breadcrumbs and making links. 


What keeps your reader turning pages is suspense and pace. Pacing will partly come down to how you have plotted your story over the spreads, but also consider that page turns help keep readers interested in a story. Page turns are cliff hangers to propel the story and keep reader going forward to the end. Indeed, a good page turn can: 

– Create anticipation 

– Add to drama 

– Create humour or surprise or suspense 

– They control of the pace of the story 

They can be done in a variety of ways: 

1. Until, and, but and use of ellipsis 

2. Asking a question on one page and writing the answer on the next 

3. Cause and effect language 

4. Illustrations (ex: curling pages, half a tail, half a character) 

Sometimes writers find it useful to create a book dummy to see how well their picture book is plotted. This might be worth trying once you have a first draft. (You don’t have to draw them beautifully. If you’re anything like me, you can use stick people or clipart illustrations!)

Do have a look at the pace and intrigue through. Do you have effective page turns?