I attended two workshops at the SISF last week- ‘Putting a Folktale into a Book’ was an especially cozy writing workshop. Before the end, we all went for a one-on-one consultation of sorts with Dr. Margaret Read Macdonald. I worked on a folktale from Angola (as told by Dr. M), about a turtle and the villagers of Koka- and I now have the beginnings of a picture book! :) The folktale from Angola reminds me of my uncle, who is in Angola for work.
Dr. Macdonald says to be sure to read the words exactly as they appear in the book, because the writer has shed blood perfecting words in the text. In my experience, if a picture book is well-written (and illustrated), there is no need to add to or remove from the text. I also think that once the text has gone to print, and the books hit the shelves, it is no longer in the hands of the author or illustrator or editor or book designer. Which is why writers agonise (I should know, I’m dating a writer) over words and phrases. And if they don’t… Maybe they ought to (NOTE TO SELF).
On hindsight, I should have gone for the Storytelling Masterclass instead of ‘Shake It Up Tales’, but that’s not to say I didn’t learn anything or enjoy myself. The Masterclass would have been alot more demanding though- ahh well, til the next one!