STORYBOARD TEXT AND ART
The next two weeks will be devoted to tiny sketches of your proposed layouts.
This is an important step. The purpose of the storyboard is to view the entire sequence of pages at once in order to judge the flow. That's why we call them thumbnail storyboards--ideally, they should fit on one page. You can see at a glance how the scenes are distributed, the balance of spreads vs. single pages, the movement of the action, and how the focus shifts from one scene to the next.
You will notice passages where there's not much happening--no real need for a change of scene . . . or passages where too much is crowded into one scene. You will probably need to go back and adjust your manuscript--that's the point of this stage: seeing how the text and art play off each other.
Now is a good time to brush up on the basics of how a (printed) picture book is put together. One of the best breakdowns is provided by our friend Tara Lazar in this popular post. And here is a storyboard tutorial from an acknowledged master, Uri Shulevitz.
Once you understand the space you have to work with, you can create your own template, scaled down proportionately from the finished page size you have chosen.
Start simply: a circle to indicate action contained on one page and an arrow to show action continuing across the spread. Maybe jot notes to yourself: bird's eye view, character close-up, etc. Gradually refine these scribbles and notes until even someone who doesn't know the story is able to "read" the action.
I don't know about you, but this is the stage when it hits me: I'm working on a BOOK, by golly!
Isn't that exciting?!?