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The Next Step

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday, 18th October 2008


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WE’VE DONE most of the walks and checked them out and now, I have to admit, I’m rather excited to be starting on the next stage; dropping the text and pictures into the pages and seeing the final book take shape.

Which is the most fun - walking or putting the book together?


I like both parts of the process. Now that I can see the text in its proper context on the page I can fine tune the wording to make my directions as clear as possible. It’s the same with the drawings: I like drawing purely for the sake of drawing but I also like the challenge of communicating with the reader, in this case to keep him or her on the right track.


If I was drawing purely for the sake of drawing, then in the picture above the most important element might have been glowering clouds which could set a mood for the landscape. From the point of view of a walker trying to find the right direction across a featureless field, the mood of the sky is irrelevant so in my drawing I can concentrate on topographical features, such as hedges and trees.


I’m not going to use the red arrows in every illustration but, when it comes to an uncertain path with confusing choices I think that it is worthwhile including them. They relate to arrows I’ve drawn to show the route on my picture maps.


Reading through the directions makes me want to get out there walking again. That’s a good sign. Hopefully my readers will feel like exploring the local countryside as they browse through my book.