A "dummy" is a sample book that lets you see how the words and images would lay out. No, I didn't draw Pepito...only the sidewalk where the story takes place. But I know he's in the scene, in spirit!
Making the dummy wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It all started with four sheets of paper, cut in half once, then stacked together and folded. Then I upped my story's font to 18 point and printed it 2-pages to a sheet. After that, it was lots of cutting and pasting of text scraps (I used little nubs of Scotch tape)...followed by peeling those text scraps up and re-positioning them over and over, until the story flow felt right.
Why bother making a book dummy? That's what I was wondering...before I made one. One word: clarity.
Surprise, surprise (just as the experts predicted), I did make discoveries about my story, once the dummy took shape. I found flaws. I visualized better. I improved the flow. I felt the page turns and made sure they were doing their job.
I didn't expect to love my scrappy little mini-book so much. (I do! I love it!) Here's a sample of what a book dummy looks like...