Picture Book Idea Month – Day 5

5 Nov

Writing can be like navigating a maze.  There are so many choices and so many roadblocks.  It’s easy to fall into the notion that you’ve got a wonderful idea and so therefore the story will just write itself.  Wrong!  Along the path from beginning to end, you have to make good choices.  Characters, Setting, Problems, Solution…

November is PiBoIdMo.  And as writers and authors of picture books, we are being challenged to come up with 30 ideas in 30 days.  This, in and of itself is a lofty goal and to be taken lightly.  But I’d like to talk about what happens afterwards.    Eventually we will work on developing these ideas into one or more manuscripts.  This might be an easier task if we ask ourselves a few questions along the way, maybe start adding more notes to our idea pages.  I don’t mean write the whole first draft, but maybe just let the editor take a peek at the idea.  I think our PiBoIdMo work will be stronger for it.

Character

Character

Should my main character be male or female?  Is my main character a person or an animal?  What makes him/her lovable, or at least likable?  How old is my character?  What unique attributes does my main character have?  And how will these help him/her?

Setting

How will the setting influence the character’s journey?  Is the setting helpful or a hinderance?  Can or should the main character alter the setting?  Where will the character be at the end of the story?  Is the setting an actual place or a state of being?

Problem

Problem

How many problems will the character encounter along the journey?  Will he/she be able to overcome the obstacles?  Can the main character solve his/her own problem, or will they need help?  How is the character changed by facing these problems?

Solution

Solution

Solutions too, can be particularly difficult.  A solution can’t be so easy as to make the reader wonder why this character was so stumped to begin with.  And it can’t very well come out of left field.  So how will I lead the reader toward the solution from the beginning?  Or should it be a surprise ending?

Isn’t it amazing!  (pun intended)  And writing for children makes every one of these choices all the more challenging.  We must keep the story moving forward and wrap everything up in less than a thousand words!

 

For more information go to taralazar.com

For more information go to
taralazar.com

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