Monday, September 22, 2008

Writing and Illustrating Tips- One Story Or Character Turns Into Two

How often has this happened to you?

A children's story or picture book story you've written changes into two separate stories or takes a whole new direction.

Why? I'm about to share with you. What I've learned to be some of the reasons this occurs. Please keep in mind, I'm a children's writer in progress.

1- The plot is to complicated for a child. For instance, if you have more than one character trying to solve a problem.

2-If there's to many characters in the story. There should only be one main character with minimal interaction with 1-2 other characters.

3-The character should receive absolutely no guidance, as to how to solve the problem in the story.

4-Rhythm of the story or the flow of three's is really important.

5-Story should not reflect dialog only.

How often has this happened to you with illustrations?

Yes, one character or illustration background scene can be transformed into two or more separate characters or background scenes, and even carry over into more than one story.

1-Characters which reference a brother and sister- most generally share certain characteristic traits such as; nationality, eyes, nose and etc.

2-With background scenes- if you complete a full page spread of a city. You can show only the city, then add a car or children playing into the background scene, and tighten the background scene further to reflect only a house with a girl singing in the window.

I've mentioned only a portion of the information gained by being a part of a great critique group, such as the Children's Working Writer's Coaching Club. I hope you've found this information resourceful.

Also, would like to mention that I'm currently working on my first short story. Which I hope to submit to a Children's Magazine in the next couple of weeks, wish me luck.


Lisa said...

I've never technically turned one story into two with any of my books, but I've definitely taken an idea I might have as I'm brainstorming for one book and decided it doesn't work there but would make a good basis for its own story.

Good luck with your writing/publishing!

Donna McDine said...

Great tips...thanks for sharing. Keep us posted on your first submission...would love to hear all about it. Great photos from Philip.


Carma's Window said...

Hey Dawn,
Those tips are awesome. I can see where it would be easy to include too much information for young readers. We learn by doing don't we?


Kelly said...

Thanks for the tips! Good luck on your magazine submission!

Donna McDine said...

Hi Dawn...You have been tagged! Check my blog for details -


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