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.