Here is another excerpt from the How to Write a Children’s Book book. Enjoy!
Welcome to Day One! And, on this day, there shall be brainstorming! Yes!
Okay. Enough exclamation points.
You all knew it was coming, and here it is the brainstorming section. It is time to put all of your story ideas and concepts on the page, because they are clogging up your creative plumbing just sitting up there waiting for you to do something with them.
Harsh? Perhaps, but true nonetheless.
Raise your hand if you’ve had the children’s book idea you have right now for over a week? Over a month? Over a year?
How much as that idea changed? How much longer has the story gotten? Do you know the beginning? Middle? End? Character names? Settings?
No matter how you just answered those questions, you still need to do the brainstorming.
That idea you have might not be a story idea at all. It might be a concept.
STORY IDEA VS STORY CONCEPT
Many of us think we are brimming with children’s book ideas, but what we are actually inundated with are story concepts.
If you have a “story idea” about a character who is always forgetting his pencil case at home or in his classroom, then you have an idea for a character who is forgetful. This is not a story idea. This is a concept.
A story idea has a clear beginning middle and end to it. A story concept is a piece of the story puzzle. A slice of the story pie. A leaf in the story tree. I think you get my point.
To keep it simple, let’s use these basic definitions for the remainder of the book:
Story idea – when the beginning, middle, and end of the story are clear.
Story concept – a piece of a potential story; a vignette; a single scene, character, or character attribute.
Now that we’ve covered that, the brainstorming can commence!
If you’ve already taken the class, please let other students how it’s going by leaving a review or a comment in the class. If you’ve finished your children’s story, let me know! That’s a big deal! Tell everyone!