Posted by: nancyisanders | January 22, 2013

Books on Plot


As you can see, my writing buddy, Pitterpat, has been helping me with plots. Or should I say helping me organize my books on plot?!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a bunch of books with information about plots. These books are divided into 4 main categories:

How to write picture books
How to write for children
How to write a novel

I wanted to let you know the titles of the books I’m exploring right now to help me learn more about plots.

In this post I’ll list the 2 books I have for “How to Write Picture Books.”

How to Write a Children’s Picture Book, Volume I: Structure
by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock
This is a must-have for any children’s writer who wants to write picture books. It discusses and teaches all about how to structure your picture book, which is essential when plotting your story.

Writing Picture Books
by Ann Whitford Paul
Another must-have book for picture book writers. While covering a lot of ground about writing picture books, this book also includes a helpful chapter on plotting your picture book.

I have read both these books, refer to them often, and continue to learn a lot from them. I am referring back to them as I’m learning more about plotting a children’s story from beginning to end.

Do you know of any other how-to-write books that deal exclusively with picture books? If so, let us know the titles!!!!

In my next post I’ll list the titles of books I have on writing for children in general that contain information about plotting techniques.


  1. Thanks Nancy! I have the Eve Heidi Bine-stock one, gotta get the other one. I’m looking forward to the talk at Ontario Library tomorrow night too, still planning on it. I’ll be at your house around 6:20 or should I be there at 6:30?

    • 6:20 sounds good! It should be lots of fun!!!!

  2. I love Ann Whitford Paul’s book. Awesome!

  3. Hi Nancy,You wanted titles of books dealing specifically with writing picture books so I checked my bookshelves and found the following: How to Write and Sell Children’s Picture Books by Jean E. Karl. It is published by Writer’s Digest Books and the copyright is 1994. Hope this helps. Thanks for sharing your plot researching techniques. I look forward to all your blogs. Chris

    • Thank you thank you thank you, Chris for reminding me of this great classic! I’ve seen it before (at a writer friend’s house) and wanted to get it, but for some reason it slipped my mind. So I went right over on Amazon and found a bunch of used copies on sale for 1 penny plus shipping. So I ordered it in! I’m excited to actually read it and can hardly wait to get it.

      • Glad I could help. I just received the January 24, 2013 Rxlist__ICL Children’s Writer’s eNews and there was an interview you did with Jan Fields on 3/13/08 called “Nabbing Contracts Through Queries and Proposals.” You mentioned that you start all your research out by reading a children’s book on the topic. I do this, too, which is why I wanted to share this children’s book title with you, “Write Up a Storm With the Polk Street School,” (A Polk Street Special) by Patricia Reilly Giff. It is a Yearling Book, published by Dell Publishing and the copyright is 1993. It does not deal specifically with writing picture books, but I love the simplistic way it teaches how to write a book. Thought you would like it. Chris

      • Oh, I love this, Chris! A children’s book on how to write! I’m going to check this out. And here’s another one I enjoy: “You Can Write a Story!” by Lisa Bullard. So colorful, so simple, and so helpful, too.

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