Posted by: nancyisanders | November 21, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book: Choose a Broad Topic

Monticello HPIM2182

I know many of us are getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday right now. I am ’cause I’m hosting family and friends at our house this year with over 20 people gathering to celebrate the goodness of God’s blessings. What are your holiday plans?

Next week will be a little quiet here on my blog. And the week after that we’ll be celebrating the #31AuthorHunt all week long where there’s a Grand Prize to win (an iPad mini) and lots of books to win and lots and lots of fun!

So for now I wanted to give you several posts before all that with pre-writing activities you can be doing over the next couple of weeks when you have a few moments to relax and want to enjoy focusing on this journey we’re starting out on together to write a nonfiction picture book from beginning to end.

AFTER you read through America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney and AFTER you read through your sample picture book (either one of your choice or the three on American history I recommended in my last post)…

THEN it’s time to choose a general topic.

If you struggle with narrowing down a topic, don’t worry about that right now. Just choose a general topic you want to write about. Something that’s a “Top 100” in American history, if you’re following along on that path.

Of course, if you already have your narrow topic picked out, you’re good to go right now.

But if you’re still choosing a topic, just pick a general one such as a biography on a famous American like Thomas Jefferson (that’s his house, Monticello, in the picture above from when we visited it a couple of years ago). Or choose a famous event in American history kids in their elementary years learn about such as building the transcontinental railroad. Use Lynne Cheney’s book as a guide. Practically any topic in that picture book would be a good general topic to choose.

And make a mental note: In the future when you’re brainstorming ideas for a new picture book, just get a great book like Lynne Cheney’s book and look for ideas within its pages. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel!


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