Now let’s plot ideas for your picture book story on the BASIC PLOT WORKSHEET A.
(If you’ve already written your story, go ahead and plot your manuscript on the chart.)
First choose which of our target picture books you want your picture book structure to follow. (The Camping Trip That Changed America or Those Rebels: John and Tom or So You Want To Be President?) Refer to just that one book’s chart that you filled out. (Note: If you have a different picture book you want to use to follow the format and structure, plot it on the Basic Plot Worksheet A and refer to that chart.)
Now, for your very own story, fill out a blank Basic Plot Worksheet A:
The Beginning, Middle, and End
• Jot down a note on how you want your story to begin.
• Jot down a note on how you want your story to end.
• Think about your story’s middle.
• What significant change do you want to have happen to start the middle where all the action takes place?
• What change should happen in the middle of the book (the middle of the middle) or commonly known as the turning point of the book?
• What change do you want to have happen to start the end where the story wraps up?
• Finally, what type of action do you want to take place in the first half of the middle to lead up to the turning point?
• And what type of action do you want to take place in the second half of the middle to lead up toward the climax at the end?
Don’t worry if you don’t come up quickly with ideas. Fill in ideas that come to mind. For the blank parts you need ideas for, pick up some of your research books and dig around until you find tidbits that look good. Then plug those ideas into your chart.
This chart isn’t written in stone. It’s just to get you started in the right direction. Fill it out as best as you can.