Posted by: nancyisanders | February 10, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book: Your Outline, The Middle

Now let’s spend time discussing the middle of your manuscript.

We’re going to take a closer look at each of our 3 picture book samples and focus on their middles.

For your own current project, just concentrate on the picture book you’ve chosen to follow for your format. But listen in on the other 2 books, too, so you can use this info in a future potential picture book project.

The Camping Trip That Changed America (Slice of Life)
From page 7 to 13, they are getting ready to visit the forest
In other words, they are moving through the first half of the middle toward the second change that happens at the middle of the story.
Page 8 Roosevelt takes a train trip.
Page 10 The two men meet.
Pages 11-12 They ride off together on their horses.

Then on pages 14 and 15, there is the second change in the plot: they visit the forest.

On pages 16-25, they have their camping trip. This wraps up the second half of the middle and brings them to the third change.
Pages 16-17 They tell stories.
Pages 18-19 They visit Yosemite.
Pages 20-21 They tell more stories.
Pages 22-24 They visit more of Yosemite.

On pages 26-27, Roosevelt asks how he can help. That’s the third change that signifies the close of the middle part of the story.

Those Rebels, John & Tom (Compare and Contrast)
From page 12-23, John and Tom are upset about King George. They are getting ready to meet.
In other words, they are moving through the first half of the middle toward the second change that happens at the middle of the story.
Pages 14-15 They’re upset about the British troops.
Page 16 They’re upset about the taxes.
Pages 18-23 They both head to Philadelphia to join the Continental Congress.

Then on pages 24 and 25, they meet. This is the second change in the plot.

Then on pages 26-38, they are working together to write the Declaration of Independence. This takes them through the second half of the middle and brings them to the third change.
Pages 26-29 John argues with his voice and Tom argues with his pen.
Pages 30-33 They realize the time has come for action
Pages 34-38 John and Tom work on the Declaration until it is ready to take to Congress.

ON page 39, everyone is finally ready to vote. This is the third change and it signifies the close of the middle part of the story.

So You Want to Be President (Humorous Lists)
From pages 12-41, there are interesting lists of different presidents. There’s no real second change, but this does follow a loosely chronological type of order in that it goes from the birth of presidents to the death of presidents.

On page 42, the voice changes from “So you want to be president” to “There they are…the presidents.” This is the change in plot that concludes the middle.

Now, get your short outline (the pdf file) and brainstorm three details you want to include in the first half that support what you wrote on the line about what will happen in the first half of the middle. (If you like to write out a lot of information, go ahead and use the document file.)

Then brainstorm three details you want to include in the second half that support what you wrote on the line about what will happen in the second half of the middle.

Once again, if your mind is a blank, pick up some of the children’s books or adult reference books you have on your topic. Read over the pages that tell about the parts you plan to include in your middle. Spend a little bit of time digging around for ideas until you find at least three details you can add to your outline under the first half of the middle and three more details you can add under the second half of the middle.

In my next post, I’ll explain how to fill in the details on your outline for the ending.


Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Why I Write Picture Books? (#YIWritePB) and commented:
    Mentor Text in the Middle of the Book. This is interesting. 😀


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