Posted by: nancyisanders | February 23, 2015

Write a NF Picture Book in 1 Week: Day 1

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Download the calendar here:
1-Week Nonfiction Picture Book Predictable Plot Calendar.xlsx

Hope you’re ready to start on our newest adventure: Writing a nonfiction early reader in just 1 week!

Here’s the calendar we’ll be following this week. Basically, the way to read this calendar is to know that each column is for one day.

There are basically 3 writing sessions we’ll be doing each day. Read the calendar from top to bottom for each day of the week.

I like to spread these out: 1 before breakfast, 1 after breakfast, and 1 after lunch.

In other words, we’re putting in full days of writing this week.

Also, I tweaked this calendar to better reflect the predictable plots most of us are working on. That’s because Kaeden Books seems to use predictable plots mostly at this reading level.

Basically, a predictable plot doesn’t follow the 3-act structure. Instead, it follows a pattern it establishes in the beginning of the book and follows it through to the end even if it has one or two variations.

So let’s get started! Roll up your sleeves and have a happy day writing.


  1. Hi Nancy, I’ve been spending lots of time looking at the Kaeden emergent reader books and notice that they don’t all have a standard page count. They are 12, 16, and 20. Do you think one of these is better or does it matter? Other publishers seem to have a set number of pages, for instance Capstone is 24. Thanks, Claire

    • You’ve got a good eye, Claire! Here’s some info on that…standard picture books come in either 24 or 32 pages. But for educational publishers like Kaeden they can come in shorter as long as it’s a multiple of 4 because of how the pages are printed on the printer. The key for us is to match our page count and word count and sentence structure and readability level as closely as possible to the mentor text you choose. Kaeden is choosing very carefully the number of pages to match the readability level in the text. So you want to match yours to theirs, too. Does this make sense?

      • It does make sense but I’m working on an “I know how to” type book and it actually could fit into a 16 or 20 page format depending on full page spreads or not so I’m not actually sure which way to go.

      • Maybe this can help. Let’s compare the two book at Kaeden called: How to Make a Card and How to Make Snack Mix. I’ll put this in a new post to show you some tips on how to compare this!

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