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How I Write a Children’s Book – Part 2

So we now have a story concept, “a penguin that wishes he could fly”. Next we have to establish why the penguin thinks this way and more importantly, the end lesson.

Let’s say he loves watching birds. After all, who doesn’t. He loves to see them take flight and zoom through the air. He thinks they are simply amazing. Being a penguin, sorely he can’t fly, but he can swim. We still need to establish the lesson. The lesson will be one of the reasons your book will be purchased. The lesson should be something a child can relate to, even if the parent has to explain it the first time through. For our story, the lesson could be something like learning to be yourself, or perhaps he learns that he can fly, but unlike the birds he loves, water is his sky. Yeah. I like that.

Now we need to establish what makes him realized this. Some event must happen for him to step up and show his true skill, and how it compares, or contrasts his love of flying. What if something happens so that he becomes the only one who can solve a problem primarily because of his swimming ability.

See how the story is developing. One decision leads to another.

So what could happen? Remember, the story is about a penguin that wishes he could fly. The event should involve a bird as they are a point of interest in the story.

So now we have something at needs to happen to a bird and involve water. Well, that rules out a duck, because ducks are water fowls. I guess if we knew where this would take place we could figure out what kind of bird our little penguin could help.

We could easily place the setting in a forest, but this story has an underlying theme of self esteem. For me, this means that we need to make him a hero. So let’s place him somewhere that there are people. Keep in mind, in a children’s books, people and animals can talk to each other, and things that may seem impossible, become possible.

How about a crowded park, like Central Park. There are several types of birds to choose from and as an added bonus we have food vendors, and performers which could add to the illustrations. To include the surroundings even more, we have the penguin living inside an ice cream vendors cart. We have several birds to choose from for our victim. Being New York, and Central Park, the likely victim could be a pigeon. There will be an abundance of other pigeons there, that could cheer on our hero.

Here is what we have so far :
A penguin that lives in an ice cream cart, in Central Park.
Something happens to a pigeon that includes water.
Our penguin does something to save the pigeon, making him a hero.
Our hero realizes he doesn’t have to fly, because he’s special just the way he is.

In the next part, we will talk about character and story development.

  1. I LOVE penguins! Can’t wait for this one 🙂

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