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Monday, September 20, 2010

Five elements and a Formula

When you begin to write a picture book, keep these five elements in mind. Refer to Eve Bunting’s formula  as well. 

Story:  a character-drive plot by which a character faces a conflict, deals with set-backs and complications, and resolves the conflict by himself, and in doing so, changes or grows.

Setting:  Where the story takes place.

Main Character:  the person who faces a conflict and actively resolves it himself/herself with no help from adults.

Conflict: the problem the main character faces.  Without conflict, there’s no story.  Types of conflict include man vs. man, man vs. society, man vs. nature, and man vs. himself.

Want:  the one thing that the main character desires.  Conflict is propelled by want.

A picture book formula by author Eve Bunting: Will the main character be able to (whatever you want him/her to do), despite (conflict), despite (conflict), and despite (conflict) and in so doing, learn a lesson?   Character + conflict + conflict + conflict = growth.

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