Writing Tips

How to Add Conflict to your Story

Story conflict smallYou may not realize it, but every story has conflict. Every story. Just like the “story concept” and the “MDQ”, if there is no conflict, there is no story. Even the most innocent, feel good, lovey dovey, soft-hearted children’s book story has conflict.

With a chapter book, there is conflict in each chapter. With a picture book, ideally, there is conflict on every page! You won’t get that feel good emotional response at the end of a story if there is no conflict for the characters to overcome. I have read so many stories from aspiring writers that are beautifully written, well thought out and nicely formatted. I can see where the authors are going with their stories, but they, in many cases, are not complete. A story without conflict is like a run-on sentence. It doesn’t have the proper punctuation. [Read more…]

How to come up with a Story Concept

Story Concept smallLet’s say you want to write for children. It’s something you’ve always wanted to do. But, coming up with a great idea for a story can be difficult. Don’t let writer’s block get you down, though. The first thing you should do is think about the story concept. What do I mean by “story concept” you ask? I mean, what will your story be about? Will your story be about a dog finding his way home? Will your story be about a cat who doesn’t get along with other cats? A strong story concept is very important. It is the foundation of your story. Later, it will help you and your editor target a certain market, i.e., children ages 3 to 8 who are interested in cats or dogs. [Read more…]

Does your Story Have a Major Dramatic Question?

MDQ smallDoes your story have an MDQ? What’s the MDQ you ask? The BIG QUESTION, i.e., will your character blank? “Will Billy find his bicycle?”, or “Will Janie learn to eat her vegetables?” Basically, “Will my protagonist achieve his or her goal?” The MDQ, aka the Major Dramatic Question is pretty important when writing a story. Without this question there is no story.

If you’re struggling with how to present your MDQ, go to your child’s bookshelf or the children’s section of the library or bookstore. Pull books off the shelf and look at how the author presents the MDQ. Don’t worry, the store workers won’t kick you out. They don’t know that you’re gleaning valuable insights from some of the best children’s authors out there … for FREE! It’s your secret… [Read more…]