THURSDAY, MAY 14TH, 2015
NUTS AND BOLTS
WRITING A CHILDREN’S BOOK
FICTION FOR THE MIDDLE GRADES
The protagonist, your main character is only one person. He or she basically follows this formula.
The protagonist wants something very badly but he cannot achieve his goal because of certain problems that stand in his way. He deals his problems that accelerate as the story grows. Ultimately the protagonist solves the problem. After the problem is solved the story wraps up within a few pages with a satisfactory conclusion.
EXAMPLE: Behind Enemy Lines
Bobby Miller, son of a Confederate soldier, finds himself engaged in two wars. He wants to tell Papa the truth about his lost pendant and to bring Papa home. Bobby runs away to find Papa and instead gets caught up in a horrific battle. He finally finds Papa, wounded and in need of encouragement. After the healing process, which is lengthy, occurs Bobby decides it’s time for Papa to return home. When they finally get home Bobby has achieved his goal.
What were Bobby’s problems?
He’d lied to his Papa about losing his pendant Papa planned to take with him to the battlefield.
He tried being the “man of the house” but after a years of watching mama grow old before his eyes he couldn’t take it any longer.
How does he go about solving his problems?
Bobby decides to do something about it. THIS IS A MUST. The protagonist must initialize the change. Bobby runs away from home to confess to Papa about the lost pennant and bring Papa home.
What happens becomes a great escalation of problems. In fact every thing that happens must be seen through Bobby’s eyes. More about that tomorrow. When it comes times for the story to end. Bobby alone can initiate the final action. A satisfying conclusion is reached once Bobby brings Papa home.