How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plot Poem

I happened upon a cool blog, Plot Whisperer for Writers and Readers. This is a "poem" that one writer penned to define plot. Each italicized line is expanded in the original post.

Plot is a series of
scenes
deliberately arranged by
cause and effect
to create
dramatic action
filled with
conflict, tension, suspense, and/or curiosity
to further the
character’s emotional development
and provide
thematic significance.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEME AND TOPIC || subject matter vs. theme | is the subject of a kids book the same thing as the theme


How does this work for a picture book?  


Picture books have a perfect marriage with word scenes. Each page MUST have a scene, a different scene. The cause and effect action must happen quickly. The dramatic action that is filled with conflict, tension, and suspense helps create page turns just like an adult novel, but there is typically only one or two main turning points. The character also must always get what he or she wants. 

Themes in picture books are not usually seen as deep issues, but simple things important to children, such as:

  • friendship
  • family
  • bullies
  • summer
  • babies
  • moving
  • animals
  • toys
  • robots
  • cars
  • dinosaurs
  • princesses
  • dragons
  • lost teeth
  • adventures
  • make believe

The list goes on and on. A major theme of picture books is that of HUMOR. If you do it well, you can definitely find a place among the bookshelves.

Themes and topics or subject matter are often used interchangeably in the kidlit world, especially among picture books. The theme really is the deeper issue. The topic is the format to reach that emotional resonance.

Challenge for the day


Read a picture book, and break down the plot. See if you can mimic it in a story of your own. Or turn it into a poem!

QUESTION: Do you have a favorite theme in literature you love to explore, whether that be through reading or writing?

Keep on keepin' on...

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