Writing Children's Books For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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Every good children's story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning reels you in, the climactic middle keeps you going, and the end satisfies you with resolution.

Keep these pointers in mind, and your plot will be sure to engage readers from start to finish:

  • Hook readers from the get-go. Your plot must have a beginning in which you introduce your main character and hook readers into the action by introducing the character’s driving desire, creating conflict right away. Consider the story of Cinderella. At the beginning of this tale, Cinderella’s dad dies, leaving her at the mercy of a cruel stepmother and dreaming of a better life.

  • Direct the conflict to its natural climax. The conflict must then build to a point where the main character is really in trouble, and the story could go either way. This is your middle in which the conflict reaches a climax. In the middle of Cinderella’s story, she has met a partner who can help her escape her terrible life, but he can’t seem to find her.

  • Resolve your story with a conquered conflict and a changed character. You must begin to shape your ending by providing an opportunity for your main character to face the conflict, overcome the worst of it, and become a different — perhaps better — person as a result of all she has gone through by the end of the story.

    Cinderella’s story ends with her decision to escape the cave she’s been thrown into and try on the slipper, thus ensuring a better life and fulfills her driving desire to belong to a family — her chosen family and not the one she inherited.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Lisa Rojany Buccieri has written and ghostwritten more than 100 children's and grown-up's books, both fiction and nonfiction, including board books, picture books, and young adult series. Peter Economy is a bestselling author, coauthor, and ghostwriter of more than 55 books, including several For Dummies titles.

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