Picture Books I: Write Your Story | Christine Nishiyama | Skillshare
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12 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Trailer

      2:49
    • 2. Intro to Picture Books

      4:48
    • 3. A Brief History of Picture Books

      4:51
    • 4. Structure of a Picture Book

      2:33
    • 5. Coming Up with Your Story Idea

      2:24
    • 6. Plot Structure and Point of View

      7:24
    • 7. Prose and Character Development

      7:56
    • 8. Troubleshooting Plot Issues

      2:34
    • 9. Writing a Good Opening and Ending

      6:53
    • 10. Cutting Your Word Count

      4:54
    • 11. Making a Writer's Dummy

      3:06
    • 12. My 10 Step Process to PB Writing

      3:42
25 students are watching this class

Project Description

Write Your Own Children's Picture Book Story

PROJECT ASSIGNMENT

Your assignment for this class is to write a children's picture book story. I’ve come up with a story question below to get your brain in gear and help jumpstart your imagination! If you would like to come up with your own story idea, or already have a story in mind, please use your own! 

Story Prompt: What if a tiger were president?

Your goal is to come away with a complete manuscript. Don’t worry—it’s not so bad! You’ll have a ton of fun thinking about your characters and what sort of trouble they might get into. Writing is one of the most imaginative and limitless artforms and by writing your own picture book you’ll be able to tap into your inner child and live in a world outside reality for a bit. Almost every time I meet someone new and tell them I write and illustrate picture books, they immediately start telling me about their own idea for a picture book. I think humans are born storytellers, and I want to help give you the tools and resources to get that fantastical idea out of your head and onto the page.

 

PROJECT SPECS

Your final piece of work will be a picture book manuscript under 700 words, using either the story prompt above, or your own story idea.

 

PROJECT DELIVERABLES

I recommend that you complete the project deliverables as you watch the videos and follow along with the attached Project Guide. Here are the suggested deliverables to post in the Project Gallery after you complete each unit:

  1. Unit 1: Exploring Picture Book History

    • What type of picture book you plan on writing
    • The title and book cover of one of your favorite picture books (modern or classic)
  2. Unit 2: Deconstructing Picture Book Anatomy

    • Descriptions of any of the structural details described in the video of the picture book you previously posted or a new picture book
  3. Unit 3: Writing Your Story

    • Optional: First manuscript draft (eek!)
    • Photo of your plot storyboard
    • Revised manuscript draft
  4. Unit 4: Refining Your Story

    • Photo of your writer's dummy
    • Final manuscript!

 

BONUS LOCKED CONTENT: If you’re interested in trying to get your book published, there is an extra level of locked content in this class on how to submit your manuscript to publishers. All you have to do to unlock this content is post any of the above deliverables to the project gallery. Then, just email me ([email protected]) to let me know you posted, and I'll send you the booklet!

And one last thing! If you are an aspiring picture book illustrator, you should check out the next class in this series, Picture Books 2: Illustrate Your Story. This class will address everything you need to know about illustrating a picture book including: PB illustration elements, character development, storyboarding, pacing, drawing spreads, and how to make a illustrated book dummy. If you took this writing class, you are welcome and encouraged to illustrate the story you wrote for this course! Or if you choose, there will be a story available for you to illustrate.

 
I can’t wait to read all of your stories, and I hope to see you all in the next class as well! 

 

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Additional Resources on Writing for Children

Additional Resources on Writing

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WANT MORE?

You can see more about Christine and her work at www.mightcouldstudios.com.

Get weekly essays on creativity and art making AND get my free list of artist tools here!

Hope to see you in there! :D

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