Creating a Story Question

The second step to writing a picture book after you created your story frame is to think of a general question about the underlying issue that you are trying to unravel in your story. There are many ways that the story question can be asked. This is what will ultimately give your story its uniqueness. Not everyone has to agree on the words in your story question. This is for your eyes only. Unless your story has a story question, your story won’t be focussed. And this is one of the main reasons why editors reject picture book manuscripts. So many times, editors simply say that your story has two or three different focuses and is difficult for a child to follow. Knowing your story question is crucial to keeping your writing tight and focussed. Your question lays a set of tracks that keeps the story moving onward. Unless you have a well-focussed story question, your story won’t move forward. It will stall and perhaps even not make much sense. Creating a story question also gives the story an objective tool for assessing the focus of the story. Once you write down your story question, you’ll be able to determine whether your story has gotten off course or not. Also, you may change your story question as you start writing your story. This is sometimes a necessary part of the process of writing first drafts. If this happens, make sure that you keep your original question so that you could compare it to the second question later to determine which one best describes your story. This is crucially important. So, what is your story question for you next picture book? Make sure you know what the story question is before you start writing your picture book. ~ Irene