As long as you haven't been living under a rock then you know the song "Do Re Mi", let's sing it together.
Let's start at the very beginning, a very good pace to start... Ok, scratch that. Actually when writing picture book biographies it is easier to reverse that.
Let's start at the very ending, a very good place to start. We know the point we want to get to in a biography. That one accomplishment, heroic deed that made our person famous. So let's start there.
On an index card write the word ending at the top and then write your ending, you can short hand it or make bullet points but the end is the best place to start.
Now, let's return to our song already in progress:
Do- it is actually DO as in do you want to talk about what ignited the persons interest? Or do you want to start from the time they were a child? Decide and write that down on an index card
Re- let's make that e a long e, as in Research. Make sure to do enough research. When you keep coming across the same information over and over then it is time to start writing.
Mi- that is an I after the M so it really should be mi as in Might I suggest that you find a common thread that can be woven throughout your story? Think of the little engine that could and the refrain "I think I can, I think I can." Find something that can be woven through the story. Did your hero see things differently? Did they huff and puff but never give up?
Fa- not quite, it is really fA as in Failures. Remember to list all failures along the way. Try and decide on three- the power of three and list each failure on an index card.
So- finally something pronounced correctly. So? What made your subjects discovery, triumph so important to our world? What did they sacrifice and how have we prospered from that hero?
La- there is no h at the end, it is la as in Last will and testament. We write children's books, you don't have to take the story all the way to a person's death. You can end it with their victory or accomplishment. Save the death dates for the back matter. If your story is set 1777 we know that the hero is dead, duhhh. Somethings in life are inevitable, death, taxes and price increases.
Ti- try it with a long I as in Timeline. Make a timeline of your person's life from birth to death or if they are still alive to where they are now. Mark where important things happened and failures occurred. By looking at a timeline you will be able to find your story. You will see a cluster of things that happened in a particular few months or years, all bunched up together- THAT IS YOUR STORY. That is the part you want the reader to get to. Plus you can now add that timeline to your back matter.
Do- yea, another correct one as in Don't forget to write everything down on index cards. You should have 3 parts. 1 what ignited their interest in what made them famous, 2 their failures or the long laboring steps that they took and a point where all hope is lost and 3 their success. All of your index cards should pertain to one of these three topics. Everything else in your story is transitions.
When you are done you will have your own song to sing and it goes something like this:
I got a a story, I got a story, now raise the roof, raise the roof.
Discover nonfiction with Kristen Fulton at kristenfulton.net
Meet the Wednesday Blogateers
First Wednesdays will feature Orel Protopopescu, multi-published award -winning author and poet.
Follow our Blogs!
Join our Tribe
and receive 7 Steps to Creative Happiness, access to free webinars, and lots more!
Your email addresses are always safe and respected with us.