Outlining your Children’s Book: Turn Ideas into Plot 

Have you ever had an idea for a children’s book but no clue how to actually start outlining it? Odds are you’re unsure how to turn your ideas into plot.

The Truth About Outlining

When you read the word “plot”, I’ll bet your mind jumped to your middle school English class where you learned that plot is a series of events a character endures to achieve an end goal.

While that is absolutely true, it isn’t the starting point.

If you try to jump into the plot without doing the necessary prepwork, you’ll be left with your head in your hands. You'll keep wondering why there’s a gap between your brain and the page in front of you.

Here’s the truth: to turn your ideas into plot and start outlining, you first need to have a deep understanding of your main character.

Understanding Your Main Character

To understand your main character, you need to put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What does my character look like?
  • What are my character’s passions or goals?
  • What does my character need most in life?
  • What would be absolutely devastating to my character?

And so on.

Once you have a thorough understanding of who your main character is, it’s time to plop them in your idea.

When Character Meets Story

At this point, you should have a story idea and a deep understanding of your main character. Now it’s time to piece them together.

First, think of the central problem in your story. In I CAN Believe in Myself, the problem is that a child must speak in front of the class, but she’s too scared to do it.

Once you’ve nailed down the central problem, it’s time to ask yourself this question:

What would my main character do if they were faced with this problem?

This is the most important question you need to ask yourself as a writer, not only because it’s the bridge between ideas and plot, but because your outlining process relies entirely on the answer to this question.

After all, it’s up to your main character to discover the solution.

The Final Step

Now that you’ve considered who your main character is and where they fit in your big idea, it’s time to finally start outlining.

To discover how to outline your children’s book step-by-step, check out my FREE Children’s Book Blueprint.

Remember, you CAN do it!

Interested in Writing a Children's Book?

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