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  • Writer's pictureMeeshell Helas

How To Write A Picture Book About a Family Story

Writing a children’s book about a beloved family story is a perfect way to conserve these cherished experiences. Below are two steps to help you get these stories written as picture books.

1. Begin Planning

Begin your planning by answering the following questions about your story:

  1. Who is the main character in the story?

    1. Name:

    2. Ethnicity:

    3. Skin Color:

    4. Eye Color:

    5. Hair Color:

    6. Personality?

    7. Any unique characteristics?

    8. Anything else?

  2. What is the setting? (Where does the story take place?)

    1. Appx. Year:

    2. Country/State?

    3. Location of the story?

  3. What’s the story?

  4. If any, what is the principle you want to teach?

  5. What is the problem?

  6. What is the solution?

You can use the below worksheet to get started.

FamilyBinds Story Outline to Help Write Your Children's Book

2. Create your Storyboard

A storyboard is a visual narrative of your story. This is especially important for a picture book as the story goes hand-in-hand with the illustrations. This will allow you to see what you can show in the illustrations and remove it from the content.

Children's picture books are typically 32 pages. This includes:

  1. Front and Back Cover

  2. Copyright Page

  3. Dedicatory Page

  4. 12 Illustration Spreads

Because FamilyBinds includes three spreads for photos, our books come with 9 illustration spreads. Below is an example of a storyboard. You can draw (or write) in each box an idea of what you want the illustration to be. On the lines below the box, you can write the content (or idea for content) for the page. You can use the template below here or simply use a blank piece of paper to draw the boxes and place the content under each box.

FamilyBinds Storyboard to Help Write Your Children's Book

What should you write on each page?

  1. By the end of page 1 or 2, the reader should know who the story is about and what the setting is. If you wait too long the reader will begin to disengage. *Because this is a picture book you may not need to describe the setting but can show it in the illustration.

  2. By page 3 or 4 the reader should know what the problem is.

  3. The next few pages can be about how the character tried solving the problem. The purpose of these is to keep the reader turning the page to find out what is going to happen next.

  4. By page 8 or 9 the character should have resolved the problem or the principle should be taught.

Things to Note:

  1. Picture books are not typically read BY children but TO them. This means you can use a little more complex vocabulary.

  2. While it is fun to have rhymes and create a rhythm throughout the book, it is not necessary. The most important part of this book is the story. That should be the focus.

3. Illustrate & Print

Once your storyboard is completed it is time to work with an illustrator. Be sure to find one that will provide drafts and allow adjustments throughout. Once you give your illustrator the final approval, it’s time to send it to print.

FamilyBinds has some of the most talented illustrators in the industry and works with quality-driven printers. Our skilled storytelling specialists would love to walk you through your story planning, storyboarding, illustrations and shipment.

Get started with your FamilyBinds storybook now!

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