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Brainstorming Childrens Picture Book Ideas

When I speak to writers' groups and writers' classes, the questions I hear most often are about writer's block and how I come up with my ideas.

I'm a screenwriter, but ever since a little girl came into my life, my heart for writing has been in children's books.

If children are part of your life, you have a boundless source for children's book material, even if you don't realize it.

Want a children's book idea? Try this: think of one of your child's problem behaviors.

Do you have one? Good. Now think about what concerns you about that behavior. Sure, the behavior is annoying. But think about how it might play out negatively for your child rather than you.

For instance: let's say your child insists on sleeping in your bed and not his own room. You might worry that such immature behavior will result in your child's friends thinking him a baby. They might stop coming over.

You don't want your child to lose his friends, do you? Neither does your child!

Doesn't this sound like subject matter for a book? You already have a major character facing a high-stakes dilemma that your reader (a child) can easily identify with!

Now take the negative outcome you imagined and plot BACKWARDS to the behavior.

For instance:

  1. Your son's friend stops coming over. Why?

  2. Because your son no longer has his own room. Why?

  3. Because Dad turned it into an office. Why?

  4. Because bedrooms are for sleeping and your son is no longer sleeping in his!

  5. That should be enough story arc for a picture book! Wasn't it easy? I'll bet your children have enough problem behaviors for you to write a whole collection!

    Find the How To Write A Children's Book page at Best Children's Books at