Pull Readers in Early
Too often beginning writers delay the introduction of their story’s plot or conflict. Delaying that introduction can cause readers to quickly lose interest and not bother reading any further. A great picture book pulls the reader quickly into the story by introducing early on the problem faced by the main character – typically on the first spread and preferably on the very first line.
I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen is a perfect example of this. In the very first sentence we learn the bear’s problem. His hat is gone. The second sentence builds on the conflict telling us the bear wants it back. This immediate introduction to the story’s plot pulls readers in quickly and has them turning page after page until they know how the problem ultimately gets resolved.
Of course, even worse than not introducing the conflict of the story early, is not introducing it at all. A great picture book needs an engaging plot and it needs to be introduced as early as possible.
Time is running out to register for the Picture Book writing workshop I'll be teaching at the WIFYR conference June 16-20.