Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Picture Books: Journey Stories/Contest

The journey story is viable plot structure for picture books. The main character journeys into the world on a quest or with a specific goal in mind. While on the journey the character faces strong opposition and obstacles that s/he must overcome. By the end of the journey, the character experiences growth. This type of story has a definite sense of beginning, middle, and end. Many fairy tales, folktales, and myths are journey stories. Examples: The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk.

The beginning introduces the character and setting as well as the catalyst for the journey. Early in the story, establish the reason why the character is taking the journey. What is the character’s motivation to continue when presented with challenges? The pigs are seeking their fortunes. Introduce the villain, such as the Bad Wolf.

Challenges arise in the middle part of the story. The character is tested. The Big Bad Wolf huffs and puffs and blows down their houses. The character must learn to deal with the opposition so s/he can overcome the final obstacle that leads to the climax.

The ending is short and sweet. The Big Bad Wolf won’t bother the pigs ever again. A satisfying ending is a must for young readers. The pigs are victorious.

Consider how your journey story fits this plot structure. Add your own creative ideas, distinctive characters, and compelling plot to make the story fresh and engaging. As in building a house, the structure of a story provides the foundation, but the details offer the uniqueness.

Contest for young and adult writers:
Tapestry of Bronze "Odes to the Olympians" Spring 2012 Contest
"The Tapestry of Bronze is sponsoring a series of poetry contests to celebrate Greek and Roman mythology and the Olympian gods. The subject of the eighth contest is Ares (also known as Mars), the God of War." Prizes of $50 will be awarded for the winning poem in each age group (over 18/under 18). NB: "All poems remain the property of the authors. However, the Tapestry of Bronze reserves the right to post winning poems and those receiving Honorable Mention on the Tapestry of Bronze website."
Deadline: April 30, 2012
Details at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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