One Writer’s Journey

January 19, 2015

Martin Luther Kings Birthday and Picture Book Biography

This is my all time favorite biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A picture book biography is more than just a short book with a lot of pictures.  If you are contemplating writing a biography in picture book form, keep these tips in mind.

Story.  Very few picture book biographies tell of the person’s life from birth to grave.  Instead, they tell a story.  In this book, the author tells the story of his life using quotes from his speeches.

Character.  The person you are writing about is a real person but in this course of your story, they are a character.  Even if it is someone famous like MLK, you have to assume that your reader does not know THIS character, the one that walks THIS story.  Eventhough this person is famous, you have to take the time to introduce him to the reader.

Dialogue. When creating dialogue for any nonfiction, including a biography, you have to cite sources.  Where and when did he speak these words?  Not in quotation marks can be made up. It all has to be something he said or wrote.

Kid friendly.  Although the person you are writing about probably isn’t a child, your story and your character have to have kid appeal.  Why would a young reader want to sit through this book?  What about it pulls the reader in?

Keep these traits in mind as you play  with your manuscript and you will have a piece that hangs together and pulls the reader in.

–SueBE

 

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