A current trend in picture books is “character driven texts”. These are stories whose main focus is a character who really connects with the reader. Some examples include the Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor and The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. (If you want to read more about what character-driven pictures are, see this post: http://wwwpamcalvert.blogspot.ca/2013/07/picture-book-university-character.html).
So one goal I have is to develop and strengthen some of my stories that are character driven texts. This is an area where writing can be tricky because you can work on a story and work on your writing but it can be hard to know how to take it to the next level and develop your craft. So I was very excited when I found this article on using character driven picture books as mentor texts (http://alaynekaychristian.wordpress.com/tag/character-driven-picture-books/).
The article, Using Character-Drive Picture Books as Mentor Texts to Improve Your Own Writing (Marcie Flinchum Atkins), recommends studying great examples of these texts and analysis them to see what makes them work so well. Atkins also provides a template of a worksheet to help with the analysis. I’ve found it to be a great tool to help me develop more awareness of the craft behind other authors’ stories. This awareness is also helping me look more critically at my work and think about my character development during my revision process.
Who is your favourite picture book character? What is it about the character that you connected to?