I’m not sure what my deal is, but I seem to have this propensity to write two stories in one. I’ve done it with two novels—Rock On and my current w-i-p—and now I’ve done it with a picture book manuscript. With the novels, both my critique group and my respective agents helped me see the light. With the picture book, my agent and my intuition let me know and then feedback from a trusted author friend sealed the deal.

It all started with feedback from some editors who had passed on the manuscript. They felt the transition from one part to the other felt abrupt. As I tried to fix it, the second part began to expand and almost take on a life of its own; hence, the two stories in one.

I kept working at it and it kept feeling less cohesive. ARGH.

So now what?

The first thing I had to decide on this picture book was if there really were two stories and if so, what I wanted to do with them. Right now I’m thinking they each could be fleshed out into their own stories, but I need do some brainstorming to make sure.

We are hearing from publishers that many picture book stories don’t have the multiple read factor, that they aren’t unique enough. The market is extremely tight, especially for untried or less well-known authors. I’m trying not to let that intimidate me or cause me to lose my focus. I want to enjoy the process right now!

And part of that process is figuring out how to expand these two stories in ways that are engaging, fun and perhaps even surprising.

Have you ever had this experience? If so, please share what you did!