Writing your children’s book doesn’t have to be hard, but there are a few key ideas you need to remember.
- What do you like to read? Mystery, suspense, science fiction, fantasy, comedy, or maybe crime drama? Kids like all those genres, too! So, pick a genre you enjoy and write to kids.
- Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. Having a shorter story doesn’t meet you can skimp on structure. Children are very savvy consumers and will notice missing elements. If they don’t appreciate your writing, they will avoid anything else you write.
- Always use a child’s point of view. Never expect children to understand an adult’s point of view- they just don’t have any way to relate, and more importantly, a child should be the hero. In stories, children can do almost anything and go almost anywhere without an adult. That doesn’t mean you can’t have adults in your story, just ensure they are only supporting characters.
One of the defining characteristics of good books for children of all ages is character growth. Your main character should grow in some way during your story. It doesn’t have to be a big change, and it can be as simple as learning a new concept, especially for younger children.
- Ensure you have some conflict or problem to resolve. It is perfectly acceptable to include some danger or risk provided the characters can prevail. While enabling you to more easily show character growth, it also awards you the ability to keep the story moving with action and excitement. While good advice for any story, this is critical when there isn’t space to waste on unnecessary exposition.
- Although most children’s books teach something, no one likes to be preached to, so don’t talk down or be overly obvious. Children aren’t stupid, they just don’t have personal experience to draw conclusions from, and will resent heavy handed morality lessons.
- Know your audience. Whenever a new author says, “My story is for children of all ages,” I know there will be problems with the story. Although parents or older siblings may enjoy the story, they will not seek out your book for personal reading. Pick your audience’s age and grade level, then target your word and event usage to them.
Remember, the biggest difference between children’s and adult stories is the experience level of the reader. Stick to story lines you enjoy, adjust your writing accordingly, and become a successfully published author with happy readers for years to come.
Be sure to check out our other writing tips.