Writing Books for Children
Children’s books are one of the most thriving and vast literary sectors today. Despite the takeover of audio-visual media, there is a consistently increasing percentage of regular readers amongst kids than adults. In addition to this, authors can explore a wide range of topics to write on; literally anything under the sky from mystery novels to educational and even comedy!
The truth, however, is that writing a children’s book is no easier than writing a book that caters to an older audience. There’s no one secret recipe to writing & publishing a good children’s book; nevertheless, it is essential to remember a few fundamental tips that’ll help your book outshine.
So if you’re a first-time writer and want to become the next Ruskin Bond or Roald Dahl, here are a few tips and tricks that’ll help you master your craft!
- Firstly know the different types of children’s books
There are endless genres and types of books for children, so you must understand your target audience in-depth. Once you know your audience, you will have a clear picture of what type of book will cater to their age group.
Commonly, children’s books are sectioned into 5 different sections. hey are often sectioned into these 3 sections for easier understanding;
- Picture books
These types of books are written for kids from the ages of 1 year up to 4 years. Picture books, as the word says, picture books rely heavily on visual illustrations & elements and lesser on words. Since they are meant for young readers, baby books typically have about 500 words or fewer.
- Teen Novels
These books are the stepping stones to adult literature for young kids. Though there is a wide genre of books that comes under teen novels, over the years this category has become a genre in itself. They have a higher word count, lesser illustrations and target kids from ages 10-15 years.
- Knowledge Books
Found for all ages of kids, informative knowledge-based books are also known as chapter books, typically written in chronological order and informative in nature. Knowledge books are often found in school libraries and they speak about art, culture or education.
- Understanding expectations
After you have decided the type of book you want to write, the next crucial step is to develop an understanding of what children & their parents want and align it with your passion project. Kids are inquisitive in nature, they like to explore, question, imagine and discover new things. In a nutshell, children’s books are written for two main reasons;
Also Read : Writing Tips From Famous Authors
- Master the art of imaginative writing:
Imaginative writing is all about expressing your book in a simple, creative and unique manner. This form of writing will fuel curiosity and fascination in the minds of young kids. So every time you write something, your words should put a visual picture in the minds of the children. To ensure this, use short and descriptive sentences and incorporate sensory elements in your story.
Little red riding hood walked past the village and sat below a tree where she heard a fox howl.
The prose above brings out sensory elements of sight and hearing.
While working on your writing, always remember to pick a universal theme that resonates with your target audience. The best children’s books, at their core, always leave an inspiring message.
The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears talks about how your actions may hurt others.
- Inspiration is everywhere; read more children’s books:
Nothing can help you kickstart your writing process as much as knowing how children’s books were written in the past. Reading others’ works will give you a clear idea of how to write, what to present and how kids perceive their books.
Here are the top 5 best children’s books:
- The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd (ages 1-3)
- My Truck Is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk (ages 2-4)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (ages 2-5)
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney (ages 2-5)
- Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora (ages 3-5)
- Plan your story
Now that you have gotten the right inspiration and know the basic rules to keep in mind, the final step is to plan your story. Ensure that whatever you write is efficient, effective with a tinge of dreaminess!
This step is undoubtedly the most time-consuming since there are so many elements to look into. Some of them are;
- Decide an outline story
Before starting to actually start writing, list down the main points of your story in the form of a structure. Noting this down will help give you a clear picture if something is missing if you want to add another angle to your story etc. With this technique, you will also save ample time while writing!
- Plan your story layout
Next up, set the layout of the story in a proper chronological order. Make sure all the series of events are in sync with the previous one. Working on a story layout will help you discover loopholes and weak points in your story, which you can then rectify.
- Develop your characters & their arc
The next step is to work on the characters of your story. Who are they? What do they want? How important are they in your story? Using these few questions will help form a clear character picture in your mind. Lastly, ensure that the characters you write are relatable or have traits that are relatable to children.
- Set the right pace for your story
What separates children’s books from others is the number of words you have to convey your story. The most difficult task of a children’s writer is that inherently children have a very short attention span. Hence, start your plot as soon as possible and keep the pace highly engaging at all times.
To summarize, writing a children’s book goes beyond building a mere storyline. Always remember to think like a kid, use your childhood experiences, take appropriate feedback and pen your manuscript! Hope this helps
Also Read : Steps To Writing A Book