Still not sure about writing or publishing your manuscript?
Giving up is never the answer!
Writing a children’s book and getting it right gives you the same feeling of making a kid laugh his heart out, happiness. Although it is a competitive field, there are endless possibilities for creating stories. Bring out the inner child in you, and create something funny, silly, and enjoyable. Still clueless? Here are the things that will help you write.
Enough with the “story for all ages.” Think about who you want the book to be aimed at. More specific, the better. Is it for young children (ages 2-6), (ages 8-11), young adults (ages 12+)? Although the first age group mentions 2-6, 6-year-olds read more compared to a 3-year-old, so it’s important to get the target audience right. If your book doesn’t click with at least one of these groups, it won’t click with any of them.
Choosing a theme is very important for writing. For example, you can’t have a picture book with no words for childrens who are 13 and above or a story of a coal miner winning the lottery. The story must be relatable for the target audience, so they read it over and over again.
Your son and his friends love the story you wrote for them? Great! How different is it from the rest of the stories out there?
There is no correct way of telling a story to a child. It can be funny, serious, and silly. Thanks to their endless imagination you have endless possibilities of writing books for them.
A story about a boy going to a park plays with ducks, and goes to bed is not a story. It’s a day in almost every Children’s life. A detailed story with lots of adjectives, with a talking duck or something out of the ordinary is what gets a child’s attention.
The story needs to have a clear beginning, middle – a high point of the story, and end with closure. Children’s books don’t need to have cliffhangers if there is a series of books.
The middle part of the story needs to have a clear moment. Was there a problem the character encountered, what was it? Did they meet anyone new that day? Having pictures help children learn better, and faster.
Are 200 pages too much? If you’re already a published author and writing your first children’s book, keep in mind that it is different from writing a novel. Children’s books have to be short and have way lesser words. Every book type has its own recommended length. Here they are:
Young picture books (2- 5 years) consist of learning books that teach colors, numbers, fun bedtime stories. Word count is 200 – 400 words.
Basic trade picture books (3- 8years). Each page has just one line. Word count is 500 – 600 words.
Novelty books have pop-ups, puzzles are other interactive features. Some books might not have any words and might consist of something attached to the book like a fluffy cottontail or a speaker.
Picture storybooks (6 -10years) are suitable for children who are beginning to read without pictures. Word count is 1000 – 3000 words.
Chapter books (6 -10years) are read by children on their own. These books do not consist of any pictures. Word count can be as many as 3,500 words.
If your story has a message you want to pass on, make sure it is subtle and not made loud and clear. Children mostly read stories for fun. Although many books do not have any message, it can play a huge role in the growth and development of children. Think of it as covering peas with chocolate so children will want to eat them.
Forcing a book to rhyme unless there is a particular reason is not a good idea. If it’s easy for you to make your story rhyme while writing, then great, or else don’t force it.
Illustrations are the central element in any Children’s book so don’t settle for less. Set a realistic budget and get a professional illustrator. Decide on the sizes of illustration. Do you want half-page or full-page illustrations? What is the size and layout of your book? All of this will help you determine your examples.
As the author, your story might seem interesting to you, but the best way to find out is to test your story. Once the dummy of the book mocked up with words and layout is done, find children from your target audience age group and read it out to them. Pay attention to when they laugh, getting bored, and losing patience.