Writing children’s books isn’t as easy as it might sound to some aspiring authors. When writing for a younger audience, many would think it’s a lot simpler because you only need to appeal to a young, “simple” mind. Surprisingly, empirical research reveals that writing for children can be as complicated as writing for adults, so here are some tips for creating a successful children’s book:
- Determine and define the real target audience
Who are you writing for? Which age group are you concentrating on? You’ll need to decide whether it will be preschoolers, kindergarteners, or 1st through 5th graders. It is very important to decide on which group you will concentrate on. Having a wide-ranging audience and writing a book for “all ages” will come across less interesting and less relatable for the children who read your work. You need to choose a specific group to try and reach.
- Choose an absorbing theme
Does your plot carry an appeal? Does it concern issues in a child’s world today? Are you simply telling a story, or attempting to convey a moral? Also, you don’t want to make your message too complicated or have your story get lost in adult-level sophistication; rather, it needs to be easily understood and relatable. If your audience relates to your story and can imagine themselves actually being in it, they’ll be drawn in and fixated.
- Be original
It’s important to show creativity and stand out when creating your book. It can be challenging not to insert lazy clichés like fairytales and talking animals. An original story will grip your readers and be memorable. Remember, your objective is to have them enjoy your work so much they reopen the book at some point in the future. To get to that point, most authors need to find their inner child and use their imagination to create the sense of being a little kid. Whether you make up your own story or reflect on your own childhood, be creative and engage young readers in your story.
- Be clever in your writing
Your story should be somewhat intuitive -concerning human nature – and yet profound, enough to stimulate their imagination and creativity. Use rich language to challenge curiosity and learning. Make your story dare the reader to think, solve, and ask questions. Also, make sure your story’s moral is subtle enough to be clear and not overly blatant at the end. Kids do pick up on subtle messages, and by using this strategy you will leave more of an impact on the reader.
- Use imagery
It is a key to effective writing to use vibrant, attention getting illustrations in your book. Pictures can bring your story alive without adding more words and graphic additions can make your story easier to comprehend. Using colorful, high quality illustrations will enhance your narrative and fuel your readers’ imagination. You can even use photographs as well. Finally, you can work together with local artists or even draw some of the illustrations yourself (If you feel that confident to do so).
After finishing your first draft, it is essential to get input from others, whether it is kids, parents, teachers, or childcare professionals. Be open to their ideas, advice, and constructive criticism. Children aren’t the only ones who have to learn from their mistakes and grow. Your receptiveness will help your story turn out even better!