Writing a book for children can be pretty challenging. In fact, the most number of drafts that editors and literary agencies receive are of children’s books. It takes hard work, proper research, and genuine passion. Here are seven tips on making children’s books interesting.
1. Watch Your Tone
Before you dream ofpublishing children’s book, you should consider many factors to make sure that your book is exciting and loved by the little readers. The first thing is, when you first start writing, you should set an appropriate tone. A unique tone will help your children’s book stand out from the crowd. Because children’s books are generally read aloud, it is your authorial voice that will resonate with readers.
There’s no need to fret if you’re worried about being unable to find your tone right away. Surely nobody has a voice quite like Roald Dahl’s or Dr. Seuss’s, but the good news is that nobody has yours. It takes time and effort, just like any other kind of writing. To find it, you need to go deep into your writing to learn what sets your words apart and where your writing skills lie.
2. Know Who Your Audience Is
First, think about who you want to read your children’s book before writing a single word. There is a wide age range to aim for when writing for children, from picture books to novels for young adults. Knowing the age range of your intended readers can help you tailor your message to them. But age isn’t the sole consideration! Remember that the expectations of your readers in terms of subject matter, length, tone, and complexity should also be taken into account.
When you know these factors, you can “write to the market,” increasing the likelihood that your book will be purchased. Unfortunately, the authors of some children’s novels write exciting scenes without considering their audience. For a younger reader, keep your sentences brief and your terminology straightforward. Invented terms are OK if they suit the plot, but avoid “ten dollar” words and excessively long phrases. Maintain a sentence length of 10 words or fewer.
3. Characters Are Key
It’s essential to keep children in mind while deciding on a theme. Great adventures, mainly those not seen in other stories, are an excellent option for children’s literature. Feel free to let your imagination go wild. And don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some comedy when it appears appropriate. Children like humor and will be more motivated to read if they find it funny.
Just consider the most memorable protagonists and antagonists from the children’s books you’ve read. Your imagination may immediately go to children’s book characters like Matilda, Harry Potter, Pippi Long stocking, and The Cat in the Hat. Just how did they manage to write such classic characters?
Knowing your audience is crucial in this respect. Much as how younger children frequently look up to and are fascinated by their older siblings, characters that are just a little bit older give role models and thrilling experiences that captivate younger viewers. Every great kid-lit protagonist has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, problems, and drives that draw reader in. Most importantly, kids need to see themselves reflected in the stories they read.
4. Illustrations are Important
The value of quality visuals is difficult to overstate. Excellent illustrations do more than pique a young reader’s attention; they also aid in conveying the intended message of the text. Just imagine how coloring books are so popular with children. Children’s picture books with accompanying illustrations are a great way to introduce them to reading and encourage critical thinking skills.
Children having trouble understanding the text may benefit from looking at the pictures to piece together the story. Amazing pictures make it easier for readers to feel what the author is trying to convey, deepening their understanding of the text.
5. Write Meaningful Stories with Morals and Messages
Make sure the book has a clear purpose. What your novel is about should be clear to a young reader. Did it have a lesson? Was there a distinct beginning, middle, and end so that children could describe what transpired?
Children can learn valuable lessons from moral stories about everything from culture and conduct to navigating challenging circumstances and discerning right from wrong. Instead of telling the children what is good and wrong straight through the story, the ideal stories would allow them to ponder and make that judgment.
When coupled with parental involvement, the mental process of determining whether the wolf’s activities are good or evil will aid in the development of their understanding and judgment.
6. Pacing is Important
Most parents realize that children prefer stories that go swiftly, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on details. The skill of writing children’s books relies heavily on striking a balance between engaging narrative and concise, straightforward prose. The goal should be to provide as much information as possible in as few words while maintaining clarity.
Pay attention to the core elements of your story: the protagonist, the antagonist, the setting, and the stakes. This will keep the pace of your story up and keep your readers engaged. When you write for children, you have the chance to create something that children will never forget.
7. Make A Draft and Keep Editing
You must start off with a rough draft. Once you have all your scattered ideas in one place, bringing them together is easier. Keep relevant points, consider the sequence and how your story flows, and keep editing.
While proofreading, you have to be extremely judgmental towards your writing. Look for flaws and fix them. A great idea is to share your final draft with friends so that they can give you an unbiased suggestion. You can also hire a professional editor to do much better proofreading for you.
Once you are done with this step, it’s time to publish your book!
Writing a children’s book is fun and takes a lot of hard work. Adults can easily understand intermediate-level vocabulary and don’t expect pictures in the book. But to keep children hooked, you need to include colorful pictures and simple yet meaningful stories to which they can relate. So go through the steps mentioned above to write an engaging children’s book. Best of luck!