24 Nov 10 Tips for Writing Children’s Picture Books
Are you thinking about writing for children? Maybe you are already doing that but need some tips to make your work even better, this article is for you. Savour the 10 Tips for Writing Children’s Picture Books.
10 Tips for Writing Children’s Picture Books
You must know that children’s books are not the same as other novels or stories. I mean, you have to learn the coo-coo words and the teddies. Your book should have something that makes children interested in reading what you have for them. Of course, there are known professionals in this niche – Dr. Seuss is the most famous for such. Not every kid will know him, but an enormous number do.
Children’s books are stories that appeal to children and engage them. Of course, it goes on to include bedtime stories and lullabies. Children might be the most inquisitive humanoids, though they can’t do much. They are mostly interested in intriguing stories.
Writing children’s books can take a toll on the writers as they will be subjected to nursery rhymes, lullabies, and repetitions. However, there are a few tips for writing a good picture book for kids. Here we go:
1. Use Repetitions –
Have you bothered to read children’s books by other authors? You will figure out that they use these repetitive phrases or words often. This adjusts their writing to the nature of a child as it appeals to them. The way a child speaks is the way he thinks, so he assumes it is appropriate. The words are not fully formed – therefore, they sometimes or most times resort to repetition.
2. Make it perfect –
Adults understand what you’re implying or what to tend to imply when you make a mistake; children don’t. You have to make it perfect. Rumour says that Dr. Sauss allegedly wrote about 1000 drafts of his work before publishing – now, that’s a rumour, and it is not verified (I wouldn’t do that anyway, rumour or fact). Creating a children’s book must be 100 percent childish, in their words and bubbles.
3. Write a short story –
If you decide to go into children’s stories – you must learn the basics, lest you make a ‘bad’ writer. One of those basics is creating a relatively short story for your audience – the kids. Lullabies are mostly for lulling kids to sleep; your long work will bore them out if you insist on writing a large volume.
Let your story not be more than a thousand words. Use word count effectively so you’d know when to stop your story but with a good effect. This is because over a thousand words will be too long. Remember, this book is for kids, not for your mates.
4. Choose a good title-
Say a children-catchy title. Your choice of topic will most definitely become a decisive tool for the kids who come across your work. A topic like ‘the mezzanine playground’; isn’t as catchy as ‘The Raccoon’s mole’;. Both are catchy, but you have to decide which is better. You must also remember that children are very inquisitive. You have to find a topic that’ll arouse that curiosity – make them want to find out what’s inside that book.
5. Present strong characters –
There is a string that draws these kids to people they call heroes. Now, all your stories won’t be about superheroes, but at least present the protagonists as winners, not losers. Remember, your main character should be interesting; ooze a charismatic aura so the kids would love his demeanor.
There’s no tragedy or tragic ending for the kids, do not be that blunt. Remember, they’re children; they want the happily ever after picture, and the superhero wins. Always consider the feelings and capacity of the kids before you dish out their works for their consumption.
6. Mind your language –
Kids are sensitive to the language you use. When you use what’s incomprehensible, you will have a full-sleeping class or a wrong impression about you and your work. On the other hand, subject your writing language to cues and cuckoos, if you know what I mean.
Find out about kids’ language and employ them in your work. Let them know you are talking to them and the story is for them – carry them along but don’t make them drizzle out on their way through your story.
7. Create a new and different thing –
You know children wouldn’t want to read the same concept from different authors; they are are not dumb; they’re intelligent and curious. They will be able to tell mummy that they read the same story before. A good and different concept makes the kids more inquisitive, and as they are, they would want to find out more.
8. Strong opponent –
Hey! Remember to always add a ‘bad guy’ who will give the main character a tough time. Well, as bad as he should be, the main character must win.
9. Happy endings –
I have mentioned this somewhere in a different paragraph. A happy ending matters a lot to children. Being a kid shouldn’t be tragic, not even in the stories. Therefore you must compromise if you would like them to read your story twice.
10. Revision and editing –
Edit your work after revision. Let your kid or a neighbour read it after your part of the job. It has to be perfect. Kids are easily influenced by what they read and are easily frightened too. Therefore, you must present something beautifully crafted and perfect for their understanding.