Publishing Tips for writing children's book.

Get started writing your children's story book.

If you are thinking about writing a book I would advise getting it out of your head as soon as possible. Make it rough, now, on paper, on the computer, whatever, just start writing and messaging it now and in time it will be something real, something tangible. Once you have the first draft on paper, start working it over from the beginning to the end. Never lose track of your target audience. Once it is on paper you can decide and redefine the target audience but keep it in mind as you write and rewrite your story. For younger children, under 6 years old, picture books are best and it is best to keep your word count around 700 words. This will keep the story long enough to be interesting and short enough so your audience does not lose focus. At this age they have a real short attention span.

When I wrote my first draft it sounded great to me but over time, I kept rereading and writing it. In about 3 months, working on it on and off, I got o the point where I could start thinking about how the illustrations could be set up and after several more iterations, I finally had to finish it and say "OK, this is it, PRINT IT". I think a work of writing can always be improved upon and changed or redirected, but at some point it has to be finished or it will never get to print.

Our kids are a great subject and they provide a vast canvass of opportunity for endless stories and adventure. Writing about something that gets your blood running is the best thing for any author and particularly a beginner. Kids love to hear stories and read stories about other kids. Writing about things that they can relate to is great subject matter. Stories from when you were a kid, no not those mischief stories, but the fun or funny ones can be great for them to read.

The three stories, I have written to date, make an attempt to rhyme and have a sense of rhythm which makes it easier for younger children to follow and remember the stories. Younger children like to have the same stories read to them over and over, because they are interested in learning the whole story and enjoy knowing the ending and where it is going. As we all know as parents, the stories don't need to rhyme or even make sense to entertain our kids, but to teach them a lesson or help them in some way, that will take some talent and expertise in your particular field or story line.

Beyond picture books, as our kids get older, the "chapter books" have a huge impact on our young reader's minds. There are so many great stories out there to be discovered. Some children by the age of 6 or 7 are already reading their own chapter books. These are stories that are read one day but not necessarily finished the same day. The story can be returned to each day or over time by our kids. Before the age of 5, it is difficult for a child to remember the previous day's chapter and thus these types of book tend to appeal to 6 year olds and up.

These books can be of virtually any length but for the kids that fall into the middle ground, that is ages 6-9 or 10, the books should have a smaller number of chapters, no more than 20, usually and each chapter should be relatively the same length. At this stage, a child reading on their own likes to be able to "track" their progress. Remember they are proud of being able to read their own books. If the chapters are too long they will get discouraged in marking their progress. It will also be more difficult to mark their stage in the story to be picked up at a later date or time.

Reading is the most important tool a child can learn. Starting them young and writing for the younger children is an admirable goal and a difficult task. Writing for the younger children is a worthwhile endeavor.



Lance Waite

Children's book author.


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Children's book written for kids and parents.