Advice for New Authors on Writing a Children’s Book

By Lesley Carr

It would be hard to argue against the premise that the language and themes commonly used in children’s books are relatively straightforward when compared to those in adult novels. However, as an aspiring author you shouldn’t assume that writing a children’s book is easy. Far from it! As any parent will tell you children are an audience that’s notoriously difficult to please.

Characterization and plot play important roles in all children’s books, and there is another factor that you need to be aware of. Keeping the interest of your young readers is something you’ll have to bear in mind at all times. Unlike adults, who are prepared to stick with something as it develops, children will quickly lose interest if a book doesn’t grab their attention right from the start, and then keep it held throughout.

If you currently spend a great deal of time around children, you may already have a good insight into the way their minds work. However, just because you are frequently in the company of children doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve tapped into the way their minds work. How much do you actually listen to them, rather than talk to them? Allowing a child to lead a conversation can be very enlightening, and it’s often not something adults are comfortable doing.

If you don’t have your own children or grandchildren, but would like to gain valuable experience of children’s company, it might be possible to volunteer as a helper at your local school, subject to any necessary background checks. If you explain that you’re writing a children’s book, you may find yourself with a warm welcome.

It’s tempting to think that because you were, at one time, a child yourself, you will naturally know all about what motivates and interests children. That may prove to be a big mistake. What was true for you 20, 30 or 40 plus years ago is not necessarily true for today’s children. They live in a different world, which moves at a much faster pace. They are exposed to multiple stimuli, such as television, the internet and video games. Their levels of understanding and engagement are far more complex than yours will have been.

It’s vital from the very start of writing a children’s book that you have a clear idea of which specific age group you are targeting. The rate at which children’s intellects develop is surprisingly quick, so that a difference of just a year can mean a great deal in terms of their expectations and ability to understand.

If you are writing a children’s book and considering self publishing it, make sure you work with an experienced and supportive rel=nofollow children’s book printing company to produce your books.

Lesley Carr has a wealth of advice and tips for aspiring writers, including how to find inspiration for your work, getting your draft manuscript into shape, and how to manage your route into self-publishing. She works closely with http://www.printninja.com/ to assist authors with getting their work into print.

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