Writing a successful children’s story is a dream for many writers. Both season professionals and aspiring young talent all have wishes of one day having a well-received children’s book sitting on bookshelves everywhere. However, it is not quite as easy as one may believe.
There are many thought processes and much research that has to be done before pen ever meets paper. If you are not willing to just sit back and concentrate, ponder, and build your story according to what children are interested in, then you may not have what is takes to write such a book.
It takes much more than just “money,” “fame,” or “fortune” to drive a successful children’s book author. The one driving desire that all writers must have is the drive to provide a quality book to the children and entice them to learn to read. Having a child eager to read a book that you have written is like no other feeling on earth. The sense of pride and the joy that you receive from seeing the child excited about reading is one that will last a lifetime with you.
First off, before you begin to write, you must understand the age group that you are attempting to reach. Writing a story for a teenager is much different that writing a story based on what a ten year old would like. The thought process of each is drastically different and they get excited about different things. No two children are the same; however, the basics of each age remain the same.
Even the amount and placement of the pictures are important. Having a picture-less book for a toddler will not go over well with the child. In stark contrast, having a picture-riddled book for a teenager is not really promoting their reading level or their excitement level. The balance of each is very important. The rule of thumb is to that the younger the child, the more pictures. As the age group grows older, less pictures are needed.
Now that you have an “idea” of what age group you are targeting, and the amount of pictures you will need, now it’s time to put pen to paper and begin writing. You will capture your younger readers within the first page. Older readers will give you more time to capture their attention so, you will likely have around 3-4 pages to entice them to read the rest of the story. Be sure to write this section so you will capture the imagination and attention of your age group.
Now that you have captured their attention, give them a climax that they will be happy to read. Boring, stagnant, worn-out climaxes are common. Give them something that will make them satisfied for reading to that point. Do not let them feel like they have wasted their time in reading your book. Give them that “reward” that they are looking for.
Toward the end, let them down gradually with the ending. Wrap everything up with a nice bow and answer all questions that might have risen up from the story. Leaving a “To be continued” type book for older children is fine—not a good idea for younger children.
Above all else, entertain the children. Reading is a lifelong skill—one that you can easily contribute to through your story.
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