Writing Children’s Books is Harder Than You Think

You’ve probably noticed that topics come in waves–we hear about something for a while, then something else takes it place. And so it is in book publishing.

We’ve received numerous calls from authors writing children’s books in the past few weeks. During our conversations, it often becomes apparent the writer has a story idea, so what does the writer need to do to get started?

The first thing I ask them is what age group are they writing for. They typically aren’t sure, but they know they need an illustrator. So we discuss ways to find an illustrator.

Then I ask them about the storyline. They typically have a moral to the story that Mom and Dad (or some adult in the story) teach the child.

At this point I know the writer doesn’t know much about writing for children. As one editor from a children’s publishing house told me, “There’s too much adult in the children’s stories submitted to us.” When asked to say more, she said, “The adults have all the knowledge, and the adults solve all the problems. In children’s books, the kids should make the discoveries and should figure out how to solve the problems, not the adults.”

I’ve taken her comments a step further and told children’s book writers to “Think Charlie Brown cartoons.” We never see an adult. We don’t even hear what the adults are saying–they only say “Wah, wah, wah, wah.” The kids have all the experiences and do the  learning, creating, solving, etc. And that’s as it should be in children’s books. Kids should be encouraged to think and participate.

Add that children’s books are age specific, and children’s book writers face another issue–word choice. The words need to be age-appropriate. Even if Mom and Dad are reading the book to the child, the words used should be words the child understands.

It’s normal to think  writing children’s books is easy. It is not. Every word counts, and it counts from the perspective of the child, not the adult.

Writing children’s books is harder than you think, but if you do it well, you may change a young life by planting seeds that blossom into a long life of loving reading.

Happy writing!

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Writing Children’s Books is Harder Than You Think”


  1. 2 Mark June 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    The developers are saying that Defiance is a pixel perfect shooter, so if you aim at your
    target’s head it WILL be a headshot instead of the invisible dice rolling a 5 and telling you that you somehow missed. At the same time, web games seemed like the future of gaming, and we wanted to be a part of it. For the purposes of this game, a “set” is at least three cards of equal value such as three Jacks or three fours and a “sequence” is made up of at least four cards that are of the same suit and run sequentially such as three, four, five, and six of spades.

  2. 3 http://www.afolksongaday.Com/2013/02/14/cupids-garden/Comment-page-1/ July 15, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
    This suggests banks will be in a position to borrow cash from the central authority at low rates and subsequently, they are going to
    be able to offer low interest private loans. Whenever the mixture becomes too dry and
    heavy, add a little milk to lighten it.

  3. 4 Debbra July 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Even though your goal is just to lose 5 pounds in a week, you should be strict with
    what you do so as not to inadvertently undo all your hard work for vegetarian
    weight loss. Authorities inside the area will need to have an intensive
    understanding of laboratory and labeling techniques, infection security precautions,
    appropriate blood attract approaches to the elderly and for infants and even more.

    That way, the actual process will end up being much less
    frustrating and, for the majority of people, enjoyable.

  4. 5 sms lån 4000 May 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    The process in this personal unsecured loans loan. However,
    their qualification process is much more lenient.

  5. 6 how to get Started On Writing a book July 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi, i believe that i saw you visited my web site so i got
    here to return the want?.I’m trying to find things to enhance my site!I
    assume its good enough to use some of your concepts!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: