Let the “Child” in you Write!

Experience is a great teacher! Events where you learn can be used to better yourself as you grow and mature. These events can also be of help to others so that they can get different ideas on how to deal with life and its ups-and-downs. It can also serve as a way for you to develop your writing talents and give back to those that need.

Think back to some great times in your life, as well as times that were not so great. Did you learn a new skill? Did you learn a lesson that helped you at some other time in your life? Do you think you can help someone else with what you learned? Children love to learn. They are like sponges. Anything you say. You can be sure children will wonder about it. Your children’s book could turn into a great way to help them find their way as the grow.

That is what writing is all about. Telling stories that can make children happy, let them learn, or just stretch their mind into ‘uncharted’ territory. Writing is a trade that you have to work at. All the best writers – they wrote for years until they got it right. Even if their first book was a success, it did not happen as soon as they put ideas down on paper. They read what other people wrote about. They listened to other ideas. And they saw ‘possibilities.’

The best way to start is to figure out if the book you want to write will fill a need. Yes, your need may have been written many times over but other authors, but what can ‘you’ bring to the book that is not like all the others? You need to let your mind wander and look at the side roads that other writers may have missed or did not really bother with. It is in the ‘hidden’ that you will find your diamond in the rough. Your childhood will be a great way to get your need in the children’s book arena.

Another way to write a book is to decide if you are really the ‘best’ person to write the book. Look at your idea. Did it happen to you? Do you know someone who went through a similar idea? Maybe you need to ‘buddy’ with someone in order to get the best-of-the-best put down on paper. Maybe you engage with others on social media. How many followers do you have? Do you think your book would attract more friends and/or followers? Once your book ready, you will need to know that there are people out there who ‘want’ to read your book. If you are writing children’s books, then you need to make sure that children will ‘want’ to read your book.

Write no matter what you ‘feel.’ Don’t wait for someone to tell you it is ‘ok’ to write. If that is what you want to do, then start now. Even if you write 10 sentences a day. By the end of the week you will have 70 sentences. They may or may not make sense, but it will show you what you thought about each time you wrote. It will help you see the ‘child’ in your writing.

Don’t be afraid of failure. I know I’ve said this before, but it is true. Failure is a way to clear the clutter. Failure can help you see new ideas. Failure makes you ‘think’ more. When you think more, you open your mind to fertile ground that was hidden away. You begin to see why your children’s book is important. Failure keeps you going until it is complete. It is a task you have set out to do and if you are sure in your heart, you will reach the end and have a great children’s book.

Don’t wait until tomorrow – start today. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. Slow and steady is what great children’s books are all about. Do you want to try to connect with others who write children’s books. Some good information can be found at http://www.scbwi.org/


Important Basic Steps When Creating Children’s Books

Ideas for children’s books come from all over. Ideas spring from family, friends, and other children. Ideas grow from reading books, plays, and poetry. There are even ideas if you look back at your own childhood days. You want children to learn all that is new. You want to help them build good habits. Most of all, you want them to have fun while reading. Making your children’s books interesting, exciting, and simple will help turn your stories into tomorrow’s classic favorites!

Here are a few simple steps to start with:

  1. Read, read, and read even more! Reading what other writers have done will help you focus. Reading what others write will show you how they took their idea and made them kid-friendly. Don’t be shy! It’s a great way to brainstorm for future books.
  2. Find out why children read certain books. What is so special about them? Look for things other writers have in common. Review their characters, favorite subjects, how they shaped their ‘plot.’ Do other books make children think better? Do other books blend fantasy with reality? Reading other writers will give you more ideas to make your own idea even better!
  3. What do you want your children’s books to talk about? Do you have an idea to help babies learn better? Do you have a great way to get a child to like a new idea? Put your ideas down on paper. Work your ideas from start to finish. Create an outline to keep you on track for characters, story lines, and endings.
  4. Once your ideas are set out on paper, what age-range do you want to attract? For babies, they tend to like books that are soft, full of color, with lots of pictures. For a 10-year old who needs help with math problems, an easy, step-by-step guide will be a great success.
  5. Remember to keep your ideas simple. When children read, they read from their own point of view. Let your story reflect one point of view. If there is a conflict or problem, make it easy – but not too easy. Make sure the lessons they learn can be used over again at some other time in their life.
  6. Above all, do not be afraid to fail. When we fail, we push ourselves to see what we did wrong. When we fail we begin to think about how to make the story better the next time. Writers write every day, about anything and everything. Most writers did not start out with a best seller. Keep trying, keep writing, and let the ideas flow!

For more tips and information on ideas and how to start writing children’s books, visit http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2013/jul/10/top-writing-tips-childrens-books-editors