Saturday, 2 August 2014

What Every Childrens’ Author Should Know

What Every Author of Childrens‘ Books should Know – Top Tips for Success

by: Samantha Pearce

When writing a manuscript for a story for toddlers it is important to take a moment to try and think like a child. Try to understand from their perspective the type of story they would want to hear and the type of book that would capture their imagination. A toddler needs a story that will engage them and hold their interest. This can be achieved through various methods including the use of fun or rhythmical language or by writing about something that they can relate to. Some of the more successful books for toddlers are written around subjects that form a part of a toddler’s daily routine, i.e. potty training, taking a bath, getting dressed etc. and this can be a good place to start when considering the type of story you wish to write. Another obvious way of producing a winning book is through the use of bright and interesting illustrations or through quirky pages, which involve touching different textures or lifting flaps etc. and these are all things that should be considered once your story has taken shape.

Although writing a story for a toddler seems like it should be a simple task it still requires you to work through the same processes as if you were writing any other story. You need to establish a plot and story line that the child can follow with ease. You also need to include characters that toddlers can relate to or understand, e.g. family members or animals.

The story must always finish with a happy ending and if possible should have an underlying positive message that you would wish a child to reflect in their own behaviour. For example, being kind to others or telling the truth. Although it is good to include such social messages do not approach them from a sinister perspective. It is not necessary to dwell on the dire consequences of not telling the truth as the story must be uplifting and fun.

Toddlers are very honest critics and they know the type of stories and books that they like, and indeed that they will return to time and time again. So once you have written your story why not let a knowledgeable critic give their opinion – read it to a toddler!

Writing for Toddlers – Top Tips f

Childrens' books

Childrens’ books (Photo credit: ImaginaryGirl)

or Your Manuscript:

* Keep the language simple

* Consider using repetitive phrases or rhyming words

* Keep the story light-hearted

* Include characters that toddlers will understand and can relate to

* Do not make the story too long

* Finish with a happy ending

So to sum up, writing for toddlers is not as easy as you might think but if you follow our top tips your manuscript will have a better chance of reaching the editors desk rather than ending up in the bin.