5 Tips for Children's Authors

My best selling children's book
Out and About at the Zoo

Writing a children's book may, at first, seem like an easy task but it's not. The skill of being able to tell a captivating story in such a limited number of words, the ability to combine the written story with the visual story, creating a simple text that flows smoothly... There's a lot more to children's writing than a lot of people think.
                             
Here's a few tips:

1. Book format. A standard children's book is 32 pages long. As the actual text usually begins at around page 5 (after title page, copyright page, etc...) this leaves you 27 pages to tell your story.

2. Balance. There needs to be a balance between text and illustrations. The text needs to be divided up evenly with fairly equal amounts of text on each page. The text must also match the illustrations.

3. Planning. Draw up a plan of the 32 pages so you can see how the layout of your book will be. This will help you divide the text and give you ideas the placing of illustrations.

4. Word choice. The text of a children's book is limited so every word counts. There is little room for visual description but most of that is done with the illustrations anyway.

5. Read it aloud. Children's books are meant to be read aloud. Read to an audience or record yourself reading the text so you can check for flow.

What tips would you add to this list?

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2 comments:

  1. I also find writing children's stories a challenge, but exciting. Because I illustrate my own books, there is another component to keep in mind: How will the illustrations print? Page set-up becomes important, as well as text size. Children's books are visual as well as verbal. Combining the two can be challenging. Beryl Reichenberg

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    1. I'm an author and illustrator too so know exactly what you mean. There's a lot to take into consideration and the visual element is a very important part.

      Thanks for dropping by and all the best with your books Beryl.

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