A Gentleman and a Rogue

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Genre Writing - A look at Children's Writing

My son Joe, 2, visiting Thomas the Train

August is Children's book month here at Romance Under the Moonlight, so I thought I'd share an overview of Children's writing. Enjoy! Steph


Children love books. Whether it’s sitting down in mommy’s lap or curling up in a quiet corner to read, a good book gives them a grand adventure. However, writing for children is a lot more challenging than you think.

Typically, children’s stories are shorter and use simply language, but a short story may not be a good story. There are several elements in crafting a children’s story that you, the writer, should be aware of.

One of the elements needed for a good children’s story is plot. It should be fun and engaging. Remember, today’s children’s books compete with TV, video games, Wii, and movies. Take children on an adventure in your book. Don’t be over simplistic. The story should follow a logical sequence of events that children should understand.

Keep in mind your plot should have some conflict as well. The conflict should be aimed at the age level you’re writing for. Conflict in children’s writing doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be an escaped cat, a move to a new town, or the first day of school. Just remember to bring the conflict down to a level that children can understand.

Also remember there are different age ranges and audiences in children’s literature. You want to gear your plot and conflict to suit those ages. You have board books, picture books, early readers, beginning chapter books, and young adult books. If you’re not familiar with these formats, you might want to do a little research. Read books in the targeted age range you want to write in. Talk to kids about what they like to read or don’t like to read.

Another element in crafting a good’s children’s story is characterization. Children have to be able to relate to the characters in the story. What helps is to keep the dialogue as natural as you can. (If you use any) Tailor your dialogue towards the developmental age range you’re writing for.

Another thing to remember is that a children’s story doesn’t have to tell a moral. It should first be fun and engaging to read. Also, a children’s book doesn’t have to rythme. Some writers haven’t mastered rythming and they may come up with a poor rythme scheme. Don’t force it. Remember a good book doesn’t have to fit into a series. Let a series be an outgrowth of a good character.

Overall, writing for children can be very rewarding, especially if you craft a story with a dash of adventure, a pin of fun, and a tablespoon of character.

2 comments:

  1. One of these days I need to write my story about my dog, Rascal.

    Morgan Mandel

    ReplyDelete
  2. Morgan, what a cute a name.
    Smiles
    Steph

    ReplyDelete