The chiming world of a child—where the possibilities are endless – is beyond imagination. Whether it be flying on unicorns or saving the world, a child is capable of achieving every mean feat without hesitation.
We know. It’s challenging to put your foot on the pedal and know where to begin.
When you sit down to write a children’s book, you probably must have asked yourself what and where do I start? It’s barely 30 pages! How tough can it be? It’s normal to question how to do it—after all, we were all kids once, right? The issue with being an adult is that we typically lose sight of what it’s like to be a kid, and therefore you have to channel your inner child.
You might be surprised to learn that writing a children’s book can be just as time-consuming and hectic as writing an adult novel! The audience being addressed in this situation, however, is very special. So, let’s hop on your journey to writing the best children’s book!
What makes a good children’s book?
Creating the ideal book for children might be tricky, particularly if you don’t know what defines an excellent children’s book. There are multitudes of children’s books on the market. Knowing what to look for can help you write a high-quality children’s book that will encourage them to grow as readers.
Following are the six essential elements that make the perfect recipe to cook the best children’s book ever!
1) Interaction between images and words
As important as the language and words are to the book, a good children’s book should have engaging illustrations, especially for young readers.
A child might be drawn in and have their attention engaged by illustrations. Illustrations can aid in the growth of reading skills as well as captivating younger audiences.
If you were to isolate the text, it would merely become a normal novel. It only becomes interesting because of the relationship between the image and the text. Words are not enough in a children’s book, but how it interacts with the image is what makes a good children’s book.
2) Relatable themes and storyline
Is there a common thread that links it? Will the reader engage with the story, or will they simply listen while being lectured? Despite the huge range of books that are launched today, kids remain to be fascinated by those that have powerful central moral and recurring themes, such as good against evil, success is worth the struggle, or knowledge overcomes power.
A good children’s book will have an interesting and intriguing plot. Children can relate mainly to some aspect of a story or character, whether it is a true tale about a family pet or an imaginative tale about a castle on Mars.
Children connect more emotionally and recall stories more vividly when they can relate to them.
3) Engaging language
Writing children’s books can be challenging because they have to tell a whole story in a limited number of words.
The language in an excellent children’s book will usually be engaging. The words in the tale will flow seamlessly from page to page and have a lovely rhythm.
4) Valuable lesson
A good children’s book should have a meaningful lesson, similar to how a great novel should.
Children can learn new things and enhance their awareness of the world by reading books. Parents can provide their children with valuable life lessons about dealing with others, brainstorming strategies, and learning new skills through reading.
The best part is that delivering these teachings through entertaining and captivating stories has a lot bigger influence than simply explaining them. They’ll be more likely to take something away from the book and improve their reading skills as a by-product.
And, of course, humor! It is one of the key components in many children’s books. A good laugh with stories like “Captain Underpants” is highly popular.
When a story is simply humorous and has little or no instructional value, it is perfectly acceptable. Kids do enjoy the occasional summer read that is lighthearted, enjoyable, and purely entertaining. Thus, there’s nothing wrong with adoring a book that’s just for fun!
As a child, the images are just as important as the words – if not more!
The artwork is crucial, especially for books meant for younger readers. When you glance at a renowned picture book, you will instantly notice that the illustrations are not overly busy.
The story must be backed and concluded by the illustrations. Upon first look, book art seems to have to loudly represent what is happening. Picture books emphasize displaying rather than just explaining the story.
Ten easy steps for writing a children’s book
Children’s books are written in a variety of writing styles, plot genres, and vocabulary levels. There is much discussion as to what makes one book more significant, well-liked, or simply preferable to another.
To help you with that, the following is a 10-step guide on how to successfully write a great children’s book with important characteristics to look for.
1) Determine your audience
Before you start writing your book, the best thing you can do is look at the age range you’re aiming for and choose the best one.
It can also help you determine the words you use, sentence structures, the style and help to find the right fit for you.
Your target age range may be anything between 0 and 18 because children’s fiction spans from baby picture books up to young adult novels. But the key thing is that it should fit the grammatical structure, storyline, and all the components of a good book.
Your book will truly hit the sales in the market if you comply by being mindful of these elements!
2) Select the theme and genre
When you first come across them, ideas for children’s books could seem imaginative, complex, and creative. But when you detach the humor and creativity from a children’s book, you’ll realize that the themes it contains are completely universal.
It could be either the character learning a lesson by making a mistake or it could either be learning to make bold decisions. A relatable theme that unfolds into a valuable lesson is the vital element of a children’s book.
3) Do the research and read
It’s time to conduct additional research now that you are aware of your target audience and have a successful plot in mind. What other publications are accessible within your genre and category? How do they sell themselves to young people? What would make your work unique from the competition?
Children’s books are successful as they adhere to a particular pace, format, and tone. The progress of the stories follows an order.
If you haven’t related to the age group you are writing for, you’ll need to spend some time getting to know them and understanding how they communicate. Do research within various genres and take note of the interconnections between words and images.
4) Appropriate writing style and tone
Depending on the age group you have selected, you may want to choose a writing style and stick to it. Some of them include past tense, present tense, rhyming, first person, and third person.
Books that rhyme, for example, are normally geared toward the younger ages since they can simplify your story and make it more catchy and short.
Phonics and vocabulary are happy by-products of engaging with a high-quality picture book, intriguing story, engaging characters, beautiful illustrations, interesting interplay with words and images, nice rhythm, and overall books that children want to return to.
5) Building memorable characters
You must define your characters before you can proceed to bring them to life in your work. Are they humans, creatures, or something else different? What age do you imagine your main character to be? Are there any of your supporting characters? How do they appear? You should structure their roles in the story because your storyline starts to form after your characters are developed.
Who your central protagonist is, is among the most critical elements to keep in mind while writing a book for children.
The characters should be able to relate to and create a sense of trust with the reader as both of them are embarking on their journey and overcoming obstacles together. The personality should stick with what the children take away after reading the book.
6) Determine the obstacles to be faced
Every book has a problem that the protagonist overcomes. The main goal is not only to depict the problem but also the struggle that the main character goes through to achieve their goal.
For example, a kitten getting caught in a tree might represent the problem in a children’s book intended for five-year-olds, whereas a girl who is fighting a life-threatening disease might be the problem in a young adult novel.
No matter how basic the plot is, there has to be some sort of conflict. It’s what fuels your characters and drives the story onward. The style of the book you’re creating and the target group will determine the obstacles the main character will go through.
7) Write a Draft
Now that all the structural components have been sorted, it’s time to write your first draft!
The new page that stares back at you might be the hardest part of creating a book. But, most writers have identified the ideal solution to the problem: immediately begin! It’s not going to be flawless the very first time, but you are going to have something to work on and improve from there onwards.
8) Edit your heart out
When you have a finished first version, you can begin self-editing. Eliminate any extra elements; adjust any terminology that seems either overly complex or too belittling; and modify your style of language to fit your theme and target audience. Continue to edit until you’re satisfied.
If you’re still not satisfied, you can always hire a pro!
Look into hiring an expert children’s book editor if you’ve faced backlash and self-edited thoroughly and still believe your children’s book has room for improvement. Their many years of noble exposure and experience will enhance your storyline while also guaranteeing that your manuscript is market-ready.
9) Choose a title for your book.
The title is your book’s primary marketing tactic and how it’s going to make a first impact not only among readers but also on publishing houses.
The reality is that a lot of writers don’t grasp what their story is about until they complete it. So you’re able to use a draft title but remember that you’ll certainly modify it after you have finished writing.
Titles are essential for children’s literature since they, alongside the cover, establish the immediate impression of the story. They not only influence how the cover will look, but if they’re snappy, strange, or even outright goofy, they’ll become a favorite with kids!
10) Picking an illustrator
Here comes the cherry on top! Having your book illustrated!
Unless you’re highly certain of your artistic ability, it’s better to look for expert support at this stage. Illustrations are what will make the book special to the reader.
The most expensive element in publishing a children’s book, but also the most crucial for a best-selling book, is hiring an illustrator. The more effort you devote to this phase, the more finely polished your book will appear!
If you have a particular theme for how your book should be illustrated, include notes in the text to help an illustrator figure it out. That way, it reduces the hassle of communicating back and forth and gives the illustrator an insight into your expectations!
Wrapping it up
Young readers boost their confidence and creativity by reading well-written books. Children frequently find joy and excitement in reading as an outcome of this confidence. An independent reader is developed as a result.
Writing a great children’s book supports their cognitive growth, promotes independence, and aids in their appreciation of and enthusiasm for learning about the outside world.
The above blog gives you the list of ingredients to cook the best book in the world! You might just be on your journey to success!