When writing a children story, it can be helpful to clarify some concepts that will aid in the acceleration and optimization of your project’s development process.
To begin with, it is important to remember that children are a special kind of public, always open to the unknown, without prejudice or preconceived notions of reality, and always intrigued by stories of adventures and interesting places to discover.
But what is the secret to writing a story that is appealing to a publisher as well?
Keep reading to learn about the steps to getting an excellent story published by an editor.
1. The goal in a children story
The first goal to be set as a writer is to make the little reader feel the pleasure of adventure. Let him identify with the feelings of the character who got lost in the woods or the pirate that lost his way on the open seas.
Also, remember that the children love to read curiosities, it makes them feel like they are keeping the deepest secret in the universe. Whether it is knowing how tall a giraffe can be or why the sea is blue.
One of the tricks that we can use as authors of a text is to try to illustrate our story. The drawings are in fact fundamental elements in a children’s book, they enrich the fantastic landscape that frames a story and, moreover, help the child as well to establish a chronological order of the events, but also to reason and draw conclusions about the narration.
The best way to do this is, therefore, to identify with the reader and represent what he has imagined at a given moment in history.
Each child establishes his preferences in reading very quickly, selecting all the contents that really catch his attention and intrigue him. Therefore, if we want to be successful writers, we must include elements that can be considered remarkable and stimulating by our little readers right from the beginning of the work.
2. Choose a theme
The success of the story will largely depend on the theme you choose. Remember that this choice will also and above all greatly influence the way in which the work should be written. Also keep in mind that children are by no means an easy audience to satisfy, far from it! When they approach reading, especially at a younger age, it is essential that they find elements that arouse their interest and capture attention. It will be your main goal to include all of these in the story to be able to satisfy them.
But which and how are the most successful titles structured? And why?
Remember that children’s books, in addition to what has been said so far, cannot escape the discussion of topics that are most commonly addressed in texts for adults and that are part of everyday life. It is best not to underestimate and never limit the power that adolescents and children have in asking questions. Just as it makes no sense and it is wrong to omit the “big themes” such as bullying, sexuality or violence in a world so globalized and in which the emotional development of children is increasingly precocious. What is really relevant is finding the literary and interpretative resources, as well as the appropriate language and tone to treat these topics in an attractive way, rather than generate rejection.
However, it has been noted that at some point in recent years a trend has arisen that has begun to bring together the preferences of children and young people in reading: collectible texts that tell a story developed in several books.
If you want to know which are the best themes for writing children’s stories, take a look at our article “10 ideas for writing a story”.
3. Write with the success in mind
If you want to make your way into the world of children’s literature, it is a good hint to read carefully the following recommendations that will help you catch the attention of a publisher.
Remember that it is essential to tell interesting stories, therefore, it is often useful to choose some references to do some checks. It may be a good idea, for example, to read successful and famous works by well-known authors and compare their narrative style with yours. Try to do an analysis of their weaknesses and strengths, then compare them to the material available for your work. It will be easier to be self-critical.
As for writing, avoid always being didactic. When you give life to a story, the most important thing is that the story flows naturally, avoiding presenting all its content as something aimed at learning. Younger readers today are looking for complicit literature rather than complex and corrective texts.
Another idea is to write a book by projecting it with trans dimensional material. We refer in particular to the possibility of adapting the content to make it present on different platforms.
4. Establish an order of priority
Try to set an order of priority when you write a story, bearing in mind that for young people it is essential to be captured by the protagonists from the very first lines. For children, each story is a fantastic opportunity to embark on a journey that makes their wishes come true, that makes them imagine strange creatures and fantasize about experiencing the emotion of the protagonist in person. And that’s what you, as a writer, will have to create. Therefore, always make sure that your story is full of interesting characters who have a mission within the plot and who can be described as individual and unique subjects.
Some children’s literature experts warn us that writing a story for children represents a challenge that goes far beyond mere narrative technique. In this sense it can be similar to writing any type of story. Its complexity may lie in the figuration that the author must apply to find and capture the interest of readers. For most children, reading is also and above all a form of play!
5. Shape the content
Although we may seem redundant in reiterating it, it is important that the concept penetrates to the bottom: remember, a story is like a toy for a child, make sure that your book works like one of them. Besides, what good would it be to write a story that is boring? Imagine your work as a versatile toy that can adapt to the different mechanisms that spur the imagination of the little ones at any time.
To make your story attractive in the eyes of a children’s publishing house, create puns in your books to encourage the reader’s mind to make deductions. It also uses a vocabulary that raises questions to give dynamism to the story and vitality to the text.
6. Empathize with the reader
Every good writer is, first of all, capable of putting itself in their readers’ shoes. We know that it is not easy to think like a child, but it is possible to get close to them, study what interests them and dedicate time to what they do. Immersing yourself in their world will help you understand in depth what generates their interest. Writing, afterwards, is much easier.
As for adolescents, being closer to adulthood, it can be relatively easier to get closer to their way of thinking. However, it remains essential to pay attention to what they criticize about a character or situation, so that you can recreate the elements that catch their attention and avoid the ones that annoy them. Often their interest is focused on the personality of the protagonists of the story. If it is a group of young people, create elements common to their reality in order to attract them.
New technologies will help you
Other assets to be exploited are certainly new technologies. For example, you could think of attaching a QR code to the book that allows children to get more information about the characters via Smartphone or tablet. It will certainly represent an added value. There are also titles that have channels on platforms like YouTube where the reader can watch videos and comics based on the book.
Some creators have even opened accounts on social networks to the characters of the stories, bringing them to reality and generating a direct and continuous interaction with the public.
7. You have to find out your style
Every successful writer has his own “unmistakable style” that places him on the market. Some use humor, others develop texts on specific themes, others leverage the use of stereotypes.
If you are a novice writer and you have doubts about how to write a story for children, it is good to know that, when you write children’s literature, you can freely create characters, each with its own distinct personality, to better adapt to the most varied. tastes of the target audience. For a child publisher, any content aimed at children and teens must have a purpose: educating, training or entertaining are some of the most common.
The important thing is that during the development of events a series of unpredictable events are created, in order to keep interest in your story alive. Offer clues to readers about possible plot developments, let their imagination work their curiosity in trying to deduce what is going to happen from a few pages before the event itself.
8. The characters and their circumstances
Depending on your style, you will have to define how the characters will try to solve problems, which will in turn depend on the personality and role that each plays. Just like a writer you can license yourself to create crisis situations to ensure that the story is not linear.
You will need to pay attention to how you develop the dialogue, as it will be instrumental in establishing your command of the narrative and is a resource for exemplifying the conflicts between the characters and moving the story forward. In the case of children’s literature, moreover, avoid very long dialogues, to avoid boring the children and making them lose the sequence of the theme.
As you develop your text, try to present actions frequently. Psychologically, actions are related to feelings and these help keep children’s interest alive. Remember that they have keener senses than adults and their observations are generally definitive.
9. Difficulty for new writers
Writing children’s stories for the first time will certainly require several revisions of the manuscripts to correct and rewrite parts that are not very appropriate. We know that sometimes it can be tiring, but it’s all part of the process, don’t lose heart!
In addition, you should know that not only it is not an easy task, but also a little patience is required to obtain economic benefits, and moreover, they won’t be important sums at the beginning. However, if you keep believing in what you’re doing and work hard to reach your goals, success and money will come too.
Given the problems that the publishing market has been going through in recent years, the world of children’s literature has refused to produce niche genres that have best resisted the crisis. The latter has in fact made most publishers particularly reluctant to publish new authors, preferring to invest everything in writers of proven success.
Annex. Recommendations for the novel author of children’s stories
No publisher charges an amount for reading the material, the income comes only from sales. So beware of offers that can be misleading. Normally an author should not ask for additional commissions for this type of activity.
Don’t be afraid to take risks, if your style is different and you’re trying to innovate by telling the story in a “non-ordinary” way, do it.
The next step will then be to select the publishing house that best suits your style.
Precisely for this reason, another of the most useful tips we can give you is to find out more about the area of interest, examine which are the most successful companies and titles in this field, in order to then be able to better define the steps to be taken.
Finally, before you write a full story for kids or teens, you can start posting shorter stories digitally. There are many websites that support new writers, and they often prove to be a very useful space to take your first steps into this market.
10. Choose the publisher that is right for you
Choosing a publishing house is not an easy task. If you try to do a search on the internet you will see dozens of different publisher ads to send your work to. But which is the one?
Publishing a book requires a series of steps that must be performed. From its edition to its publication, as well as registration in the legal framework. A process where your book may be subject to changes that risk losing your personal touch. So which one to choose? In BABIDI-BU we support you during all the development phases of your project, to ensure the best result, always trying to preserve the distinctive features of your identity.
Visit our contact section and a member of our team will be happy to help you.
Good luck, dear writer!