Tag Archives: Writing a children’s book

Children’s books deserve the same criteria as other genres.

Writing for children I been told by some authors is easy peasy. I know I have brought up this topic a few times on this site. But I feel it bears repeating.

Today a fellow author and friend came to me in a frenzy. She was asked to conduct a writer’s conference. Her, being shy, asked me what should she talk about. She asked me specifically since my books are for children primarily and they will have a section on that.

My first answer was dialogue. You can’t dumb it down or go over their head. That is a sure fire way for them to drop your book and find another. Adults are more forgiving. We will give an author at least a chapter, maybe more, before we ditch it. Kids? Good luck with that.

But also they should comes with a great hook and an interesting plot. But you know what? You also need to do character development, setting, pace and everything else. This applies to all age and genres.

Why should kids not get the same criteria as adults do? Because their kids? Give me a break. They are readers. We want them to continue to be readers.

Majority of authors are readers. Yes, I have met some authors who don’t read. I had a, “What the hell?”, moment. But most authors are. We started young and grew into avid and compulsive readers. Why did we continue? Because we came across books and authors who knew how to write for our age group.

That has not changed. Kids deserves the same steps and levels that a book for other ages go through.

If you are still saying, “Come on now, Sharon, their kids.” Well I say, “Don’t your kids or grandchildren who read deserve that?’

If you short change them because of their age you are doing them a huge disservice. But not only that. If that is your attitude you might want to try a new genre.

Writing a children’s book is easy: Seriously?

How are children’s authors looked upon? From my experience early on not very well. In fact at one writer’s meeting a fellow author scoffed and said he could write a children’s book in one night. There was nothing to it. I was so stun I did not have a come back remark. Of course after as I was driving home I came up with a lot. This was not the only time I was made to feel this genre was easy peasy.

That ticks me off. According to reports this genre is one of the hardest to write in. You have to write it in a language that is not above their hands or beneath them. The dialogue has to be just right.

Ask a kid to read your book. If they don’t like it by page two they drop it and look for another book. Most adults will at least carry on to the end of the chapter.

My very first children’s book I had kids from a daycare look it over and the reviews were hard to hear but I welcomed them for they gave me what I needed to fix it. Have an adult write a children’s book yeah you can critique it but not through the eyes of a child.

A children’s book is like any other book. You have to have plots, characters and a time line that works together and not fall apart. You still need to revise, edit and revise again. You still need to come up with a cover that shines on your work. You still need to sent it through your beta and critique groups.

But aft all this it finally hit me on how to reply the next time I hear this.

If you think writing a children’s book is so easy go for it. I mean it. Go for it. After we will talk. But only after.