With writing stories aimed at publication, I have spent countless hours on the internet looking at a variety of links and recommendations and then I finally came across a website purely dedicated to childrens picture books and there are a lot of helpful insights, tips, links to writing manuscripts, covering letters and extra little gems such as exercises and agent advice.
If you’re in the same position as myself give it a try! Here.
I’ve recently told you about some tips for writing a rhyming book for children but what about if you only want a basic story? What sort of characters do you pick? Do you put any particular lesson learning messages in it? How do you choose the type of words, so that a child will understand?
Author Alan Durant gives some pointers to new starters. You can find his advice here.
A few years ago I started an online writing course for children’s books and its a perfect way to learn the craft, what to look out for, how to sell yourself and, with a bonus of a final examination (I got 97%).
It’s a costly course; I think it’s in the hundreds, BUT if you look at Groupon, there typically is a hefty discount available, I’d try that route first.
If you’re thinking of becoming a children’s writer but need a place to start, I suggest here. If you’d like the course book and a certificate, for a small cost you can also purchase them. The Groupon link is here.
The resources and learning material are still available long after you’ve completed each module, so if you feel like having a break and then decide to return to it, all the information will still be available.
For those who are writing childrens picture books I can’t recommend this website enough.
It tells you how to format your finished work. If I get the chance I will post a template to help others save some time in the future.
When it comes to writing, it is always a challenge to focus on the 1 scene you’re writing because the way I see it, it all has to link together and you really have to think ahead or multitask as I like to call it. It’s like trying to carry one child in you arms while 3 others also want your attention (possibly cuddles too) and here’s the real kicker you HAVE to give everyone of them nurturing all at the same time. So what do you do?
Here are 3 easy steps to a successful multitask writing session.
1: Like the picture above indicates, Coffee. Lots of coffee is required beforehand, especially if you just aren’t in the zone for wanting to write. Once the caffeine has kicked in it does help you focus but don’t over do it yeah, too much will only result in less writing time as you’ve been sat on the toilet at regular intervals.
2: Don’t overthink it, just write it. If you are struggling to find the right emotion for a character because your brain just won’t give you the word you’re desperately trying to find, just write a generic “X” if need be, then revisit when your head and fingers are working as a team again. It might look gibberish at first, you may even read it back and wonder what on earth you’ve wrote but if you have the essence and the purpose written down it will massively help continue the story, and it’ll help you keep on track with the end goal.
3: Convince yourself you know the entire story. The fun in writing, I find, is in the making up part. So if I need a scene to begin with a character needing to reveal something big, by the end of the scene that character needs to be and feel different, as well as all the others he’d revealed it too. You know those things are a certainty but how it plays out when you’re actually writing may be different, the filler part is where you should let your creative juices flow. Don’t be hard on yourself, just write it and if it can keep all the plots intact then you know you’re doing something right. If what you’re writing changes the story then stop, hit DELETE and try again.
I have never written a novel before but am in the process of doing it. What I have discovered is that the story needs a solid framework, the characters and setting need to be strong and believable and if you have those then you have a good formula going.