How to write a children’s story… It is neither a minor genre nor is it simple. The writer of children’s literature must become a child, have the ability to entertain and teach by showing an attractive story.
A short fiction story is called a short story. If it is intended for children, it is a children’s story. The children’s story is a traditional genre that usually has an important educational base, since it is not only intended to entertain, it also seeks to introduce children to reading. When considering how to write a children’s story, this double function must be taken into account, which is why it is a job of responsibility.
The history of literature is full of great writers of children’s stories. In some cases they are authors who have focused on this particular subgenre, but there are also good writers of children’s stories that have combined this activity with literature for adults. Meet 10 writers of children’s stories.
Many of the works that reach publishers today are children’s stories. Children’s literature also maintains good sales figures, since parents are aware of the importance of children reading or reading books to their children, so the children’s story is the center of an interesting family activity.
If you are looking to learn how to write a book, you will have to take into account the subject matter and, in this particular case, if you want more information on how to write a children’s story, we have prepared this list of tips with some of the keys to creating this type of literature.
How to write a children’s book
Read children’s stories
Before starting with the writing process, we believe it is important to know the genre in question. It is something fundamental whenever any literary work is written. Therefore, the writer of children’s stories must read children’s stories, both traditional stories and current children’s books. Don’t just stick to those stories we all know or that you read at school, find out what is working in the publishing industry today.
Become a child
In order to reach the reader with a story, you have to know the person on the other side, in the case of how to write children’s stories, the writer must become a child. On the one hand, you have to set the specific age of the audience to whom the story will be addressed and, based on that, focus the vocabulary, the subject matter or the characters. But you also have to compose an entertaining and attention-grabbing story. It also has to appeal to the parents, who will be the ones to buy the book for their children.
The plot of the story should be thought of in a positive way. The ending must be happy, when we write for children we cannot end with a tragic ending, it could be traumatic for the child. But we must also convey a teaching, which has a moral, although this should never be confused with indoctrination, we are not talking about ideologies, but about learning for life.
In the book the child should find fun, adventure, take a joy or have a role model in their protagonists.
Mold a world to your liking
In the children’s story the author can shape the world at will and that gives a lot of room for maneuver. This is achieved with imagination and it must be remembered that a child’s imagination has no limits. It is important to keep this in mind when writing a children’s story. If we place the story in a world where the sky is red, there are children with four arms or dogs of two giants, it will have a place and will even be elements that will attract the attention of young readers.
Structure the narrative in that new world
And within this world you have created, you must place and structure the narrative. In children’s stories, there is little left to invent, there are even studies on traditional stories that warn that the structures are often repeated. Take a look at Propp’s functions, try to combine them and even dare to incorporate some new ones. Moreover, these functions are general and you can specify them for your world and your characters. You will also have to decide whether you speak in first, second or third person.
Children’s stories are short because children are not able to keep their attention on the same subject for a long time. Therefore, this aspect must be kept in mind, but how long should a children’s story be? It will depend on the age for which it is intended or the function you want it to fulfill. If it is a story for early ages it may not even need words, and from there we would go in progression. For an average age, with about 1,000 words we could have a very reasonable story.
Coordination with illustrations
There are writers of children’s stories who, before writing the story, visualize the images that will illustrate the story. There are also those who use some sketches or outlines to generate the story in line with the story. The coordination between text and illustrations is essential for a children’s story to be a success. However, if writing is your thing, you can focus on the text and once the story is finished, put it in the hands of the publisher or an illustrator to capture the world you have created in your story. If he/she is good, he/she will know how to convey your intentions.
Proofreading and correction
As with any book, the process of revising and proofreading a children’s story is vital. Not only in terms of getting a book clean of typos, but also to ensure an optimal style and vocabulary for the target audience, so if you consider how to write a children’s story remember that a mandatory step must be the revision, both your own and that of outsiders.
The most important reviewer for a children’s story is the final audience. Before publishing a children’s story, it should be tested with its potential readers. Story writer María del Carmen Fernández told us that she always tests the stories she writes with her children. In your case, if you don’t have children, you can use nephews, nieces, friends’ children or students from a nearby school. It is essential that they understand the story and like it, that is what will make your story good.