Find an idea for a children’s book
Children’s books are probably the most difficult books to write without a specific plan in mind. Their simplicity does not allow twists, their prose is not made for existential thought, and their content cannot be too serious or too fanciful, otherwise it will be difficult for the child to understand. As such, coming up with a successful children’s book idea can be very difficult.
Other genres have several ways to change the story if you’re struggling with writer’s block:
o Mystery – Not sure where to go next? Kill someone. Killing a character is the easiest way to waste another good 30 book pages while you try to figure out where you are.
o Fantasy – The biggest appeal of Fantasy is that it takes you to a different world. If you’re struggling with a fantasy novel, just write more about the world – it doesn’t even have to have a purpose, all it has to do is keep people engaged in the fantasy world.
o Adult Fiction – Most adult fiction is unintentionally based on a similar piece of adult fiction. If you get lost while writing, look where another book went and write accordingly.
o Non-fiction – there are always more facts, and they don’t necessarily have to be related. If you’re struggling with a non-fiction book, just write a different section and come back to it.
Children’s books don’t have the same luxury. You have limited space (very limited according to age group), people cannot be killed, and wasting words makes a fruitless children’s story.
So if you’re considering writing a children’s book, it’s important to have the exact storyline, including characters, morals, and plot already mapped out before you start. To do this, you must have inspiration.
Inspiration for your children’s story
Much of the inspiration depends on the age group.
0-4 years old
Children this age are not going to read the stories to themselves. They’ll probably only read stories to look at the pictures, so simplicity is key. The best places to look for inspiration are animals, toys, the outdoors, and the weather. The key is to think of things that a child naturally observes (since a child this young is incredibly curious) that are safe (not scary). Babies and parenthood are also good topics, although these are purely from your own experience, so you’ll probably have an idea of what you’d like to write about if you choose to keep that as the topic.
5-6 years old
At this age, it is important to stress relationships. Stories about making friends, sharing, and other friendly behaviors are a good idea, whether those stories are about people, animals, or even inanimate objects. Animals are always a popular subject, although at this age it is a little more difficult to convince the child to identify with talking animals. Also, simply fantasy worlds are acceptable at this age, so stories about princesses or heroes may be acceptable.
6 years and over
After this age, the types of stories are up to you. Exploring relationships, including adding conflict, is okay at this age, although it shouldn’t be done in a way that might frighten or upset a child. Fantasy worlds are fun and the kid is now old enough that you can go into a little more detail. But what you really want here is a book that a child can read on their own. Longer, more detailed stories that still only use monosyllabic words are great, and animals are still very popular at this age. Finally, heroism should be used, because after age 6 children have a better time relating to heroes and heroic behavior.
Whatever your inspiration, your own experiences with children will teach you exactly how to write the perfect children’s book. If you find your inspiration in a method not described here, then perform it. Children are often limited only by the extent of their imagination, and the same goes for children’s books.