1. Isismoon
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    Isismoon New Member

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    I just finished a children's book, need advice please

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Isismoon, May 13, 2011.

    Hi. This is my first post on this site so hello hello. :) I decided to write a children's book for my daughter who will be 3 in a few months. She always tells the same story to me every day about a ghost and different forest animals who play together in the woods. I wrote it out and I tried to keep it as sunny as possible (for a toddler) but the style seems to lean towards a dark ghost story. It's very magical and sweet, not too dark but still has that little edge to it. That is how my natural style of writing is, always leaning towards a dark fairytale. It was hard to keep it from that way of writing anyway because there is a ghost as a main character and the animals symbolize sinister characteristics. Do you think a story like this would be appropriate for her age? Her favorite movie is Coraline so it seems ok to me, but maybe a little sad, more like bittersweet. I would really appreciate some feedback and advice here because I am going to go through the process of illustrating it, even though drawing and painting are not what I'm naturally good at, I am a writer. I want it to be special for her, so I am having my husband help me with the art and some other family members and friends are going to draw pictures for it. I am going to have it bound and made into a keepsake. Thanks for reading this, I look forward to the comments.
     
  2. HBAdams
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    HBAdams Member

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    Hello, and welcome!

    It seems to me that every parent has a different viewpoint on what's appropriate for their child. Considering she's your child and she's actually the one who came up with the story, why not? She probably won't even notice the sinister side! I mean, look at Willy Wonka (the movie). I remember thinking that movie was all about fun and giggles and candy when I was a kid, and now when I watch it as an adult it holds a whole new meaning!

    Again, it's up to you as the parent to decide what's right for her! It sounds like something I'd read to my children... whenever I decide to have them. :cool:
     
  3. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I think it sounds great! You're her Mum, so you know what's best, right?

    My Mum also wrote stories for me when I was little, and I loved them! It's part of what makes me so passionate about writing today, and they are still so much more special than any other stories I read, because they came from her :) So good on you!
     
  4. MrNomas
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    MrNomas Member

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    With Grimm setting the yardstick for fairy tales, I doubt you have much to worry about.
     
  5. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    How many words are in the book? Most 3 year olds are just beginning to grasp the written word. Their attention spans are very short so the best kind of books for that period in there life are like Dr. Sues or simple poetry. There probably should not be more than 20 words a page or they will bore really fast and move on to something else.

    Not that I ever have, but if I did write a childrens book I would sit down and listen to how they tell stories and try to tell mine in much the same way.

    You ever thought about writing this for older children like teenagers. Teenagers like that dark stuff as evident with the Twilight series. Just a suggestion you could write two books one for the very young and one more adult. In fact you could write the first as a fairytale then in your adult book base the story off of a fairytale they use to tell kids.

    Remember it is your book. You should write it the way your heart tells you.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're only doing this for your daughter and don't intend to try to get it published, it can be anything you want, so you don't really need the advice of strangers...

    but if you have any hope of some day getting a publisher to take it on:

    1.
    only the text ms will be accepted, as they choose their own illustrators... so, if you're not a well-known artist, only query about/submit the text...

    2.
    story must be tailored to the age range you want to target... and p/bs for the baby-3 or 4-8 market have different word count limits, vocabulary, syntax, sentence structure and story content parameters that you must observe while writing...

    i write children's books for a chicago publisher and mentor many aspiring writers of same, so if you want help with it in view of getting it published, feel free to drop me a line any time...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  7. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    I remember my mom reading me a story when I was 3 about an old lady that stole a bone from a graveyard and then is haunted by the ghost whose bone it belonged to. At 3, I felt it was a little on the dark/creepy side but I loved it anyway.

    I feel like I often underestimate how dark we can allow our stories to be for children. Obviously, I don't want to overestimate, but sometimes I feel I hold back too much. I teach guitar to 5-year-olds, and one day they randomly asked me to write a song about a werewolf. I kind of made one up on the spot, but was afraid of spooking them with a nasty werewolf, so I made it friendly. Their response was "Noo! Werewolves aren't friendly!" So, I had it eat the main character of the song, and they loved it!

    Go figure.
     

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