1. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway

    Writing Children's Stories...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by spklvr, Feb 8, 2011.

    I got coaxed into writing a story by a seven year old...
    Anyway, after she told me what she wanted in the story (which was basically just a female hero with pretty hair...), I got kind of inspired to write that story for her. I'm having some trouble though. What are some important things to remember when writing a story for children? The only thing I got so far is simple language and keep the murders to a minimum...

    The story is a fantasy set in a fictional desert world as well. My biggest problem is explaining this to a child with the attention span of a goldfish.
     
  2. kablooblab
    Offline

    kablooblab Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    at home
    try to keep it funny and colorful they wont be interested in something with a big plot full of twists and that you have to think about. Just keep it simple
     
  3. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Don't talk down to them. Kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. If your intended audience is a 7-year-old, make the MC 10, etc. Don't be afraid to make her reach for a dictionary every now and then. Also, kids like adventure and scary moments. You could include monsters, etc.
     
  4. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    These days most seven year old girls seem to like everything PINK - it needs a cute animal, unicorn, fairy etc lol

    I find it useful to work out a synopsis for younger children's stories, then write from that, kind of filling it out. Keeping language simple when you do use a more unusual word then give is a clear context, don't pull them out of the story. Keep names simple and cute.
     
  5. Clumsywordsmith
    Offline

    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    4
    Go deep. The absolute best children's stories I have ever read are the ones that appeal to both kids and adults. Kids love them for the stories -- though it can be difficult to capture that sense of high adventure and romantic storytelling, all while keeping within the lens of youthful naivety. Adults enjoy them for the symbolism and deeper meanings that most children don't really grasp.

    As with any written work, if you create something shallow your efforts will be doomed to mediocrity forever. Be bold, teach lessons, and most importantly -- make kids ask "why?"
     
  6. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    I think it would be quite cool if you retold a fairy tale with a princess aka female hero with pretty hair, and add your own innovative features to it.

    Anyway, as for writing for children, remember to keep the language simple. The sentence structure has to be simple too, so lots of short sentences. The main character tends to be a couple of years older than the target audience (children read aspirationally. The tone is usually upbeat. The plot has to be simple, and the characters have to be fairly straightforward like a goody, a baddy. Don't be patronising - talk directly to the audience. There's usually a lot of action and excitement because otherwise children aren't going to keep reading it. Hope that helps! :)
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    first, you must decide if this is for a picture book, or a chapter book... what is the age range you are writing for?...

    i write children's books for a chicago publisher and i also mentor many aspiring writers of books/stories for kids, so if you want some help, just drop me a line... i can also send you some tips from the pros on the basics...

    aside from the info you'll find on the best of the children's book writing sites, the best resource you have for learning how is studying existing books and amazon!... on their site you'll be able to 'look inside' books and study their 'stats' and 'concordance' to learn what you need to know about age-appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure, content, etc....

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     

Share This Page