Saturday, September 12, 2015
Writing a children's book might seem like an easy thing to do but there are certain things you need to know before you even get started. There are lots of rules like 'make your characters believable' and 'don't over complicate the plot' but before you even lay pen to paper, there are many factors you need to consider.
First off, you need to enjoy it especially if you're writing in your spare time after work or around other jobs. But, you need to be committed to finishing. Read lots of children's fiction before you start. Learn about it and maybe even take some recommended courses on it.
You have to practise. Writing is like any other skill, you have to practise over and over again. Take criticism constructively and always look to improve yourself.
You also need to detach your ego from your writing. If when it comes to publishing, you take criticism or rejection personally, you won't learn from the experience. Take any bad news you get as a learning curve. It will help you in your next attempt.
Set Achievable Goals
When setting goals, think about what you could do in your allotted time and then half it. I know this sounds dramatic but it means that if you do more than you have anticipated, you will feel prouder than if you set a high target and didn't achieve. By setting unachievable goals, you are likely to feel disappointed if they are not met and the joy of writing is taken away again.
Write when you want
Some people love to spend a whole day with their head down and getting the job done there and then. Others prefer to write for a morning and spend the rest of the day away from it. Whatever your method, write when you want to. But going back to my first point, you have to be committed. Obviously don't force yourself to write if you really can't bear to, but in the spirit of being dedicated, you need to be quite regimented about when you write.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you write sporadically, that the flow of your story could be at risk. When you sit down for three or four hours at a time, your mind will generally be in the same place. If you only write for a short space of time and then stop and come back to it, your mentality could have shifted.
Enjoy your writing space
If you enjoy writing in bed, do it. If you enjoy writing outside, do it. Don't coup yourself up somewhere you don't want to be. You are more likely to be dedicated to the outcome of your book if you are writing it somewhere you enjoy to be.
The best tips I've come across are in Robyn Opie's 'How To Write A Great Children's Book'. [http://www.writing-childrens-books.co.uk/] It combines attitude and mind set with great tips about plot, characters and even publishing. I highly recommend it to you as it has taught me that there is a lot more to writing a children's book than first thought.
Source: Jane Morley
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