12 Tips for Writing Children’s Stories
Remember yourself as a child – your feelings, childhood memories, worries, and pleasures. Some of your best ideas will come when you get in touch with that child you remember. Here are 12 tips for reconnecting with those years:
1. Set aside time to write, and try to write every day. Even if you can find only fifteen minutes, your mind becomes accustomed to creative activity.
2. Create a system for jotting down ideas and images.
3. Read lots of children’s books, both old and new. Become a frequent visitor to the “children’s books” section of your local library and bookstore.
4. Get to know the field of writing for children: Consider taking a writing class or workshop, attending conferences, joining The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
6. Read books on creativity such as:
The Artist’s Way: The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
Writing Down the Bones: Wild Mind Natalie Goldberg
Bird By Bird by Annie LeMott
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
7. Read books on writing for children such as:
How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published by Barbara Seuling
The Writer’s Guide to Crafting Stories for Children by Nancy Lamb
8. Start or join a critique group.
9. Cultivate the habit of revision.
10. If publication is important to you, learn about the business of publishing. A publisher has to believe that a manuscript will sell when it competes with thousands of other books published each year.
11. Be prepared for rejection. Lots of rejection. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about a manuscript that doesn’t meet a publisher’s needs at that particular time.
12. Cultivate patience, persistence, and love for your work.
BONUS: Care most about the process of writing, and the honor of writing for children.