Writing for children may seem like a difficult task but it needs not be. Just like in adult literature, children’s literature must adhere to storyline basics like having an introduction, plot and character development. Your characters are very important as they bear the responsibility of conveying whatever moral character or flaw you want to encourage or discourage. Below are some tips that will help you connect with your youthful readership at all times:
- Understand your target group
Reading levels for children vary and you should decide what age group you are writing for. Younger children require visual aids and your reading material may have to have corresponding colorful pictures to help move the message along. Older children may not be so dependent on visual aids but still need great mental stimulation that can be achieved by descriptive conversations and scenarios outlined in your narrative. Whatever their age, children’s minds often wander off and they sometimes have short concentration spans.
In addition to age, you may sometimes also have to cater to the gender of the children you are writing for. This is mostly true for older children in the pre-teen or teenage categories. If you look at cartoons, you can tell which ones are aimed for girls and which ones are more popular among the boys. You should always bear this in mind.
- Use simple language
When writing for children, make sure that the language you use is easy to understand. The storyline should be easy to follow. Try as much as possible to place yourself in the child’s shoes so that you may capture their interests as well as their comprehension levels. If your book is more of an educational nature such as a spelling or arithmetic book, then include simple examples for the children to understand.
- Do your homework and learn from peers
This is the best way for you to understand what children of a certain age like. If you are trying to get published, read other children’s books to know what publishing houses look for in these types of books. You will find that the stories are different but the basic premises may be very similar. You may also talk to professionals like teachers who interact with children on a daily basis and find out what the reading needs of the children are. If you have children, bounce your ideas off them or read them draft versions of your book to gauge their interest level.