Learning How to Write from Children’s Books

At my former life, as a children’s publicist for a publishing company, I would sometimes receive manuscripts in the mail from hopefully writers who desperately wanted to realize their dream of being published.

So many people have mentioned how easy it must be to write a children’s book.  I whole-heartedly disagree.  It takes a real author, an accomplished writer to write a true children’s book, one that captures the imagination and will be passed down to generation after generation.

Think about it, not many writers can use a sparing amount of words to bring across a lesson or story.  This is why when one of my friends, Nate, asked me to be a guest editor on his blog for a post on learning how to write from children’s books, I jumped at the chance.

Much like Nate, I have also been fascinated by children’s books.  I have always loved books and as a writer myself, the talent it takes to write a good children’s book has always been something I am in awe of.  I have my own collection of my favorite children’s books and it continues to grow as I travel and check out interesting new book stores always snagging my favorite children’s book by a local author.

As Nate talks about, writing is intimate, especially children’s books.  For each person it’s different, but there is always someone in mind when you write.

I love how it also begs the question, “Who are you writing for?”

See what Stephen King has to say on that subject and read Nate’s great observations of what we can all learn about writing from these bite sized page turners.  Nate and I worked at the college paper together when I was editor and it was so fun to collaborate with him again!

Learning how to write from children’s books.

What have you learned from reading children’s books?  Who do you write for?

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6 thoughts on “Learning How to Write from Children’s Books

  1. I think writing children’s books is sorta like writing comedy. It’s super hard to get your vision on the page in a way that will come out how you want it to for the audience it’s meant for. Does that make sense?

  2. “The things that make a great children’s book—intimacy, brevity, and adventure—are the things that make great writing in general; It’s just easier to study great story when it’s steeped and poured into a small tea cup.”
    — Nate Baker

    Nate’s words are so true! Something that this writer needs to remember sometimes!

  3. Nothing takes me back to my childhood like “Harold & The Purple Crayon” or The Berenstein Bears books. SO imaginative, happy and hopeful…feelings/emotions that, as we age, seem so dim…which is rather sad, really.

    I think I’ve been inspired to go home and pull out a few of my favorite childhood books before I hit the sheets tonight. I think that would be a great way to end the day. 🙂

  4. Now that I read 2-3 children’s books a day, I agree – a lot of total crap is out there, and not just anyone can write one.

    That said, I of course have my own ideas for a series. We’ll see if I get around to writing it.

    If I do, I’m sure it will make all of my writing a bit better. If you can’t convey an idea simply, then drop it.

  5. some how i missed this one, miss jack, but I love this, I tell the stories in my head a lot, because am sure there is still a little girl, who loves to read, and write, and tell em. sometimes she is 4 and sometimes 9 and sometimes a Mom, sometimes a grandmother, and sometimes ..well you get the drift! And what age are we!

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