Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Books for Children
Children’s books play an important role in the development of young people. These books serve as a learning tool and a source of entertainment for children at the same time. There are plenty of these kinds of books out there. Sammie the Shark and the Return of the Lost Gift by Janet Councilman is a great example of a children’s book that both educate and entertain. As an overview, Sammie the Shark and the Return of the Lost Gift is a touching story about a shark who discovers a shiny object in the sea and realizes it is a gift for someone special. There are many lessons that children can learn from this masterpiece by Janet Councilman, and they can also greatly enjoy reading it. In essence, writing children’s books can be as much fun as reading them. However, the process is not a piece of cake. There is a number of common mistakes that you must avoid when writing books for children in order to ensure their quality and effectiveness.
Lack of research on children’s literature
As mentioned, writing books for children is not a piece of cake. Many people believe otherwise because they think that children’s books are generally just short and simple stories with superficial themes. This is not true, of course! Books for children are no easier to write than those books for adults. Just the like the latter, the former demands many elements to achieve literary effectiveness, such as unique and interesting plots, strong characterizations, clear and concise language, and more. If you want to create successful books for children, then avoid being clueless or misinformed about children’s literature, including its market and the reality of its writing process. Do an in-depth research on how to write children’s books effectively. Aside from this, you also need to learn the nitty-gritty of publishing and marketing your books. The process of writing, publishing, and marketing children’s books is generally arduous, so it is necessary for you to equip yourself with some know-how.
Too much preachiness
Books for children are generally known for containing various moral lessons and values. Indeed, children’s books serve as an effective tool for teaching young people about morality and ethics. Contrary to common misconception, children’s books are not shallow and superficial. The stories contained in these books often have moral undertones that enlighten children and give them ideas on what is good and bad behavior. If you want to write profound and impactful books for children, then you need to fill your literature with lessons and values. However, in doing so, be careful not to become too preachy as an author. Oftentimes, children’s authors have a tendency to view their young readers as naïve individuals who know nothing about life, so they write their books in such a preachy way that they become borderline condescending. Children do not like this. In fact, no one in general likes being preached to. So, instead of directly dictating and preaching morals in your books, communicate significant messages to your young readers through the actions and reactions of the characters in your stories. In other words, write good stories that do not preach but show rather.
Excessive writing and lack of images
According to studies, children generally have shorter attention spans compared to adults. They get easily bored and distracted, especially when doing something that does not interest them that much. One of the things that most children are uninterested in is reading. Indeed, it is difficult to convince children to read books. Once they lose interest in reading certain books, it is hard to get them back. So, if you want to be a successful children’s author, then you need to learn how to create books that certainly catch the attention and pique the interest of young readers. To accomplish this, you must avoid falling into the trap of excessive writing. Children do not like reading books with mere text. They are often more interested in images than in words. So, include many illustrations in your books. Learn how to balance text and images when writing books for children.
Ultimately, writing books for children is not as easy as it seems. Like writing books for adults, writing children’s books is an arduous and complex process. Just because children’s literature is generally known to be simpler than adult literature does not mean that you can already be free from error as an author. To write effective and successful children’s books like Janet Councilman’s Sammie the Shark and the Return of the Lost Gift, you need to avoid being clueless, misinformed, preachy, and boring when writing your books. Do your research, demonstrate your messages, and make your books interesting and exciting if you want to have a successful career in the industry of children’s literature.