• Brooke Stevens

3 Things To Avoid When Writing A Children's Book

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Writing a children's book sounds very fun and cute, but the reality of writing a children's book is actually much more difficult.

Children's book authors have a few key mistakes that seem to absolutely destroy the books success. The truth is that these mistakes are more common than you would think, and sometimes the author is simply too close to the book to see it happening.


First there is the issue of THE AUDIENCE. You must select your audience in order to write FOR your audience. Writing a book for 4 years old boys probably means that there won't be high heels and tutus. Oh, and including boyfriends or girlfriends would be pretty weird as well. It is important to be well versed in the likes and dislikes of your chosen audience, and to know their level of understanding. The book should speak to them in a voice that they understand and connect with.


The second mistake that happens more often than we would like to think is the books POV (point of view). When writing any book it is important to be consistent with the point of view, but children in particular will get confused if you try to change, or accidentally change, the POV of the story. Determine who is telling the story and who they are telling it to, then stick with it.

A fun little trick is to actually read the story out loud to someone as the narrator, or as the character. (whichever you have chosen) Make sure when you take on that role, you can tell the story without any confusion or hiccups in your presentation. The have someone else do this as well. They may notice things you won't see as the author.


The third mistake can be a bit tough to perfect, but the point here is DON'T SHOUT at your audience! We know you are writing your story with a purpose and to teach something, but the lessons should be subtle. There is no need to blast the reader in the face with the message. They should get it without having to be told to 'get it'. This goes for personal beliefs as well. Your audience should feel inspired and touched, not shamed or offended by your words.

When your book is to the point where you are feeling pretty good, give it to a friend or an editor. Are you ready for the hard part... don't get offended. Their job is to question you and offer suggestions. You don't have to agree with them and you don't have to make the changes, but be open to new ideas and at least hear what they have to say with appreciation.

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