Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How To Write In The Children’s Market (Part 2)

This is going to be my second article of many that I will be writing on how to break into the children’s writing market. This is going to be a considerably long series so keep checking back for updated posts.

Writing for kids can be one of the greatest ways to break into the writing field. You have such a wide range of readers from toddler to young adults. All you have to do is figure out what you want to write about and you’re on your way.

Chances are good that when you think of children’s books, picture books pop right into your mind. For the most part picture books are usually directed to kids from toddler to grade 4. One thing you have to keep in mind is that the book has to be appealing to the adults as well because they are the ones shelling out the money for them.

Picture books can range from a variety of different topics. You can have fiction, non fiction; they can be about animals, or about different people interacting with different stuff.

There is a basic format for picture books. Traditionally there 32 pages long. That includes every page from front to back. Because of the pictures your story usually has to be told in 14 pages of print. Another thing to remember is that you usually only has around 1000 words to use to write your story. So you have to get a good story in a small amount of space.

Picture books can be tough to write. So many people think that picture books are the way to go but soon find out that that’s not the case. You have to make sure that every word, picture and page has the most amount of detail that counts. You have no room for unnecessary content.

Just because you’re intended audience is youths doesn’t mean every word in your book has to be 4 letters long. Remember its going to be the parents for the most part that are reading the books to their youngsters. Also there is a misconception that all picture books must be rhyming. This is in no way true. As long as you develop a great story rhyming is nice but doesn’t really matter.

Chances are if you think about it then it has been written about already. That’s okay for you to go ahead but you have to find a fresh new way to present the idea. You have to make the publishers want to use it.

Don’t worry if you can’t draw. The editors want to first see if your book can stand on its own with out the pictures. If at that time they decide they like it they will hire an illustrator to help with the pictures. You have to remember that when you are writing a picture book it’s not only about the words. The colors and scenes have to be vibrant. They have to stand on their own.

Before you attempt to write your first picture book make sure you go to your local library or book store and read several different books by several different authors. No one wants you to plagiarize but by studying different styles you can than begin to develop your own style.

Dale Mazurek

Dale is in the process of getting his first novel published and has been writing professionally on line for two years now. You can check out his ever growing blogs at http://stcajo-readshortstories.blogspot.com/ or http://relationshiptidbits.blogspot.com/ or http://fishingtutor.blogspot.com/

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