author, creative writing, writers, writing

Reasons to try your hand at writing for children

When it comes to writing, you’re likely to find your preferred genre, and find yourself writing for a certain audience. Of course, genre is a fairly loose term and there are sub-categories within each one, but let’s strip it right back. For example, I predominantly write thrillers. But there’s a lot to learn and enjoy when you step out of your comfort zone and try something else.

In particular, I think all of us who write for adults should try our hand at writing for children at some point. There are a number of options within this too. You may try writing books for very young children, for school aged kids or for teenagers. Within that, you’ll find yet mote sub-categories. That’s your choice! I tend to find myself writing fantasy when I write children’s books, perhaps a throwback to my own childhood favourites? Whatever you choose – do it! Here’s why;

It’s fun
Isn’t this why we write anyway? It’s all about the enjoyment. Writing for children really encourages you to delve into your imagination. You can play with words and rhyme in fun ways, create new worlds and make reality out of nonsense. Even if your story includes dark and difficult themes, stories for children will usually show the characters overcome and succeed, leading to happy and inspiring endings.

It’s challenging
It would be easy to presume that writing for children is easy, but it’s not at all. It’s actually a real challenge. Reading requires a great deal of focus and children don’t typically have the attention span of adults. As such, you will need to work harder to keep your audience hooked. Not only that, but themes in children’s book need to be handled with sensitivity, while also reaching out to those who can relate, and comforting them too. You need to make sure you don’t dumb things down, or underestimate the child’s ability to imagine and understand the story.

It’s nostalgic
If you’re a writer now, you’ve probably been a book lover from a very young age. I adored books as a child, my mum would read to me for hours when I as small, and this love carried me through to adulthood. Writing for children encourages you to think back on the books you loved as a kid, and brings with a sense of nostalgia. Be sure to think hard about what you loved in your favourite books from back then, and incorporate these into your own writing.

It’s important
In a world with an increasing number of distractions, it’s so important to keep producing good books for children of all ages. Storytelling is vital, not only for enjoyment, but also for telling life lessons, teaching new facts and skills, and encouraging imagination, freedom and creativity. Not only that, but books and characters can reach out to kids at times when they may otherwise feel lonely or misunderstood.


Do you write for children, or is it something you’re keen to try? What were your favourite childhood books? I’d love you to share your thoughts and experiences, so drop a comment below.

Until then,
Keep writing,
M
x

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21 thoughts on “Reasons to try your hand at writing for children”

    1. It is for sure! It can be fun to read childrens’ books to get a sense of them, I often find they’re quite nice for quick, light-hearted reads too, but that might be because I usually read books that are quite dark!

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  1. I write both for children and adults. My debut novel was middle-grade and I just completed a first draft of a new one set during the summer of 1968. I really needed to connect to my inner 11 year old to write many of the scenes and access the emotions of a preteen girl. The process of writing for children is just as difficult as any other audience. The Valentine’s Day post on my blog is a memory of sixth grade romance that helped bring this time back into focus.

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  2. I do write for children. As a teacher, pre-school age children are my daily audience and to keep their attention requires creativity and silliness. They give me so many ideas for stories. One of my favorite stories as a child was Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and a Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban.

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  3. As an elementary teacher for thirty-one years, this is my intended audience. I’m finishing up my first children’s novel, which focuses on a seventh-grade boy dealing with contemporary issues that many kids face. I feel there aren’t enough good books for boys of that age

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  4. Love this post and I can’t agree more. I love reading children’s books myself (YA and MG) as well as writing them. I think people tend to think that children’s literature is easy to write, but it’s not, because as you mentioned we have to strike a balance between handling issues with sensitivity and writing in a tone that children can understand and relate to, while not “dumbing things down”.

    Liked by 1 person

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