Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Children’s Books

July 27, 2015

By: Danielle Dias

Writing a children’s book can be a daunting task. Making sure that you use age-appropriate vocabulary, have a good ending, and — most of all — keep the storyline interesting can be difficult. Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing for children.

DO be original. There are only so many variations of “Goldilocks” and “Cinderella” that can be written before the story gets old. Draw from personal experiences for inspiration when creating your story.

DO keep your book under 500 words. Unlike chapter books, the pictures or illustrations in children’s books sometimes serve as the main source of description, which means your text can be shortened. 

DO trust your illustrator. Suggestions are good, but being overbearing is not. Give your illustrator creative freedom and trust that they will bring your story to life. 

An illustration from "Claire and Anna: The Live Nativity." 

DON'T write about inanimate objects. Talking doorknobs and appliances are not as relatable as Lydia and her teddy bear or little Suzie and her mom. Keep your story about animals, children, and other relatable characters.

DON'T write "down" to children. Think about why you read to children: to help them learn and grow their vocabulary. Choose age-appropriate language, but don’t speak down to them. Children are often smarter than you think.

DON’T submit a manuscript too close to the holidays. Are you looking to get a book released by Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Easter? You’re not alone. Make sure you allow plenty of time so your publishing team can finish your book before the holiday rush.

Are you interested in publishing a children’s book? Liberty Mountain Publishing is here to help! Check out a few of our recent children’s books here