Writing Children's Stories

by Steven Dorsey

It seems I have good Prose apparently, and I'm good at using a well-enough-defined vocabulary. However, I fear I might have issues then with the concept of writing Children Stories because my writing might be a bit more adult than kids of a younger age would be able to read or should.

I am not talking inappropriate, what I mean is the allegory, the words I use that may or may not be too large, the themes being a little bit complex for 2 year olds where the storyline would not be simple and just say what is going on because they are too young at that age to pick up on conveyed messages in writing.

I am faced with the possibility of being paid by a teacher to write him a children's story possibly, and I don't care about the money, if I'm going to do this then I want to do it right and create something really good that people would actually want to read and that people would enjoy. I would rather create a truly great piece of children's literature and not get paid, then get paid for something that is a one-time read.

Any tips on what I call the "Dialect" of this form of writing? The Detail, the word usage, the themes, and the presentation/execution of it all?

When I write I can visualize and manipulate writing visually. To help you understand my perception, when I change genres, I change voices almost in writing. The very culture of my writing adopts different forms as I'm sure is probably the case with you guys as well. I'm told I can adopt many different forms of dialects.

So now I need to learn the cultural voice of writing children's stories and make it a new toolset for me to put out my own hopefully original writing, and the Internet hasn't provided a single article on how to write children's stories in this manner.

Answer: The best children's writing is simple, clear, direct, concrete, and honest. Coincidentally, that's the most effective style when writing for adults as well.

Yes, it's true that you cannot create long, complex sentences full of polysyllabic words if you're writing picture books for six-year-olds. Children's publishers often have set rules about vocabulary and style (which you should probably check).

But guess what? Hemingway's prose is pretty simple too. So is the King James translation of the Bible, which is also widely regarded for its poetic language.

If you are the kind of person who can talk to children honestly, without talking down to them, then simply write the way you would speak. Above all, don't be phoney or pretentious. Don't try to impress with your prose. Just communicate. Be sincere.

Best of luck.

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