Shh! Don’t tell anyone about this but I’ve got some killer ideas you can use for writing a children’s book that maybe you haven’t thought of before. Most first-time writers get it all wrong when coming up with book ideas. They look at what’s selling and they think they can just copy it or write something in a hot genre that all the kids are reading.
It’s not about writing what’s hot, though you do need to write what kids will read. It’s about taking what is meaningful to you and writing about it. Engaging stories are what you want to write and you can find them in everyday life.
You may ask, “I don’t know where to look?” That’s fine but your job as a writer is to go after a story. Being a journalist is very much the same as writing a story. You still have to go after the heart of the story and tell it in such a way as to grab the reader’s attention.
Ideas are all around us, you just have to be willing to look for them when they present themselves. As a writer, your job is to find ideas that inspire your audience. Look for things that most people don’t see. Look in areas that most people avoid. Sometimes, the most mundane thing may spark a story idea… if you see it from a different POV.
Creating Ideas For Children’s Books
Here are some of the ways that I create ideas that become killer children’s books.
- I watch kids from a distance and see how they interact with one another. Since I have an eleven year old daughter, there are plenty of ideas for me to pursue. The way kids talk, the way they play, even how they approach things can be the basis for a story idea.
- I build story ideas around broad topics and then whittle them down until I have a concrete idea I can work with. These could include flying, holidays such as Halloween, vacations, monsters, space aliens, scary neighbors and sports. Well, you get the idea.
- Kids will determine what ideas are better than other just by talking to them. Many times I have introduced an idea to my children’s writing group only to find out they hated it and instead, they gave me story ideas I would have never thought of. This is why it is so important to include children in your story discussion. Another POV can really help you come up with a great idea.
- Finally, I research different children’s books and see what ideas other writers have come up with, their take on the idea and how they followed through. Many times, a good idea will pop into my head that is inspired by these authors and I can follow through with an unusual character and take on a new adventure. Since I write mainly adventure books for the 8-12 year old age range, I can see certain ideas take shape just from understanding how the author wrote his main character. Sometimes, it’s just a feeling that is evoked that stimulates my idea machine and then I flush it out until it takes shape and I can begin to formulate characters, plot and dialogue.
There are endless supplies of ideas floating around. You just have to be open minded and ask yourself… what if? Your answer will go very far in determining how you craft a new story idea for your children’s book.
Latest posts by A. J. WESTIN (see all)
- Ruth Miskin – How to Teach Children to Write – Oxford School Improvement - July 30, 2015
- Writing Children’s Books:What Should I Write About? - July 30, 2015
- Powerful Techniques That Inspire Your Children’s Fiction Writing - July 29, 2015