Writing Children’s Books — How to Impart a Message Without Preaching

Writing Children’s Books

Writing children’s books is unlike any other type of writing.   In order to write for children you have to have a different type of mentality.  Children do not have the patience to read books that preach. The idea when you write is to show, not preach. A good story teaches what we, the writer knows but is not pushy.

Another good idea… do not give advice.  You will give your readers reason to leave.  If you want your readers to listen, you’ll have to go about it in a whole new way.  This means, don’t show off your writing or what you personally know… instead, put yourself at the disposal of the reader, the character and their story.A good book will help readers learn more about themselves not about you.

To write a story for children is to give of yourself not about yourself.  Children want to learn about the characters not you.  that may sound harsh but children tell it like it is. Don’t overburden or confuse your readers.  Don’t introduce abstract ideas to young readers who think in concrete terms.  You have to reach them where they are by giving a childlike idea to a grownup problem.

Writing for children means writing according to the age group you are trying to target. What is age appropriate for the 3-5 year old reader will not work for an older child.  That also works in reverse.  Adapt your stories and your reading styles to the maturity level of your reader. Children’s stories are meant to kick-start a children’s imagination.  What you write has a direct effect on how they view the world.  They take your words as gospel in context with the story.  Become a preacher and you lose the choir.  You lose the choir and you’ve lost a valuable reader.  It is as simple as that.


A. J. Westin is a children's adventure book author who specializes in writing stories kids really want to read. He has written over two dozen books and has dedicated his life to helping kids become better readers through his inspirational stories.
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