As a first-time picture book writer, you might be wondering how to successfully write a book. Let us talk about some simple yet effective tips that can make a humongous difference in how your book turns out.
Adopt a Different Point of View
There are three points of view that you can adopt when writing a story. We are referring to the third-person, second-person, and first-person narrative.
A lot of aspiring authors start their career by writing picture books – they get into the habit of writing these books in the third person. Now in many stories, it works – but – in some stories, you would be missing out on an opportunity to connect with the reader by keeping it in the third person.
So, if your book is written in the third-person, you might want to switch and rewrite it in the first-person narrative – then this would be possibly a great idea. Sometimes, you have written a first-person book while it needs to be in the third-person.
Second-person is where we talk directly to the readers – so – it is not as common in children’s books. But – you might opt for a second-person narrative if you intend to write a book that tells the readers to do something.
For instance, you might guide young readers on how they could clean their room or how to draw something. In these cases, you will be saying, “Put your clothes in the hamper” or “Draw a circle.”
Nonetheless, depending on the storyline, you will want to experiment with different perspectives. If you opt for the first-person narrative, you will make the readers feel more connected with the characters and the story itself.
Don’t be Afraid of Experimenting
Even if you are positive that you have picked the right perspective, you will want to try to experiment with a different point of view. Initially, you will want to do it for fun. You may realize that you actually do need to switch the perspective to something else because the other perspective is more powerful.
Perhaps, switching to a different point of view will help you be reassured that you have picked the right one in the first place.
You will also want to experiment with writing a different book style apart from the narrative. You might not know, but there are so many different kinds of picture books. Some of them are as follows:
- Concept books
- Historical books
- Counting books
- ABC books
- Nursery rhymes
- Bedtime books
So, you definitely want to check out the different types of picture books before choosing to work on one that you find you can work on the best.
With all these different kinds of picture books – it would be a great benefit for you to experiment with writing your story in different ways.
Suppose you have written a typical bedtime picture book – you might want to experiment with rewriting it in a different way. You could write it in the form of a counting book or a nursery rhyme. For instance, if you are writing a bedtime book about dinosaurs, you can throw in random facts about science and history in the background.
You get the point – you will want to experiment with different types of books. You never know what creations might come to your mind.
Use Figurative Language
Another trick to writing a better picture book is to experiment with figurative language. Although rhyming books can be amazing – these are quite harder to get right, which is probably why a lot of literary agents and editors encourage newbie writers not to write rhyming books.
Editors find that a lot of people add unnecessarily to the story just to make it rhyme. Nonetheless, if you don’t want to opt for the traditional publication route, you will want to know how to self-publish a children’s book and bring your book in front of the world.
Simply put – you don’t have to have a rhyming picture book for the book to sound really good. While writing a book, you will want to unleash your creativity and experiment with things such as alliteration, assonance, consonants, golden threads, etc.
Golden threads refer to the aspect where you have some sort of theme, and you have threaded it throughout the story in terms of a word or phrase. You can also experiment with metaphors, internal dialogue, and onomatopoeia, and there are so many more options that you can explore, experiment with, and integrate into your picture book.
You will want to dedicate your time to researching all the different ways that you can explore your writing through figurative language and different literary devices.
By doing so, you will not only improve your writing style, but it is also going to open up new doors to stories that you might not have thought about originally.
Pitch Your Book
The next simple trick that you can adopt for creating a better picture book is to pitch the book. Pitching your book is something you can narrow down to what your book is about. Some picture book writers like to do the pitch first and then work from it.
Other writers like to write the story first and then pitch after. For novels, pitching the idea first is a lot easier – but – for children’s books they are short, it seems a lot easier and more practical to just write the story and then focus on pitching it while editing.
In order to pitch the book to yourself or anyone else – you will want to get a notebook and write down what your story is about while using one to two sentences. You will want to think about the pitch as the description on Amazon for describing the book, and people are looking to see if they want to buy it.
By pitching your book, you can focus on writing, and it will help you cut out all the story elements that don’t need to be there. You will want to know your story’s heart and what your story is really about.