How to Write a Good Children's Story

Written by carl hose
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How to Write a Good Children's Story
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Writing stories that children will enjoy can be a challenge. Children's stories range from nonsense stories meant strictly to entertain through silliness all the way to stories that aim to teach a lesson while entertaining. How you tell your story depends in large part on the age of your target audience. Once you determine the age of your audience, you can create a fascinating story that will capture their imagination and engage them in the world of reading.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Target an age group. For children between the ages of 2 and 4, create a story that relies heavily on pictures. If your story is for children between the ages of 5 and 7, outline a simple story that features a protagonist that children of this age group can identify with, placed in a situation this age group can understand. For children between the ages of 8 and 12, you can tell simple stories that lean toward specific genres, told from a child's viewpoint. Targeting your audience is crucial to focusing and writing a successful children's story.

  2. 2

    Outline the story you want to tell. Even a simple story needs direction. For younger children, the story may only contain one or two sentences and a picture. Write a beginning, middle and end regardless.

  3. 3

    Introduce the main character or characters for younger children as they play a part in the story. Trying to introduce them too early makes it difficult for younger children to remember. The older your target audience, especially in the 8 to 12 range, the more characters you can include in your story.

  4. 4

    Write dramatic situations that are age appropriate. A lost boy or girl is a dramatic theme for any child, but may work better for ages 5 through 7. For older children, a protagonist who has trouble keeping friends is a stronger theme. Consider writing light ghost, mystery and action for children over the age of 10, featuring protagonists in the same age group.

  5. 5

    Write happy endings. As long as there is a happy ending, children can recover from something sad in the plot of your book. There is plenty of time for unhappy endings in our lifetime. A child's early reading experience doesn't need to reflect that.

Tips and warnings

  • Personify for readers under the age of 9. This means to give animals or inanimate objects human abilities such as speech and movement.
  • Teaching is good, but weave messages to your young readers into your story naturally. This will keep them entertained and help ensure the message stays with them.

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