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Writing a Children's Story

Updated on March 24, 2013

How to Write a Children’s Story

Writing a children's story can be a simple process if you know where to start.

Remember that you are not writing a novel, this will take some pressure off. But, keep in mind that being too long or too short can lead to instant rejection depending on your target market.

For instance, a story with up to 100 words is considered micro-fiction and is typically geared toward babies up to three-year-olds. There are a lot of pictures and very few words.

As you move into the next age range, toddlers to five-year-olds, you'll find that just a little more detail is needed but you still don't want to make it too long; generally keeping it around 100-500 words. These types of picture books should be written in a way that will allow the reader to complete the book in one sitting.

The next age group, five-year-olds to eight-year-olds, is looking for more sustenance or a real story. This age likes to involve their own imagination as they read through the story. While not as complex as a novel for adults, with all the twists and turns; this story should have a clear beginning, middle and end. There won't be as many pictures and the entire story will take place within 500-1500 words or about 40 pages.

Keep one thing in mind; children are easier to write for than adults in my mind but there are plenty of adult writers that will say differently. :)


Creating a memorable character is step one. You want the reader to relate to your character.

Give them descriptions about their appearance, their personality and traits that set them apart from others in the story.

Children like to have characters they can relate to or dream about being.



Where will the story take place? Is it a real place or one you've come up with in your head?

The setting will include the time period your story takes place. Describe the location with as much detail as you can without going overboard.

If the story takes place in another time then be accurate with details.

What is the plot?

What is the plot? What is the point of the story?

Look at your story as an outline of events. The plot will be what everything in the story is working toward and is very important to any story.

Give your plot twists and turns to keep the reader turning the page.

How do you visualize the story ending?

Always make a children's book conclude with a happy ending. Of course children don't want an ending that keep them hanging or even sad. They seek closure. They want to know how the story ends and that their favorite character gets what they want.

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    • sydneyspence profile image

      Sydney Spence 5 years ago from Austin Texas

      @hawaiianodysseus - thank you so much for your kind words. I have written a couple of children's books. Preparing for a series. Wish me luck in the New Year! :) You have a wonderful year too!!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Sydney! Wonderful hub that you've written here, and a neat subject to think about as we segue into a brand new year of writing. Tell me, have you yourself written a book for children, or maybe are in the process of outlining one? I think you'd be awesome at it! Thank you for sharing, and may you and yours have a blessed 2013!