Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
Writing for children seems like it would be easy, right? WRONG! Kids are smart readers, and you’d best not waste a single word when writing a children’s book. There are a lot of ways to screw up when writing your first book for children. Here are the five most common errors:
- Not reading children’s books. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many writers don’t read the sorts of books they’re writing. If you want to write for kids, you’ve got to read their books. Preferably, the copies owned by actual kids. You can check them out from the library in a pinch, but you’ll have better results if you steal them from kids’ backpacks or just grab one out of a kid’s hands and run away at a fast, adult pace. Only by examining which pages are smudged and dog-eared can you tell which parts get read and reread the most; only by gauging the volume of a child’s sobs can you evaluate how good the book is in the first place.