The Many Works of Pat Hatt
January 12, 2015
The cat has been asked a time or two how easy or hard it is to write a children’s book. But he is too busy to answer so he kicked that one over to me. At least he allows me to write some topics once in a while. Easy or hard? That is so interchangeable it seems when asking, isn’t it? Or maybe if they want it to be easy they ask how easy and if they think it is hard they ask how hard. Keep your minds from the gutter people. I know that is hardly ever easy. See what I did there?
To write a children’s book you need one skill and one skill only, forget pesky things like grammar for a moment, the ability to act childish. If you have the ability to make your mind become the mindset of a child, you have just won 95% of the battle. Now of course if it is a picture book being able to draw more than stick people helps. But that you can contract out. The idea is the most important part, as with any book/novel. Nice how book/novel is so interchangeable as well, huh?
Children’s book writing can be as easy as one, two, three.
1. Create a clever character. Shrimpy dinosaur, alien with bad gas, a talking rock, etc.
2. Create the obstacle. Some evil bad guy, stuck in a rut, can’t find a toy, etc.
3. Beat the obstacle creatively. The alien lies in freshly mowed grass to beat the gas, for instance. But make sure it is a journey getting there.
Lessons are always good to try and throw in as well. But if you make them too blatant the book can become nothing more than a rule book, and you know how much rules are liked. Children’s books don’t always have to make perfect sense if they are fun. You can make up nonsense words. The more creative you are the better. Imagination is key with any book.
Also be prepared to get some hate because some adults are unable to think like a child and may see sexual innuendo or other completely out of left field stuff where there is none. Those people are generally uptight with a stick firmly placed somewhere. So best to just carry on. Or carry a big stick of your own to beat them back with.
Have you ever tried to write a children’s book? Think you could do one? Why not give it a go? Would your stick and their stick clash?
Enjoy life, forget the strife.