Four Characteristics of a Good Children’s Book

Writing a children’s book is not easy. There are some things you have to consider since your readers are young and quite sensitive. But this has not stopped many of the world’s best children’s book writers from writing what they want. So, this should not stop you, too. To help you start right, here are four characteristics of good children’s books that might prove to be useful for you.


  1. Children’s books have a simple idea and theme.

Children’s books do not have complicated plots and sub-plots (most of them). Also, they do not have unrealistic characters or situations. Everything that happens in a children’s book – unless it’s a fantasy or fairy tale – happens in real life.


  1. Children’s books have characters that are real.

The characters in children’s books seem real, even in fairy tales. These characters, like the young readers, make mistakes and learn. The characters experience physical and emotional growth as the story advances.


  1. Children’s books contain moral lessons.

The most important thing about children’s books is that they leave moral lessons for its readers. Every story has a lesson to teach not only the children but also the adults who read to them as well. These lessons are simple ones that are easy to understand. Examples are “do not lie”, “do not cheat”, or do not fight with your siblings”. Although children’s books have an “a-ha!” element to them, their stories are not predictable. The stories can get the young readers thinking and analyzing the situation.


  1. Children’s books come with big or readable text and captivating illustrations.

Children are visual readers, especially the younger ones. They depend a lot on images even if they can already read and understand the story. Therefore, a good children’s book has illustrations that can easily captivate or catch the attention of the children. The illustrations offer an element of excitement, so the children will keep reading, eager to find out what will happen next (or what the next illustrations will look like). Besides, it is always more interesting if the words you read have a visual representation. Also, the text of children’s books should be big enough, so it will be easy for them to read.

Four Tips to Overcoming Writer’s Block

One of the most common problems of authors is experiencing writer’s block. This is the time when no matter how hard you concentrate and think, nothing comes out of your head. No ideas, no visions, and no stories. Writer’s block does not happen every day, but when it does, it can be extra irritating, time consuming, and frustrating (especially if you’re beating a deadline!). But, fret not, because there are simple tips that you can try if you want to overcome writer’s block.


  1. Stop writing for a few hours or days and focus on another creative endeavor.

Whatever it is you are writing, leave it be for a few hours or days. Turn your attention to another creative endeavor – like a poem you’ve been trying to finish, or a jigsaw puzzle you want to complete for your son, or maybe even a picture you started painting a couple of days ago. You may be stuck in the novel you are writing, but you can still continue your creative adventures; you can still keep your brain working. Eventually, after a few hours or days, you’ll get back into your regular writing flow.


  1. Move around from time-to-time.

Sometimes, our minds go blank because we’ve been using it too much. It needs to relax, too. So, from time-to-time, get up from the chair and move. Do some stretches, walk in the garden, or do a few yoga poses. You can also close your eyes, relax, and meditate. De-stressing your mind will help it relax and pretty soon, you’ll be back to writing.


  1. Work as far away from distractions as possible.

One of the reasons why authors get writer’s block is distractions like the TV, radio, and the mobile phone. The Internet is also a major distraction. The solution to this? Find a quiet and distraction-free corner or room in your home or office and work on your book there. Turn off the Wi-Fi and disconnect from the Internet.


  1. Practice writing by freewriting.

Find a few minutes in a day to practice freewriting. This simply means writing whatever it is that comes into your mind. Don’t mind your spelling or your punctuation. Just write freely and randomly. You can write about a different subject every day, or you can choose one topic for the week. After a week-long freewriting activity, go back to your regular writing schedule, and you’ll discover just how many new ideas you have!

Four Movies That Inspire Authors

Not a lot of movies have tackled the subject or writing or book publishing. Of the few, there are some that stand out, though. These movies may not be Oscar winners, but they definitely bring a lot of flavor to the writing and book publishing community. In their own ways, they inspire authors to continue loving and doing their craft.


  1. Midnight in Paris

This film by Woody Allen is a romantic comedy with touches of fantasy. The best part of the movie is when Owen Wilson’s screenwriter character travels through time and meets his literary heroes. He travels to the 1920s at midnight, every day, and encounters great authors like Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. He gets to converse with them, and Hemingway even offers to show the writer’s first novel to novelist Gertrude Stein. It’s an inspiring movie for authors who are trying to get their work published.


  1. Shakespeare in Love

This is a romantic British dramedy that features an imaginary love affair between Gwyneth Paltrow’s Viola de Lesseps and Joseph Fiennes’ William Shakespeare. The events take place as The Bard was trying to finish “Romeo and Juliet”. Viola becomes his muse and inspiration for finishing the story. Perfect for authors because, well, it’s William Shakespeare!


  1. Misery

This movie is based on the book of the same title written by Stephen King. It tells the story of Paul Sheldon (James Caan), a romantic novelist, and his biggest fan Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates). Wilkes makes Sheldon her captive and forces him to write a story that continues his popular book series.


  1. Stranger Than Fiction

A fantasy comedy-drama, “Stranger Than Fiction” is headlined by Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Emma Thompson. It tells the story of Harold Crick, who hears a voice dictating his life to him as if it is part of a novel where the character dies. He tries his best to stop the ending from happening.