Post Script…You are awesome!
The fear of the unknown can make any aspiring author run for the hills. I know this to be a fact, as I ran several times, as far away as I could away from Champ and Nessie’s unfinished manuscript. The question that hung over me day after day was, “What do I with this this story now that it is actually starting to feel like a real book?” There are many things I wish I knew at the beginning of this journey, hence my desire share my new found knowledge with the world!
One of the first, and most important things is figuring out what age range you are writing for, and then write within that word count.
Most writers think they are writing picture books for age 3-7, that is the most common category. If that’s you, then shoot for 750 words, that is the sweet spot. If you write a picture book more than 1000 words, you’re sunk. So don’t be afraid to take out that red pen and slash and dash until your word count is way down!
Another super important tip, is to make sure you start off your story quickly! Many books fail because they lose the attention of the child or parent in the first page. (Sad, but true.) In Champ and Nessie, I had written a long winded, beautiful story setting “deep in the heart of Pangea…” And after I realized my manuscript was 20 pages too long, my first 4 pages of text, turned into 1 paragraph.
In Champ and Nessie on first page, you are immediately introduced to the story setting, the main characters, and then right into a dramatic scene. So try and minimize the backstory as much as possible, don’t set the scene, just tell us what is happening.
You have such a short space to tell your story that you can’t waste any time. The pacing of children’s stories generally move very quickly. Launch your story on the first page, then introduce us to the main problem or “key” point of your story as soon as possible.
Click on my free Children’s Book Length printable for reference!