31/10/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

How to write a children's story: Ian Beck

5e664a0b-4942-4a23-826d-eeffa5fbc873

Top tips on how to write a children's story from Ian Beck, who will illustrate the winning story in Amazon's A (New) Christmas Carol Short Story Competition

Child's Eye View

Try and see things from a child reader’s perspective. What is important to them or was important to yourself when you were a child. Try to be in touch with that child self, and remember the heightened emotions, the intense fears and joys, and the highs and lows.

Picture it

Remember that in a story of this kind, which will be heavily illustrated, the pictures will do some of the heavy lifting. There is no need, for instance, to waste words by saying that the sky was blue as the picture will (hopefully) do that for you.

Read Aloud

Concentrate on the arc of the story, the poetry of the words, the fit and sound of them working together. Reading aloud to yourself (or a child!) what you have written is a pretty good way to find the false steps in your text.

Best known for his beautifully illustrated picture books, Ian Beck has illustrated classic fairy tales and nursery stories and his own picture book titles for 35 years. He notably also illustrated Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. Most recently, he has illustrated The Jungle Books and Just So Stories (Alma Books) which were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Amazon's A (New) Christmas Carol short story competition is for a modern-day children's Christmas Story inspired by Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The prize package includes worldwide publication through Kindle Direct Publishing and a £2,000 Amazon giftcard. Entry is free, and the closing date is 7 November. For full details, see the website.

Back to "Creative Writing" Category

31/10/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Coffee break writing exercise: Vehicles

What vehicles have you owned? Could one of them transport you to a new piece of creative writing? ...


Valentine's Day writing exercise

Look back to your first love for inspiration for our special Valentine’s Day coffee break creative writing ...


Love stories for Valentine's Day

Whether you're married, single, or yearning for a long-lost love, we've found a romantic read for you for ...


Coffee break exercise: Clouds

Watch the sky to find new inspiration for your work in our latest creative writing exercise ...


Other Articles

How to write: Ten differences between writing for children and adults from KJ Whittaker

Carnegie-nominated YA author Katy Moran has also published False Lights, a novel for adults, as K J Whittaker ...


Author experience: Turning history's darkest moments into fiction

How do you turn the memories of a Holocaust survivor into fiction? Author Heather Morris recounts the ...


Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, March 2018

Make more of your monthly Writing Magazine with our expanded content ...


How to write young adult fiction during NaNoWrIMo

Four successful YA authors – Lauren James, Tamsin Winter, Laura Steven and Cecilia Vinesse – explain their ...