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 exercise: Camera

Picture this – a new piece of writing that starts with a camera prompt in this week's creative writing ...


How to use creative writing techniques in other writing

Use transferable creative writing techniques to bring other forms of writing to life ...


Read more, write better! Writing Magazine bonus content, January 2019

Background reading, exclusive audio extracts and more to complement your latest Writing Magazine ...


Coffee break exercise: Clocks

Can you spare a few minutes? It's time for a new creative writing exercise ...


Other Articles

The 22 most thoughtful gift ideas for aspiring writers

Writers are seen to be at their happiest with just a piece of paper and a pen. So, when it comes to gift ...


Under the Microscope extra: The Man Who Would Do Nothing Twice

Read our suggested rewrite of a reader's novel opening ...


Why do authors use pen names?

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? There are many reasons why a writer decides to change ...


How to write a self-help book

Leading publishing editor Kelly Notaras offers her top ten tips for writing a self-help book ...