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5 top tips for writing a children's story

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

So you've had an idea for a children's story? How exciting! Woo hoo! Go you! Oh wait, now comes the hard part... WRITING IT DOWN! (dun dun dunnnnn!).

Getting your story out of your head and down on paper can be a terrifying prospect, but don't worry! You can do it, and I'm going to help you with my 5 top tips:

1. Write something down

I know what you're thinking. My first top tip for writing your story is...writing. Duh. It sounds obvious, but the key thing here is that you write something. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be remotely good in fact. It just has to be something, to get you past that first step of staring at a blank page. That being said, I don’t find it helpful to just write anything - it should be relevant to your story. For example, I often like to write a list of words that I might like to use in my story. So if your story is about a lonely frog who lives in a pond you might write down:







If you want to write in rhyme you can then look over the list and think of any rhyming words that may be useful. (Using a rhyming dictionary or a website like can come in handy here):

Frog - log, fog

Lonely - only

Sad - bad, mad, lily pad

Pond - bond, wand, fond

Fish - swish, wish

You could also write a basic plan for the structure of the story's plot, or some questions you have about the characters, the plot, the setting etc. You could write any phrases that you’ve already thought of that you might like to feature in the story. Once again, it does not need to be perfect! It just needs to be something so that you can get in the flow of writing before you start the actual story.

2. Let's (not) start at the very beginning...

Okay I love Julie Andrews, but you don't need to follow her advice here. When writing your story, you don’t have to start at the beginning! The opening line to a children’s story is arguably the most important one. Kids are picky and if they aren’t hooked from that first page then they may well just switch off and ask for a different book…no pressure! If you're finding that coming up with that first line is a bit too daunting, start at the middle or the end instead! You can always come back and write the beginning later.

3. Dedicate a time to writing (and stick to it!)

If you have another job or responsibilities like cleaning the house, looking after your kids, cooking dinner, etc. it can be really hard to find time to write. Whenever you do get a "spare" moment, you may find yourself feeling guilty for writing when you could be doing other things, and talk yourself out of it. If you don't dedicate a special time for writing and then allow yourself to make the most of it, it won't get done. So have a look in your diary and find a time that you are able to dedicate to writing, then schedule it in and don't you dare cancel it! (Unless it's an emergency, then I guess you can.)

4. Don't force it

If you’re stuck in a rut or dealing with a bit of writer's block, in my experience the worst thing you can do is sit at your laptop and try and force the ideas to come. I recommend stepping away for a moment and taking the pressure off. Try doing another activity, but preferably one that will allow your mind to wander, like heading out for a walk, doing some gentle exercise or having a bath. My best ideas usually come to me when I’m not looking for them, but just sitting with my thoughts and allowing them to find me.

5. Talk about it

If you have a supportive friend or family member who would be open to chatting with you about your idea, this can be really helpful for developing your story. Maybe they will ask questions you hadn’t thought of the answers to or offer constructive criticism if there are any flaws you hadn't noticed. Even if they don’t have anything to contribute, it can be really helpful just to say your idea out loud to another human being (or dog, cat, guinea pig etc.) and that alone might help to spark something.

Have fun!

So they're my 5 top tips - I hope you find them useful! I do have one more sneaky little extra thing to add though, and that is to have fun! The writing process can certainly be frustrating at times but for the most part it can be really enjoyable, so release your inner child and get creative! Good luck! I look forward to reading your story someday.


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