Most people have fond memories of books that they read as a child, stories that made them laugh, gasp, hide their head under the bedclothes whilst they read the final gripping paragraph, or transported them to faraway, magical worlds. Parents enjoy reading stories to their own children. This can be the motivation for them wanting to write for children themselves, to take them on a journey using their own magic carpet of adventure, magic and mystery.
Children's books have changed over the years, and stories that we enjoyed as children are not always so popular now. Children today live in a modern, fast-paced, technical world and like stories to reflect this. However, whilst the world that children are growing up in has changed, the hopes, dreams and fears of childhood haven't. Children still want a secure loving family unit, friends, pets, to have adventures in a safe environment, to experience new things, to read exciting, gripping, magical, contemporary and humorous stories to which they can relate and which are relevant to their lives.
This children's market is a wide and varied one. There are picture books, story books, early readers, teenage fiction, activity books, non-fiction and educational. Every genre has its own specifics and requires research.
Your tutor will guide and encourage you as you work in your chosen genre. You'll learn how to construct a story that children will enjoy reading, how to create believable characters and realistic dialogue.
You can either follow the course lessons or work on your own novel. If you have finished the course before completing your novel, and you wish to continue working with your tutor, you can buy extensions to the course which allow you to continue by submitting additional chapters to your tutor.
Extensions can be purchased to cover either 3 or 6 chapters, and the process can be continued until your novel is finished.
Some tips on how to get started writing, important "do's and don'ts" about writing for children and information about different genres.
Here we discuss plotting your story, getting ideas for stories, developing the plot and writing an outline.
This lesson deals with writing in different viewpoints, building up conflict, writing effective beginnings and checking your first page.
We deal with creating characters, building up a character profile, creating heroes and villains and selecting suitable names for your characters.
In this lesson we discuss the use of dialogue, how to write realistic dialogue, choosing a suitable title for your story, writing in chapters and how to end your story.
We discuss writing for younger children, picture books, fairy tales and fantasy, reading schemes and writing for children today.
Here we discuss writing full length fiction, writing a series, books for the avid reading age of nine to twelve years, choosing what sort of book to write, writing the first draft and coping with writer's block.
This lesson deals with Young Adult (YA) fiction, subjects covered are thinking about your reader, choosing your subject, writing romance, stories for boys, short stories and the names of some publishers of teenage books.
Subject knowledge, writing for different age group, researching your subject and writing the book proposal are all discussed in this lesson.
In this lesson we give you hints and tips about getting published, revising your work, preparing your manuscript, writing a synopsis and selecting a publisher or agent.