In book editing, children’s books can be the most challenging one. Books deemed for adults can be written in a variety of tones and can have a more laidback tone and language to them. However, with children, it is different. You cannot have a language that might be objectionable to parents or a setting that doesn’t educate or guide children in a better way. So, with children’s books, there needs to be a specific tone, sensitive language, and subject that educates them.
Before finalizing your children’s manuscript, it is important that you do a thorough book editing of it. You must ensure that the final product you deliver will captivate its readers and keep them riveted till the last page. In this blog post, we will discuss a few tips that will enable you to edit like a pro while enhancing the magic and wonder your book is sure to evoke.
Understand Your Audience
Getting a better idea of your audience is the crucial first step of starting with your editing process. You must know what age group are you targeting as children of different ages develop different interests, reading levels, and comprehension abilities. If you must, read a few books that have been popular among the age group you are targeting and tailor your approach accordingly. Moreover, adding colorful illustrations works best in younger children, whereas older children prefer having a strong storyline and interesting characters.
Maintain a Consistent Tone
Children’s books that resonate the most with children are often the bestselling ones. Whether you want to write a mystery series or take your readers on a never-been-before adventure, make sure that your tone is consistent. You cannot use a certain tone in the first half and transition to a different tone altogether in the next half of the book. whatever tone or tense you want to set your book in, keep it consistent. During the book editing process, keep an eye on such details, and align your genre, theme, and tone for the impact you want your book to make. Consistency is the key as it ensures a coherent reading experience.
Simplify Complex Concepts
The beauty of writing children’s books is being able to make things simpler and easier. That’s what’s known as making the book age-appropriate. Avoid adding complex emotional or psychological concepts or using intricate vocabulary for the kids to riddle out. Also, avoid making things too overwhelming for the kids, that is, stick to a concept and work with it, introducing too many things at a time might not make sense to the kids. While you edit your book, look for the complex words and sentences, difficult concepts and language, and make them simplify them. Your aim should be educating them while allowing them to understand and enjoy the book.
Focus on Dialogue
Dialogues are another important aspect of any book. It is through these dialogues that characters come to life and we are able to drive the narrative forward. All the dialogues should be written in simple language and be able to resonate with the intended age group. During book editing, consider checking the dialogues for their rhythm, flow, and whether or not they sound authentic and natural. Keep all your conversations in the book natural, children only understand things said in an easier manner.
Encourage Visual Elements
Visual elements not only make books attractive but also make them easier to comprehend. Children often start understanding things and concepts through pictures. If your children’s book includes images, coordinate with the illustrator to ensure that the text and visuals complement each other seamlessly. While editing children’s books, consider how the text interacts with the images. All your visual elements must be coherent and enhance the storytelling without overwhelming the page. The goal of children’s books is to keep the words and pictures in a harmonious blend, one that captivates young readers.
Check for Age-Appropriate Themes
Children’s books can cover a variety of themes, from friendship and adventure to self-discovery and empathy. However, whichever theme you choose, make sure it is age-appropriate. While editing the children’s books, review if your work is appropriate for the cognitive and emotional development of your intended age group. In case your book deals with delicate topics, make sure to preserve the sensitivity of the topic while providing guidance and reassurance to the children.
Maintain a Strong Story Arc
Children enjoy books that keep them engaged till the last page. Most will drop reading the book if they don’t find the plot interesting. It is crucial that you make the storyline and plot riveting for children. During book editing, check for a strong beginning, a compelling middle, and a gripping climax and end. Also, review the pace of the book and reveal the plot at the right point of the story. make sure to fill in every possible gap in the storyline and remove all the inconsistencies from the plot.
Seek Professional Help
Editing your own work can sometimes be challenging, as authors we often tend to overlook our mistakes and review our work objectively. You can take the help of a professional editor, especially one experienced in children’s literature. A fresh set of eyes can identify areas for improvement, offering valuable feedback to enhance your manuscript and make it a loved read among young readers.
Editing children’s books requires you to balance your creativity while ensuring the content resonates with its young audience. One needs to clearly and fully understand the aspects of editing children’s books to refine their manuscript. By following these tips, you can easily curate a compelling read, so remember to read, reread, and review your drafts objectively.
Edit like a pro, and watch as your children’s book becomes a cherished part of a child’s literary journey.