Writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. For some of us, the creative process is easy, while others might find that more careful thought and consideration is required to begin. For everyone though, there are a few key components necessary to create inspiring picture books, and we’ve taken the liberty of calling them out – so read on, if you’re interested!

Aya and Papaya

Aya and Papaya

Start from a place of inspiration and imagination

There are literally millions of picture books published that are based on just as many topics and themes. Writing something truly unique can be challenging, unless you start from a place of inspiration and imagination – using your distinct perspective to help shape the way you tell your story. Inspiration is everywhere and your creativity is only limited by your imagination, so go wild!

Get to know your characters, like you know your family

Every good picture book has at least one main character, if not more. Do yourself a favour and ‘create’ your character early on so you can get to know them properly – as if they are a real person. How do they look, dress, speak, act? What do they like to do? How would you describe their personality? It’s important to form a bond with your characters so that when you are writing, your storytelling, tone of voice and word selection is sincere.

Know where you want your young reader to end up

Whilst you don’t want your young reader to predict how the story ends, as an author, it’s important you know where you want the story to end. This is fundamental in being able to determine the journey that your reader will take, with each turn of the page. It’s also helpful in knowing that each written word has a purpose and intent that will be supported by illustrations.

Words and pictures are equally as important, so plan accordingly

The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is certainly true for children’s picture books, if you have written a thousand words. For children’s books, words and pictures have a symbiotic relationship, as children need to be able to ‘read’ illustrations while learning to read words. It’s also a lot of fun watching children discover clues in the illustrations that they have just read in the words. Both words and pictures are dependent on each other’s success – so work hard at making them work together!

Write a story that you enjoy reading

The reality is that adults read more pictures books to their children, than children read independently. So, as an adult, write a story that you enjoy reading. It needs to be entertaining, inspiring and engaging. The characters and story need to be brought to life, time and time again – until your young reader learns to read for themselves. Always remember who you are writing for, because this will help guide the words you choose and way that you structure your sentences.

Written by the Creator of Aya and Papaya, MQ, and Author Andy Abey.

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