A children’s book begins with an idea. Sometimes, it’s useful to keep a daily journal to record these ideas, because as you continue to write, the ideas will pile up. Begin by asking “What if?” What if this or that happened? Then ask the other questions: How, What, Where and When. How will the what ifs affect my character. What will the character do? Where is the answer the character needs? When should the character decide what to do? Etc.
Some authors test their ideas on close friends, their kids or children belonging to friends, schools. Many authors prefer to go with their instincts.
Writing multiple drafts is NOT a bad thing. This gives you multiple perspectives to your idea; and, you can use these choices to pick the one that suits you best. Critique groups are great for fielding ideas and joining one can become your greatest asset. Let them each read your idea and comment on it. This gives you more perspectives.
Use their comments to revise your work, then run it by them again. It may take a few tries, but it will be worth the work. If they critique it and there are more changes, work with them and keep at it. If this doesn’t work, sign up for a writing class at your community college.
Line editing is one of the hardest and tedious form of editing, but so worth the time. Using line editing can help you to spot errors not only in spelling, but also in grammar and sentence structure. I find most of my plot structuring mistakes using this method.
You want to have a manuscript in the best condition as possible when you begin the querying process. Depending on what type of book you’ve written, the process varies. I’ll cover the querying process in another blog.