Bedtime stories have always been the highlight of many people’s childhoods. As parents, it’s important for you to continue this timeless tradition because, aside from letting you bond with your child, it is also a way to help their minds develop.
It must have occurred to you at some point to create your own storybook. This endeavor is a creative outlet that can help you relieve stress from the demands of motherhood. It is also a heartwarming gesture that your kid can look back on with fondness.
How do you go about creating a personalized storybook? Is it as easy as it sounds? Many may scoff at it and say that it can be done without difficulties. After all, it is only for children.
But children have active imaginations, and they can be picky with what they want to hear and read. Writing and creating your own storybook can then be daunting, although very achievable if you put your mind and heart to it. Here are some tips to guide you every step of the way.
You’re excited to start writing a story that you can give as a memorable legacy to your child, but have you thought of how to go about it? The story should always begin with conceptualization. Every story out there has started as an idea that was developed and nurtured until it took shape and became what it is now.
Think of a subject close to you and your child’s heart. Children’s stories usually have a theme and teach valuable lessons, so it will be great if you think of them too. Let your imagination be the limit, and work from there.
Make an Outline
When you have finally thought of an idea, a theme, and the lessons you will want to impart, it’s time to move on to the second stage of the story-creation process—the outline. Conceptualizing is not enough. It should be put into a paper in order for you to have a guide when you get to the writing proper itself.
By putting your ideas into a cohesive outline and writing down the gist of the story, you will avoid forgetting a crucial point along the way, saving you tons of frustration.
Develop Your Characters
Once you have answered what the story is all about and have created a sound outline, you can then proceed to character development. This is essential in storytelling.
The characters are the substance of your story. Without them, your superb plot will go to waste. Flesh out your characters, give them a name, and provide their background stories.
What is the protagonist’s end goal? What are the hindrances to that goal? What motivates him or her? Who are the people around the protagonist? Answering these questions will give your characters life and make them less of a cardboard cutout.
Make Your Plot Interesting
Of course, while characters are important, a good plot is also integral to the creation of the storybook. This is where you plan your protagonist’s journey. There should be the right mix of struggles and triumphs.
A good children’s story will require action scenes, especially ones depicting good versus evil. The plot should make sense while gripping your child’s attention. It should also help your character grow better. Most plots have a climax and inevitable conclusion.
Abide by the Cardinal Rule
As always, the cardinal rule of “Show, don’t tell” must be followed. Just because it’s a children’s story doesn’t mean kids need to be spoon-fed.
Let them make up their own minds by harnessing the power of showing how the story pans out. It will also give you more room to be imaginative and creative.
Include Humorous Dialogues
What’s a story without a dialogue? Children’s stories should have dialogues that will define their characters. Make the dialogues suit your kid’s age, and inject humor into them as this will truly capture their attention.
Ask for Your Child’s Help
Want to make this more meaningful for you and your little one? Seek their help. Ask them what they want, or let them help develop your idea.
Some children are gifted with powerful imaginations, and that is a beautiful thing because you can help them develop it into something more. Give them choices on how the story will go. You will be surprised by how their amazing minds work.
Don’t Forget the Illustrations
A storybook for children needs illustrations. If hiring an illustrator is too much for your budget, you can always look for stock photos or illustrations that you can download and use for free. You can cut down on the text when you have beautiful illustrations to tell half of the story.
There’s something truly heartwarming when it comes to parents who take the time and go to such lengths to create a storybook for their child. If you are one of them but do not have the time to create a narrative story from scratch, you can always rely on photos to tell their own story.
Books on alphabets and numbers can be done too, and all the easier with the help of tools that let you create personalized books for kids. The important thing is to offer your kids something that can help them grow and learn.