Writing for Both Adult and Children’s Books

There are many authors who tackle adult and children’s fiction and are successful at both. Here are some things to think about if you’re considering the business of writing for young and old alike.

How Do They Differ?

Apart from the obvious that children’s book are generally shorter and less complex, writing one is not that different from writing an adult novel. The most crucial difference, according to award-winning author Daniel Handler, is that adults might continue through a boring book, but a child likely won’t.

If you’re a good storyteller, you should have no problem writing both, but there are important things to keep in mind. Readers of specific genres often expect a certain style to their books. If you are an author of adult novels, it’s smart to read a lot of children’s fiction before writing your own, and the reverse applies equally.

Should You Keep Them Separate?

Some authors only write one kind of book, and often that’s how readers like it. When a reader picks up a book from an author they are familiar with, they don’t want a surprise that their normally G-rated fantasy author has written a steamy romance novel.

You may want to use a pen name to keep your kids books separate from your adult novels, like Daniel Handler did with his A Series of Unfortunate Events. While Handler’s Lemony Snicket is more of narrator character than a pseudonym, readers will never be confused that novels like All the Dirty Parts might be a children’s book, because Handler’s real name is on it.

There are authors who have not changed their names to write both genres, and you might be surprised to know that Roald Dahl is one. You’ll never find his adult books in the kids’ section, though, so parents don’t really need to worry.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether or not you use a pen name; there are many paths to success. If you write an engaging story, you’re bound to find your readers.

 

 

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