Writing A Children’s Book: Stage Three (Improving The Story)
This series follows my process of creating my own children’s book. In Writing A Children’s Book: Stage Three (Improving The Story), I focussed on enhancing the story by examining the selected creative jobs, seeking feedback and continuing to refine the story.
Writing A Children’s Book is a feature on my blog where I discuss my process of writing, illustrating and self-publishing my own children’s book. The stages follow a personal strategy and should be an ‘inspiration’ rather than a how-to.
The Story So Far
The story is centred around promoting a positive and empowering message to young girls enforcing the reality that they are strong, smart, kind, creative and amazing women who can work in many professions. Implemented through the use of text and imagery that showcases a diverse range of women working in creative fields.
As the story grows, you may find that some aspects need to fit in better with the overall concept. I decided that a number of the chosen fields could be retitled or replaced with other jobs to allow a greater range.
Craftsperson became Toymaker, Tattooist became Body Artist, and Writer became Author. Food Stylist replaced with Animator, Poet replaced with Jewellery Designer, and Shoemaker replaced with Stationery Designer.
Defining Target Jobs
To write successfully, you need to have a comprehension of the subject. It can be easy to assume particular details, which may not be correct. In my case, I find it is essential that I know what each job entails. Ensuring I present an accurate representation.
I have developed profiles for each job which includes a description, tasks/activities, abilities/skills, knowledge, values/interests and a brief overview of current industry stats. Information for each field was gathered from the Department of Employment, joboutlook.gov.au. If data was not provided for a specific job, I used the most appropriate.
To gather further inspiration I created a list of associated words for each job. This allowed me to draw connections and examine a variety of choices.
In my second draft, I refined the structure of the first with more detail (and changes to some job titles). I wanted to ensure that there was a repetition of the sentence structure and more detail on the activities of each occupation.
- My name is Florence I am an actor. I portray characters with a script, dialogue and direction.
- My name is Ella I am an animator. I create animations with a storyboard, frames and motion.
- My name is Holly I am an architect. I design houses with sketches, blueprints and materials.
- My name is Alice I am an artist. I form artworks with a canvas palette and brush.
- My name is Emma I am an author. I write books with words, narrative and plot.
- My name is Mia I am a blogger. I share my life with text, pictures and video.
- My name is Frankie I am a body artist. I imprint tattoos with a drawing, tattoo machine and ink.
- My name is Ava I am a dancer. I perform ballet with a gesture, movement and expression.
- My name is Sam I am a director. I direct films with a story, cast and crew.
- My name is Paige I am a fashion designer. I produce clothing with patterns, fabric and a sewing machine.
- My name is Ivy I am a graphic designer. I develop branding with a concept, layout and grid.
- My name is Scarlett I am an illustrator. I sketch figures with pencil, watercolour and dye.
- My name is Eliza I am a jewellery designer. I forge jewellery with a loupe, minerals and tools.
- My name is Kathie I am a makeup artist. I transform people with makeup, prosthetics and special effects.
- My name is Chloe I am a musician. I compose music with lyrics, melody and instruments.
- My name is Lara I am a photographer. I capture photographs with a subject, camera and lens.
- My name is Grace I am a stationery designer. I print cards with paper, text and images.
- My name is Tanzi I am a toymaker. I crochet toys with yarn, a hook and thread.
- My name is Charlotte I am a typographer. I innovate fonts with letters, symbols and glyphs.
- My name is Summer I am a web designer. I build websites with a wireframe, code and a browser.
Does this mean the story is complete? Absolutely not! There is still much more refining to do, to make sure that there is smooth language that is clearly defined and easy to understand.
When you have viewed your own writing a lot, it can be easy to lose track of simple changes that could make it better. Seeking feedback from others is an excellent opportunity to have fresh eyes, opinions and suggestions.
I reached out to friends via social media with a link to a document they could comment on and edit. The feedback that I received was fantastic and provided great insight into ways I could improve the story. Specifically, I found words that may be too hard to understand or didn’t flow in the right manner.
Note: If you have other people view your work and help, I think it’s essential that you do credit them. I always have a credit & thanks in my book where I do this.
Third times a charm! The third draft was a process of significantly refining the second draft, taking on feedback and improving the writing.
- My name is Florence, and I am an actor. I act in plays with a script and an audience.
- My name is Ella, and I am an animator. I create animations with figures and motion.
- My name is Holly, and I am an architect. I plan houses with blueprints and materials.
- My name is Alice, and I am an artist. I form artworks with a palette and brush.
- My name is Emma, and I am an author. I write books with words and a story.
- My name is Mia, and I am a blogger. I share my life with text and pictures.
- My name is Frankie, and I am a body artist. I imprint tattoos with a tattoo machine and ink.
- My name is Ava, and I am a dancer. I perform ballet with movement and expression.
- My name is Sam, and I am a director. I direct films with a cast and crew.
- My name is Paige, and I am a fashion designer. I produce clothing with patterns and fabric.
- My name is Ivy, and I am a graphic designer. I develop designs with a concept and computer.
- My name is Scarlett, and I am an illustrator. I draw characters with watercolour and pen.
- My name is Eliza, and I am a jewellery designer. I forge jewellery with gems and tools.
- My name is Kathie, and I am a makeup artist. I transform people with makeup and special effects.
- My name is Chloe, and I am a musician. I compose music with lyrics and a melody.
- My name is Lara, and I am a photographer. I capture photographs with a camera and lens.
- My name is Grace, and I am a stationery designer. I make cards with paper and imagery.
- My name is Tanzi, and I am a toymaker. I crochet toys with yarn and thread.
- My name is Charlotte, and I am a typographer. I innovate fonts with letters and symbols.
- My name is Summer, and I am a web designer. I build websites with a layout and code.
In the third stage of writing a children’s book, I decided to change some of the occupations to provide a higher variety. I also examined each job, to capture the core function of each field. I continued to revise the story with a second draft and sought feedback. The feedback from family and friends was a great way to have outside opinions on what worked (or did not). Finally, I created the third draft. In the third draft, I attempted to write the story in a clear and simplified way.
I am happy with the progress that I have made so far, and look forward to performing final modifications and starting on the illustrations!
- Do you like the changes made to the occupations?
- What do you think of the story so far?
- Have any suggestions?