Let's face it, nobody really wants to grow up do they? Admittedly, many adults find joy in reading children's books to their kids- the stories we read our kids always carry a resonating life-lesson either about how to be kind or have fun and not take life too seriously. If you're a children's writer, have you considered how your youthful themes can be translated into lessons for life for people of all ages?
Think about famous, best-selling children's author and illustrator Dallas Clayton. In his book, It's Never Too Late, Clayton takes a whimsical, child-like approach to these very topics. If Clayton is good at anything, it's being sweet and sensitive to the issues that we all share throughout life no matter our age. Try our tips to create an outline that offers readers a more playful way to approach the serious matters of life!
Two way street to generating a theme for the book
You can foster an authentic idea by creating an illustrated outline board based on themes from your own childhood. If you've already written a children's book, you may be familiar with translating life's themes into age-appropriate language. Consider how these themes affect adults today. Ask yourself if you want a multi-themed book or if you want to focus on one idea. Is it about getting over fears, whether or not you're reaching your true potential, can you give career advice by illustrating and discussing how you once thought about what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Or, you can think of it in reverse. What are the serious themes that adults deal with today? Can you take the hard edges off of these big issues adults face by putting them into more gentle, creative, youthful terms? Think about how CEOs stress out about their self-esteem and other people's opinions or how busy parents never stop to smell the roses. It may be more fruitful to create your vision board with imagery first, then the accompanying story later.
Either way, imagery is key. Studies show that adults benefit from colorful imagery from improving sleep and mood to overall wellbeing. The Journal of Psychiatry Research just published a study confirming that positive affect and optimism have been linked to uplifting, colorful imagery.
Most of us would admit we're still inspired by a book from our youth. Pull out those successful children's book and see how you can infuse that spirit into a best seller for adults!
Keep the Faith and may the Force be with You!