Writing Children’s Books: My New Diploma!

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Lisa Thomas Writing News | 0 comments

With a passion for writing children’s books I decided it was time to take the next step.  I am pleased to announce I have now completed a Diploma in Writing Books for Children. And here are a vast array of certificates to prove it:

 

Certificate One 

Awarded by the IANLPC

(International Association of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching)

Writing children's books, IANPLC Certificate

 

Certificate Two

Awarded by the CoE

(Centre of Excellence online)

Writing children's books, CoE Certificate

Certificate Three

Awarded by the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists

Writing children's books, Certificate

Writing Children’s Books: why take a course?

So, the first question a lot of people have asked me when I mentioned that I had enrolled onto this diploma program was, “why do you need to do a course on writing children’s books? All you’ve got to do is write.”  Well, saying “just write” to a writer is like saying “just play for Man U” to a young footballer trying to get into the game…it’s just not that simple.  I mean, have you seen how many kids books there are to choose from?  It is pretty much impossible to come up with a completely unique idea now and on top of that, there are so many writers out there, established ones and new ones trying to get their work published.  On top of this, I had little knowledge of the publishing process and even less knowledge of self-publishing which is becoming ever more popular these days. As I didn’t really understand the benefits and draw-backs of either traditional publishing or self-publishing, I had no idea what route I was going to take.  So that is why I took this course, to develop my knowledge in areas where I am (well was) weaker and to strengthen my skills in things like planning stories and creating characters.

 

Writing Children’s Books: what I learnt

This course was broad, diverse and very interesting. Over 14 modules I was given detailed information on every aspect of the writing process, including:

  • The secrets to good storytelling
  • How to create compelling characters, including writing in-depth character profiles
  • Planning a story through writing a good outline first
  • Looking at the beginning and middle of chapters and stories
  • Understanding how to close a chapter effectively
  • Plot problems and how to overcome them
  • Writing horror stories for children
  • Writing mystery stories for children
  • Writing ‘Middle-Grade’ books
  • Writing and selling picture books
  • A personal, 7 day plan to help focus and push forward the story
  • Building an author platform
  • Traditional Publishing vs Self-Publishing

At the end of each of the fourteen modules were some assignments to ensure I fully understood the content, at the end of the course I also had to complete some final writing tasks. These content of these assignments and the final task were varied, from writing short stories, to creating in-depth character profiles and writing essays explaining the importance of author platforms or explaining my preference between traditional and self-publishing.  To give you an idea how much work this involved for me, my word count for all of my assignments (which includes the final writing tasks) came to 21,914 words, which I;m quite surprised at as I thought it would be more (it felt like more!)

 

So what now?

Well now, I would of course like to write and publish my very own picture book. In fact I already have a picture book written and ready to go (here’s one I made earlier), all I need to do now is decide whether to self-publish or try to find an agent/publisher…and then move forward, which at the moment is a very scary thought for me.  Regardless of whether I ever do anything with this picture book (or with this qualification) my four year old daughter seems to love my picture book, she’s read it a few times now and seems to really engage with my characters, which has made it completely and totally worth it!

 

 

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