How to Write a Children’s Book Book Excerpt

Mining Continued

In the last excerpt from the How to Write a Children’s Book book, I walked you through the first part of the mining process.

In this section, we move on to the second part of mining which is one of the most important parts of the writing process: choosing.

Here’s another excerpt for you:

 To continue the mining process, we are going to – dare I say it – choose only three. Only three items on your list will make it through to the next round. But, dear writer, you cannot just choose your favorites. Oh, no. They have to meet certain criteria.


 The items you select from your list must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must have more to say on the subject.
  2. You must be interested in writing about the topic.
  3. It must be easy to write.

More to Say

 During the continued mining session, you might have found yourself spending more time on one item than the others. The details came you to quickly and easily. You may have even stopped filling in the details because there were far too many. If you had an item like that, choose it to move on to the next round. You clearly have more to write about this item.


 If you found yourself thinking about a particular item after your ten-minute mining session concluded, you might have another candidate to move on to the next round. Perhaps, you wrote something on your list that is an area of expertise for you or is a hobby of yours. If it can easily be translated into teachable content for children, then bingo! It makes it to the next round.

Easy to Write

 The subject of your book must be easy for you to write. If there is research or planning involved in an item on your list, skip it for now. You’ve got your whole life to work on the other items, but right now is your time to finish a book.  

 Choose the items that feel like you could write it in a day. Find the story subjects that seem to write themselves. Those make it to the next round.

Thanks for reading this preview section. If you enjoy what you’re reading, you may want to check out the How to Write a Children’s Book course on Skillshare and Udemy.

If you’ve already taken the class, please let other students how it’s going by leaving a review or a comment in the class. If you’ve finished your children’s story, let me know! That’s a big deal! Tell everyone!

Children’s Book Map

Photo by cottonbro on

After publishing four children’s books and writing 15 or so other children’s stories that have yet to published, I have finally found a good system that works for me.

This is not a technical guide to publishing or story writing.

This is a way to take the guess work out of mapping out your children’s picture book.

Since the only place I like fluff is on my dog, let’s dive right in.

This is exactly how I wrote my last book, and how I intend to write them going forward.

While I call this a template, it is really just a numbered list. You can easily make this in Pages, Word, Open Office or similar word processing programs. You can also use pen and paper.

Number Your Document 1–32

These numbers represent pages. You need your book to be 32 pages for a couple of reasons that are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Just stick to 32 pages in the beginning.

Beside the numbers, label as follows:

Page 1 — Title + Author/Illustrator Credit + Copyright Statement + ISBN

Page 2 — Blank

Page 3 — Dedication

Page 4 — Blank

Pages 5 through 27 — Story

Page 28 — Blank

Page 29 — Ending Image/The End Statement

Page 30 — Blank

Page 31 — Author’s Note + Other Books

Page 32 — Blank

By knowing exactly how many pages I had to work with, I was able to make sure my main character visited supporting characters equally and my character’s reflection scenes always land on the same page.

This makes the books familiar to young readers even when they are new.

Having this plan makes me feel like I know exactly what I am doing when I’m writing. I know exactly where I am going because of this list that takes only a moment to make.

It’s my hope that this bit of structure will give you the feeling of safety it gives me.

I have never felt so cool.

This is a member’s only magazine in which I am F E A T U R E D! Can you believe this? So stinking cool!

My friends, Hether and Kayla, have this wonderful membership site that is all about self-care. They have a 3-month trial package offered at discount, so you can take a look around and see if their place is a good fit for you.

They definitely overdeliver every time. I highly recommend you take a look around if you’ve been looking for ways to take care of yourself, learn more about everything else, and find people like yourself who are interested in being healthy and a real person at the same time.

Local Artists for Hire

Here is a short list of Nashville artists that are available for freelance and contract work.

“But, Barbara,” you might be thinking, “why are you sharing this list on your personal blog? Is this affiliate scheme?”

No, dear reader. I just happen to find myself abundant in connections lately, and I wanted to share. So, here’s the list: – graphic design and illustration – graphic design and photography – illustration and set design