Stories are eternal. They make you happy, they make you leap and they make you cry too. Writers have penned bed time stories for children since time immemorial. Even in the present times children’s stories rule the world.
How can we forget the success of the bespectacled, lanky boy who flies over the clouds on the back of a big bird – Harry Potter!
My personal experience is that stories are the best way to connect with children. If your son is in primary school and you see him developing bad habits, tell him a story. If you see your college-going daughter grow up with rudeness in her behavior, tell her a story. Stories provide solutions at every stage of life.
Don’t preachers tell you stories when you are in your fifties?
If you want to become a successful storyteller of children, the best way is to understand the child psychology. What do they like? What can move them? A tale involving their school? Or one in which a monster has got on the nerves of the villagers? Or another one, wherein a simple, tiny looking, bespectacled girl defeated a wicked fairy by applying a common trick?
Create queer characters, imagine weird looking locations, weave nail biting situations….and….ABRACADABRA……a story will appear from amidst the smoke.
Let’s see what it takes to become a children’s story writer and how worth is it to become one.
Short Bed Time Stories Are Useful Tools
Stories are like tools in your hand. Mend your child as you like. Use them to:
Sometimes you feel your daughter should get to doing promptly a task you asked her to do. But she doesn’t. Her lackadaisical attitude irks you.
I’m suggesting not to get angry. Teach her from example. Tell her bed time stories – motivating ones, without letting her know you’ve a purpose. I bet the story, if it interests her, will make her more obedient to you provided you have the right storytelling skill.
Without doubt, concentration and focus are the offsprings of interest. The amount of interest you can create is a function of your storytelling ability. It is the moral and binding duty of all children’s’ story writers to turn the focus of their audience in the right direction.
As an in-person storyteller, my own concentration is not very good. Sometimes my cellphone rings or somebody rings the doorbell and I lose focus. However, my audience never allows me that. “What happened thereafter? Why don’t you continue?” I definitely hear such words whenever my attention goes astray.
Teach Sincerity and Moral Values
A kid who does not pay heed to anybody, sits down calmly near a storyteller and waits eagerly to hear what happens next. This is an ideal point to teach sincerity to the children. No wonder, obedience starts from there and that’s the key to many a virtue.
It’s my personal experience when I play a storyteller, my nephew starts guessing what will happen after an event and what might be the mystery. Thus, stories give kids space to think and imagine. Creativity follows spontaneously.
Elements of Interesting Bed Time Stories for Children
More than in any class of tales, it’s short stories for children that need a hook from the word go. Because it’s goddamn hard to make a bored child follow you, it’s very wise to start the tale with a bang. For example:
“The wicked magician looked at the little boy and observing there was not a soul nearby at that hour of the evening, advanced slowly towards him with his magic stick hanging by his waist.”
Remember Dobby, in the movie Harry Potter – the wide-faced, gloomy eyed, frustrated, old and withered looking virtuous creature – the faithful servant of Harry Potter? What a wonderful portrayal of a peculiar character it was! I think you’ve picked up already whatever I was willing to state. Yeah, that’s it.
Surprise Situations –
Here lies the actual acumen of the writer. How can she conceive intriguing situations? How is the writer going to depict that the war between good and evil is a fight to the end? What will make the tale end quite unpredictably? These are the ultimate factors for success of the plot for a bed time story.
Twist in the Story –
These are the points where the tale takes an about- turn or a ninety-degree, abrupt twist. The reader is expecting something to happen. At this moment, the story informs him about a third possibility in the situation. This is also one of the main factors for the success of your plot.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Write Bed Time Short Stories for Children
Step-0- Audience and Genre
Think of your potential audience – is it a bedtime story that parents will lull to their kids? Or is it one for 7-10 year olds? May be it’s for teens wherein you have to put in more of mysterious elements.
For this, first visualize your readers. Think of some known faces and imagine them listening to the story from you in person. Thereafter, decide the genre – are they willing to hear a fairy tale, or a voyage story or whatever.
Step-1 – Sketch Your Characters
A bed time story is never complete without lots of bizarre characters. Depending on your audience, choose your characters from the variety of queer, realistic, positive, negative, ominous, auspicious, earthly, super-natural, beautiful, ugly, well built, weak, coward, brave, lovable, disgusting … and so on.
All your events would occur at one or more imaginary locations. So, decide the spots which would suit your genre and plot. Make your characters meet at the location decided by you.
Step-3- The Plot
To set a nail biting plot, start with a simple idea and go on creating complications into it. So much so that the situation becomes a tricky one. The situation could be funny, mysterious, dreadful – anything that connects to children.
Step-4- Go to the Extreme Point in the Situation
The extreme point must lie so far that a solution looks impossible to the kids, your audience.
Step-5- Give Some Hope
A solution, emerging from nowhere, suddenly appears possible. Something still interrupts and fights against the solution.
Step-6- The End
The solution proves much bigger and the problem disappears. The story ends at a happy note.
Examples of Start, Twist and End
Little Dibboo could not forget the events that happened the night before. The next day he got up late in the morning. He found all the doors open in his house and there was nobody out there. Dibboo was all alone.
Rondura rabbit’s heart pumped like a fish out of water. Lion, the king of the jungle was slowly marching towards it. Prior to this, the crowd of animals that had gathered in the distance was witnessing the scene in fear and awe. The big beast came near the rabbit, stood exactly over it, turned towards the animal crowd and said in a roaring voice, “Rondura is my family hereafter. Nobody dare touch him. Everybody remember….”
The fairy gave them lots of riches. So, the happy parents bought a beautiful house beside the lake. Julia, her parents and her lovely puppy Max lived happily ever after.
The Practical Way of Conceiving Bed Time Stories for Kids
I have always maintained in my previous writing tips that it’s a good trick to learn from the maestros of the art. Here I remind you of three great stories and expanding in a similar way you can include other greats in your personal list and keep learning from them.
Alice in Wonderland
Alice grows too big by eating the ‘EAT ME’ cake – so big that her large tears form a pool wherein Alice starts drowning. What do you get from here? Imagine far and wide. That’s how you write kids’ stories.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
How could human beings be different had they been of about 5-10 inch size? We learn about Liliputians in the fascinating tale of Gulliver’s Travels. Jonathan Swift had quoted he wanted to vex the world and that he had penned Gulliver’s Travels with that intention. When you read deep into the book you will find it was a rare mix of imagination and sarcasm of the human beings’ false pride.
Needless to say, J K Rowling was already a famous name before “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone” people all over the world started taking notice of the writer only after the movie became a box-office breaker.
The book got filmed into 7 more sequels. What were the elements of success? Magic spells, surprise sequences, victory of good over evil, queer characters and many more breathtaking events make it a real block buster children’s story.
Start Writing Short Stories for Children Now
Summarizing, let’s create a story format to write our short stories for children now:
Decide in the very beginning, the age group for which you are going to write.
Once you have identified your audience name the characters, jot down their looks, nature, queerness and anything else you can.
Now, you need to create a main situation and some more occurrences resulting from the main situation.
Outline the possible solutions for the problems depicted in the situations.
In contrast to the above, mark the major forces that come in the way of the solution.
Draw the battle lines of solutions vs. hindrances, brainstorm a trick played by the hero.
The end should be happy as it’s a children’s story – may be a moralistic one.
I Bet You’ll Enjoy Writing Children’s Bed Time Stories
If you are not still a children’s bed time story writer I bet you’ll enjoy being one. This is because there are little constraints. You can write anything that comes to your mind and your innocent audience will never fiddle with the logic of your sequences.
However, let me warn you too that writing a children’s story is no child’s play. They won’t question your reasoning but that doesn’t make your tale a popular one. The simple formula is to entertain more and gain more.
Nonetheless, freedom of imagination makes the job of a writer of bed time stories very interesting.
So, enjoy writing and entertain the little souls. This is the best job on the earth.