When it comes to children’s stories, the word count varies, depending on the type of book you want to write. For picture books, a good goal is under 500 words, but the shorter the better. Emergent readers have only 32 words. In easy readers, the word count depends on the level you are writing. Level one is usually 200 words. A typical level three can range from 800 to 1200 words. In chapter books, the range increases anywhere from 5000 to 25,000. A good minimum goal for middle grade novels is 30,000 words and the upper into the 60,000. The young adult or teen novels start from 40,000 and go up.
A good investment is to buy a Children’s Writer’s Word Book. It contains word lists grouped by grade. The internet and educational TV have had a great impact on children’s vocabulary. Children often comprehend more than they can articulate, but if we communicate below their level they become bored. This book helps ease the writer into their world that they can understand. Another good tool is to sit down at the mall or the playground and listen to children talk. Visit the library and see what books are popular with the level you wish to write.
In this fast-paced world, you must capture your audience right away. Always start out with a good hook. Let your reader see, feel, taste, smell your story through your main character. Children like to pretend they are the character. Make it worth their time.