4 min read

Don’t Sleep on Writing Bedtime Stories

Don’t Sleep on Writing Bedtime Stories

If you're itching to learn how to write a bedtime story that'll knock the socks off your readers and send them drifting off to dreamland with a smile on their faces, you've come to the right place. 

Bedtime stories are the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas, and the ultimate way to make a magical impact on your audience, whether they're little tykes or grown-ups who need a little help catching some z's.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of bedtime stories. Pretty soon, you’ll be knocking these out in your sleep.

Why Bedtime Stories Matter More Than Ever

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of crafting the perfect bedtime tale, let's talk about why these stories are so important. It's no secret that the world's a crazy place right now, and people of all ages are feeling the strain. 

Kids are dealing with all sorts of stressors and adults? Well, let's just say that a whopping 41% of US adults are grappling with high anxiety, according to a recent survey. And don't even get us started on the 18-29 crowd – 58% of them have experienced high levels of psychological distress at least once in the past few years. It's enough to make you want to crawl under the covers and never come out!

But fear not, friends, because that's where bedtime stories come in, like a knight in shining armor. These magical little tales can soothe frazzled nerves, calm racing thoughts, and transport listeners to a world where everything is as right as rain. And with the rise of sleep apps like Calm, Moshi, and Yours, it's clear that people are hungry for a little bedtime story action.

So, if you're ready to learn how to write a bedtime story that'll make a real difference in people's lives, buckle up and let's get started!

The Secret Sauce: What Makes a Bedtime Story Tick

Alright, so you're raring to go and write the bedtime story of the century. But before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you need to keep a few key ingredients in mind. 

Think of these as the secret sauce that'll take your story from snooze-fest to snooze-inducing (in the best way possible).

Keep It Short (Ish)

You don't want to write a tome that'll put your listeners to sleep before you even get to the good part. But you also don't want to write something so short that it barely registers as a story at all. 

The key is to find that sweet spot where your story is long enough to engage your audience and get them ready for some shut-eye but not so long that they start fidgeting and looking for an escape route.

Format Like a Boss

If you're writing a bedtime story for kids, you've got to format that thing like a boss. We're talking bright colors, interactive pages, and familiar places and characters that'll make your little listeners feel right at home. The goal is to create a story that's visually engaging and easy to follow, even for the littlest of littles.

Keep It Upbeat

The tone is everything in bedtime stories, so make sure yours is as engaging as a puppy with a new chew toy. Think onomatopoeia, similes, and personification – all those fancy literary devices that'll make your story pop. And if you can throw in a lost puppy finding his way home just in time for bed, that's just the cherry on top of the sundae.

Don't Forget the Life Lessons

Last but not least, every good bedtime story should teach a lesson. It doesn't have to be earth-shattering or profound – even a simple message about brushing your teeth or being kind to others can go a long way. The key is to weave that lesson into your story in a natural and not preachy way.

How to Write a Bedtime Story: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you know what makes a bedtime story tick, it's time to get down to brass tacks and actually write the dang thing. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Put Yourself in Your Listener's Shoes

Before you start writing, take a moment to put yourself in your listener's shoes. What would engage them and help them drift off to sleep by the time you hit that final page? Consider their age, interests, and attention span as you brainstorm ideas.

Step 2: Choose a Happy Theme and Plot

Nobody wants to go to bed with a head full of doom and gloom, so make sure your bedtime story has a happy theme and plot. Think uplifting, heartwarming, and just plain feel good.

Step 3: Pick Your Protagonist

Every great story needs a great protagonist, so choose yours wisely. Will it be a brave young kid, a talking animal, or something else? The key is to create a character your listeners can relate to and root for.

Step 4: Keep It Simple

When it comes to bedtime stories, less is often more. Resist the urge to throw in a cast of thousands and instead focus on a small group of core characters. Remember, you've only got a limited amount of time to tell your tale and get your listeners snoozing.

Step 5: Start with a Bang

Like any good story, your bedtime tale should start in medias res – that's fancy writer talk for "in the middle of the action." Don't waste time with lengthy, boring introductions. Instead, drop your readers right into the thick of things and let the adventure unfold.

Examples of Bedtime Stories That Hit the Mark

Need a little inspiration to get your creative juices flowing? Check out these classic bedtime stories that have stood the test of time:

"Goldilocks and the Three Bears"

This 19th-century British fairy tale follows a curious little girl with golden locks who stumbles upon an empty house in the woods. Hijinks ensue when the homeowners – a family of bears – return to find their porridge eaten, their chairs sat in, and their beds slept in.

"The Ugly Duckling"

This Danish fairy tale is a classic underdog story about a homely little duckling who's mocked and abandoned by his family. But after a year of searching for his place in the world, he discovers that he's not a duck at all – he's a beautiful swan.

"The Boy Who Cried Wolf”

Aesop's famous fable teaches the importance of honesty through the story of a young shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks his village into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. When a real wolf shows up, no one believes his cries for help.

"The Tortoise and the Hare"

Another Aesop classic, this story pits a slow-moving tortoise against a speedy hare in a race to the finish line. The moral of the story? Slow and steady wins the race.

"The Princess and the Pea"

Hans Christian Andersen's beloved fairy tale follows a prince on a quest to find a true princess to marry. When a young woman shows up at his castle claiming to be a princess, his mother devises a clever test involving a single pea placed under a stack of mattresses.

And there you have it–your crash course in how to write a bedtime story that'll have your listeners dreaming sweet dreams in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start spinning those yarns! 

And if you need extra motivation, just remember: the world needs more bedtime stories, and you've got the power to make that happen. Sweet dreams, and happy writing!

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