Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Writing For Children

I don't believe writing is easy and I do believe writing for children is the most difficult of all. I have often wondered why I want to write for children. Why this market above any other?

The reason I strive to write for children is not because I want to have a lasting effect on children's lives. Yes, I remember reading the Narnia books and Enid Blyton stories when I was younger and I loved them. I look fondly back at these stories, which remind me of my childhood. But, that is not why I want to write for children.

It is not even the desire to see myself published, although it would be lovely to see all my hard work appreciated by others. I'm already published. OK it’s not my children's fiction, but I've experienced the thrill of seeing my words in print and the majority of the time it was a horrible anti-climax.

I think the true reason I want to write for children is because I believe I understand children and how their minds work. I've always had an interest in Psychology. I did a degree in behavioural sciences, which means I do have a basic understanding of developmental stages, but it is more than this. I think I am more in tune with children's emotions and imaginations than I am with adults.

Maybe, I have never grown up and I am still very child-like or childish myself. It is true; I've had my fair share of tantrums and setbacks. Again, I think it is more than this. I don't like long flowery language and long descriptions. I find them boring. So the vocabulary I use naturally leans towards being more simple and easier to understand, which is more suited for the younger reader. I love short paragraphs and lots of dialogue and definitely feel that dialogue is my strength.

Also, I have a very short attention span so tend to write in short, sharp bursts, which i think is more suited to writing for the younger age range. However, the most important reason I want to write novel for children is I love the challenge.

So, if you know why you have chosen to write in your particular genre or age group, whether it is for children or adults, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.


Anil said...

I quite understand your reasons for writing for children. Eventually, the voice you use is the voice you best identify with. I find the same joy in writing travel pieces. I write what I would like to narrate to a friend after returning from a trip. And to see it in words relaxes me because I now know that my memory of the trip will remain even if the years pass and dull the details. To know that I can always return to the piece I wrote years ago and relive the moment anew is the most satisfying feeling I get from my writing.

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

Hi Anil,
This is wonderful. I think being able to relive an experience is amazing and to be able to write so imaginatively that you can re-stimualte all the senses is something I strive to do. Thanks for sharing this with me. Is there a website or blog where I could read some of your writing?