Writing for Children

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts and comments lately with writers talking about why they write for children.  They usually say that they still feel their inner children, or that books were so important to them during those formative years.

Those are great reasons.  Books were certainly important to me when I was growing up.  I devoured books from the time I started reading.  From Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew through Agatha Christie.  In high school my dad made me get the reading list for my grade from the library each year.  I had to read books on the list and write book reports for him.  I don’t know why he needed that extra proof considering that I was a good kid and a good student, and would have read them simply because he told me to.

Anyway, I may write because I love to read and I feel that I, too, have something to say.  But I don’t think I write for kids because of how much I loved books when I was a kid.  There’s just something about MG and YA books that really speaks to me.  There are someone awesome MG and YA books out there and I just enjoy them so much, that I want to be a part of that too.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am a teacher, and writing for children helps me tap into that part of myself (without being pedantic, of course).  I love the idea of teaching children a small piece of the world I have experienced, a world beyond familiar and comfortable borders.

So why do you write, and why for kids?

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8 Comments

Filed under Reading, The rest of my life, writing

8 responses to “Writing for Children

  1. I like writing MG and YA because there are some circumstances of growing up that are particularly fascinating to me. Also, there’s such a wealth of great books to read…I never get bored.

  2. Catherine Johnson

    I have some child-like qualities and empathy with a lot of what kids go through 🙂 I adored a good children’s story when I was younger and found more magic in stories than my brother or sister did.

  3. I love writing for kids because I remember the feeling as a child of finding a wonderfully written and illustrated book that I connected with. I want to provide this same feeling for other children and aid in letting their imaginations soar.

    Jenny Lee Sulpizio
    Author of “Mommy Whispers”

  4. Gail

    I love writing for kids because I love children! I am a teacher and part of me wants to help children learn about and cope with their world through literature. The other part of me loves to read well written kid lit and I write it because I relate to children so easily and writing for kids comes so naturally. I want to give them an expierence they may not have had, yet.

  5. I actually didn’t set out to write for kids. I fell in love with writing teen characters–they are at such a malleable stage in character growth–potential and danger all in one. If an adult is impulsive and stupid, they are impulsive and stupid, but a teen is just a teen and can learn from it. There is more emotional range without having to make the whole character a prototype… And I love STORIES where the authority is wrong (or evil), and what better protagonist against THAT than a teenager who hasn’t quite internalized societal norms? 4 of my first 5 books were written FOR adults, but starring teens before I decided to intentionally write a YA. Now I think those early ones deserve a revisit though, as i think I have a better chance if I revise them for a teen market.

  6. I can’t not write 🙂 I’ve been doing it since I was 5… So maybe that’s why I like to write MG/YA, because I was writing stories at the same time as I was first reading MG/YA. Even now, my characters come to me as teenagers and only in the middle of the first draft do I find out whether they’re young or old enough for the book to be a Romance [g]

  7. I wrote my three main reasons for writing for kids/teens in a post last month, all of which you mention, but since then I’ve added a fourth, from agent Molly Jaffa: because “everything happening to him or her seems like it could have a profound effect on shaping who he or she is as a human being. Every emotion is amplified; every choice holds extra weight.”

  8. Only reason I wrote something for my kids was because they wouldn’t stop hounding me!! LOL. “Gee Mom, when are you gonna write something we can acutally read?!” And honestly, I’m glad I did. It was fun.

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