Wednesday, October 16, 2002

writing for children

Nikki and I are planning to submit stories to a Short Story for Children competition whose deadline is November 5. However, since we are flying off next week, we need to finish, edit, polish and print our entries and have them notarized. Nikki has all her work done and I... I haven't even finished my story!

I'm thinking of a girl with fire for hair who is sadly condemned to live in the sea. But thinking is not writing.

Apart from the less than accomodating circumstances for writing (busybusybusy), I find myself paralyzed by certain notions I have about writing for children. The last thing I want to do is to "talk down" to them, because I recall as a youngster how I reviled books that had that certain condescending manner. But I also do not think that my normal mode is accessible enough. Part of my style involves ridiculous run-on sentences with many a clause interposed, contributing sense only if the reader has enough stamina to get through the entire thing. Well, not really, but other things like vocabulary words and such have become issues for me. And yet, I know well enough never to underestimate the capacity of children to comprehend things adults assume are beyond them. Gah. What to do.

And it does not help that the target age range is 6-12! 6-12! That's a funky range! A six-year-old will not necessary enjoy something written for a 12-year-old. So what's the plan? Write for the midrange of 9? I suppose I'll have to.

Or I could just any story I damn well like and submit that, for as long as the content is appropriate, right?

Write.

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