Saturday, August 11, 2012

Like a Child

To be a children's writer you need to think and write like a child.

A member of my critique group that meets every week tells me, "I like how you write. You think like a child."

I said, "Thank you."

I took it as a compliment. In order to write successfully for children, you need to write and think like a child. Sometimes that is hard to do, especially if all your children have grown up.
You need to watch, listen and learn when around the younger set. Visit playgrounds, volunteer at schools, hang out with nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

I don't have any grandchildren yet, so I guess I can hang out with other people's grandchildren.

I have a book that is great! It is titled, Kids Say the Darndest Things! by Art Linkletter.

There are a lot of ideas inside the covers of this book. In fact, when I picked it up a while ago I came across a fantastic statement made by a kid. I instantly had a new picture book idea.

Want some ideas? Here are a few precious quips taken from the book.

How would you change your parents?
"I'd make them both my size. I don't like big people!"

"If I could have a wish, I wish I had a giant chicken so big it could hatch the world."

Is your mother with you today?
"Yes, she's the lady in the front row there with the run in her stocking."

In a barber shop the other day a six year old came in alone, climbed up on a vacant barber chair and piped: "Give me a haircut like my Dad's - with a hole on top."

Kids! They do say the dardnest things!

Children use a part of their mind that produces poets, inventors, painters, musicians, writers and day dreamers. They surprise you with their wisdom and remarks. They are full of imagination and curiosity and are sometimes wise beyond their years.

As writers for children, we need to use that part of our mind. . . and go forth and create!

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Creative Writing in the Blackberry  Patch


  1. Fortunately, we don't have to have kids or grandkids to think like kids. The most important thing for me is to tap into the child I was. Exposure to them every now and then is a great reminder, though.

  2. Great advice! It's funny I focus on PBs because I have Pre-K kids. Maybe I would be better at MG, but I feel too distant from that group. I hung out with an 8 year-old this weekend, and she said I was very uncool :) Oh, dear.

  3. Good advice. I don't write for kids, but I think a major part of writing for any age is seeing the same old thing in a new, fresh way. Much like a kid would seeing something new for the first time.


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