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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What kind of writer are you? The Children's Author

The Children's Author -boy did these writers pick a difficult genre to write for.  This past birthday, my eldest son found a gift for me that was truly unique.  He signed me up to an online Children's Writing Course.  Even though my current writing is aimed at a slightly higher age than children, I have found that this course applies to any new writer.

Children's Books are generally categorized into Pre-School (which includes infant and nursery books for children under 7 years old); Over 7 (which includes children from 7 to 11 years old); and Teenager/Young Adult books for those children over 11 years old.  Of course, different publishers may change or rename these categories, but they do follow a similar categorization.

Needless to say, the basic rules of writing must still apply for whatever type of writing you do.  That is to say Setting, Characterization/Dialogue, Plot, Theme and Storyline are all critical.  The largest market for Children's Books are romance stories for young girls.  However, fantasy and science fiction are also popular now, and even for boys.  So pick a category, find out if there is a market, and start writing for the age bracket you want - keeping in mind that your main character should be about the same age as your audience.

Now, I'm sure you are thinking that to be a good children's book writer, you must have the mind of a child or possibly even act like one.  Not so.  I sincerely think that as long as you haven't got Dementia or Alzheimer's (of course, you wouldn't know it if you had them), and can still recall your time as a child, this should suffice.

I am currently writing a series of books, which might be described as auto-biographic, that are made up of numerous short stories from my early childhood.  I am writing them from the perspective of my age in the various stories/chapters, but even so, I consider them primarily for young adults and adults in the same age bracket as me (let's just say I'm over 50).

I am actually having a lot of fun writing these 'memoirs', but have found it challenging to keep my momentum and motivation going over the past few months, but even this topic has been covered in detail.  This course has also given me valuable information to become a professional writer and re-enforced my resolve to keep writing.

Next week - The Speechwriter