“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
― Satchel Paige
There’s a lot to be said for celebrating your inner child. For those of us who write fiction, the ability to celebrate all stages of our growth and development, as well as recalling the joy, humiliations and growing pains of a life long experience is essential.
Sometimes writers tell me they don’t know what the “experts” mean when they admonish newbie writers to “write what your know”.
Of course I have been writing for a while now, and sometimes I forget that there is too much to learn on the front end, and you can’t possibly know or even figure out everything you’re supposed to know without a few tips from your friends.
So for now, I can only address one type of genre writing. Let’s go with adults writing for children. I pick this since you don’t often hear about children writing for adults–tongue firmly planted in cheek!
Do you remember what it was like to be a child? Here’s a few tips to jog the memory:
- You were very likely the shortest person in the room, or a midget in the land of giants
- Parents, and other adults were quick to give conflicting information
- An excuse for not sharing things you already knew was “because I said so”
- you commonly heard your mother whispering to the neighbor, “I’ll tell you later” and waiting for you to go inside or away, anyplace where you couldn’t hear them talking
- You wanted to do something and the answer was “maybe” and if you pressed for a “yes”, it was always “no”.
It’s easy to take the right path down memory lane. You can even take a trip to any venue which caters to families, and watch how adults treat children. As if they were second class citizens, or didn’t have the capability to see what was happening right in front of them.
Amazing how often we underestimate the little guys.
My parents were as guilty as any other set of parents I knew to observe at this age. When I was the shortest person in the room I was commonly frustrated by my parents lack of regard for my intelligence and their inability to realize so many other adults spoke without filters in front of children.
So this may be some insight as to how we, as adults write for children. Been there, done that.