Writing for Children

THINKING BACK TO YOUR CHILDHOOD

For many novice writers, the desire to write for children springs from their enjoyment in making up stories for their own offspring.

Telling bedtime stories

Despite the influence of television and computers, bedtime in a comfortingly large number of families is still synonymous with storytime.

Parents still enjoy reading to their children, as they were read to when they were small and will jump at the chance to dig out their old favourites and introduce them to a brand new audience.

Sometimes, however, the stories need a little alteration. Perhaps the vocabulary is too difficult or the story rather frightening. We may feel a few changes are in order and before long, we are making up our own stories, replacing the leading characters with ourselves and our children.

Entertaining the family

Both child and parent gain a great deal from this exercise. The children enjoy being part of a nightly adventure and parents have fun letting their imagination run riot.

There may well come a point when an admiring relative or friend urges you to write these stories down and turn them into a book and if this is your intention, bear in mind that:

♦ family stories usually include lots of little personal asides and 'in' jokes

♦ the stories often feature incidents which are amusing only because they happened to family members

♦ telling stories to your own children is enjoyable because they understand and relate to your sense of humour.

Consequently, the very things about your stories which appeal to your own children may hold little or no interest for anyone outside your circle of family and friends.

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