Writing for children I been told by some authors is easy peasy. I know I have brought up this topic a few times on this site. But I feel it bears repeating.
Today a fellow author and friend came to me in a frenzy. She was asked to conduct a writer’s conference. Her, being shy, asked me what should she talk about. She asked me specifically since my books are for children primarily and they will have a section on that.
My first answer was dialogue. You can’t dumb it down or go over their head. That is a sure fire way for them to drop your book and find another. Adults are more forgiving. We will give an author at least a chapter, maybe more, before we ditch it. Kids? Good luck with that.
But also they should comes with a great hook and an interesting plot. But you know what? You also need to do character development, setting, pace and everything else. This applies to all age and genres.
Why should kids not get the same criteria as adults do? Because their kids? Give me a break. They are readers. We want them to continue to be readers.
Majority of authors are readers. Yes, I have met some authors who don’t read. I had a, “What the hell?”, moment. But most authors are. We started young and grew into avid and compulsive readers. Why did we continue? Because we came across books and authors who knew how to write for our age group.
That has not changed. Kids deserves the same steps and levels that a book for other ages go through.
If you are still saying, “Come on now, Sharon, their kids.” Well I say, “Don’t your kids or grandchildren who read deserve that?’
If you short change them because of their age you are doing them a huge disservice. But not only that. If that is your attitude you might want to try a new genre.