Insights from a Literary Agent: Children’s Writing

In case you missed you missed this week’s episode of the Serious Writer Podcast, here is a Cyle Young’s insight on Childrens Writing. As you read below and want to hear more on these topics and other topics, check out the Serious Writer Podcast (Available on Google Play, Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever podcasts are available).

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There’s a common misconception that every story needs to have some sort of moral lesson, but this isn’t true. This traditional takeaway has been something writers struggle with in order for their work to be seen as “good” or worth reading. There are no concrete answers when it comes down to how they should endow these characters.

But of course, you have to. The character needs some kind of journey that they embark on and demonstrate change throughout it all.

But kids are allowed to read a story just for fun!

There’s this idea in our society today where if we write stories geared towards children then those books have morals or teaching lessons at their end. You don’t necessarily need such heavy-handedness when writing something meant for entertainment.

It’s no secret that kids are hungry for entertainment. They can’t be bored, and they want to stay engaged in something interesting all day long. As a result, books must now provide more than just informational text; instead, authors should strive towards creating immersive worlds where young readers become fully immersed up until the very end! You’re competing against video games/phones etc., so stories need “something different.”

As a children’s author, one of the most important things you can do to keep your audience engaged and interested in what they’re reading is by making every word matter.

Kids have limited attention spans so it’s vital that when writing for this age group; instead of flowing into long sentences or paragraphs with an extensive vocabulary. Use simple words which will be easier on their brains!

I think it’s no surprise we’re seeing so much popularity in middle grades with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. These books are great for kids who need constant stimulation and don’t have the attention span to sustain long novels, but still want something more than just cartoons or comics.

Timestamps:

1:26 10 Tips for children’s writing
1:42 Moral Dilemma
2:58 Entertainment
4:45 Hangout with kids (Know Your audience)
10:39 Short and Sweet

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Written by Jake Rowe

March 8, 2022

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