iUniverse Blog wrote to author Rebecca Linam on seeing that her book, Alex the Great, had just achieved our Editor’s Choice and Rising Star awards. We asked Rebecca whether she would like to contribute to the Blog and, well, here is the first part of the great stuff she came up with.
iUniverse author, Rebecca Linam on writing children’s novels
“Some of the most helpful things I’ve run across when writing children’s novels are things that I wrote when I was a child. I started writing books in the second grade, and although the first ones were construction paper held together with glue, it does give me a clue as to what was important to me as a child. If you haven’t already destroyed all your diaries and journals from when you were in school, these can also give you insight into the mind of a child or young adult. Even old school assignments can give your memory a jog. Maybe that fifth-grade essay will remind you of that teacher everyone avoided.
Children have a different perspective than adults on what is important. For example, that bully who lives down the street is just as serious to a kid as that guy who always tries to one-up you at your current job. They’re both annoying and both kind of scary, depending on the circumstances. Having primary sources straight from your own childhood can give your characters some real depth.”
“If you don’t have any of these resources, take a few minutes to sit and remember the types of things you did as a kid. Or better yet, call someone up and talk about “back in the day.” Think of the peculiarities you had as a child. Were you a picky eater? Did you hate wearing dress shoes? Did you always insist on a certain brand of sliced cheese for your sandwich? Did your brother always annoy the heck out of you by breathing through his mouth? Combining some of these same characteristics (and exaggerating a bit) can make for some realistic, three-dimensional characters that leap off the page, so to speak.
Finally, don’t worry about being too old-fashioned. Modern-day kids can always be observed for the hot new toys and lingo. Their trends might be different and more technologically advanced, but deep down inside, kids are pretty universal; they’re little people in a big world, and growing up can have some scary challenges that every child must face.”
In this first blog from iUniverse Rising Star author Rebecca Linam we have had some impressive insights into writing for children so look out for more good stuff from Rebecca coming soon.