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Last week I mentioned seven writing issues I noticed when reading a stack of children’s novels, that I wanted to warn you about. Since then, I’ve found some more! So here they are (on to something more positive next week, I promise):

girl reading
  1. Horrid priest. A mature Christian writer called me up on this one, many years ago, when I had a story critiqued. And she was absolutely right. Priests, minister, pastors and vicars, in real life, are very rarely horrid. Most of them are honest, kind people, desperately trying to do an excellent job in difficult circumstances. If you really, really have to have a nasty priest (and of course in real life there is the odd one), please balance it out by adding a decent, caring one somewhere else in your story. If your readers go away with the impression that church ministers are surly and mean, it could rob them of a shepherd at a time of need.
  2. Continuous bickering in families, that has nothing to do with the story. Stories where everyone is constantly getting on everyone else’s nerves are sooooooooo tedious to read… for adults at least. 🙂 So if you want parents to read to their children (and enjoy it!), by all means have the odd fight, or the odd person who is always nasty (if that’s part of the book), but please avoid the drip, drip nastiness that serves no purpose.
  3. Long speeches. Dialogue is a bit of an art; some writers find it easier than others. But if you’re writing for children, you do need to keep the dialogue flowing at speed. The younger the child, the shorter the exchanges need to be, in general. I have a brief writing tip on dialogue which you can find in the archives, which might help.
Janet Wilson

So there you go, three more things to beware of (*creepy voice*). Next week, some lovely things to inspire you, I promise!

Janet

3 More Things to Beware of when Writing Stories for Children

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