Writing for middle grade readers: The ups & downs
Writing novels for middle grade writers can be both fun and challenging. The biggest challenge facing children’s authors is finding tricks to beat our reader’s short attention spans. You know what kids are like. One minute they’re playing with a toy. The next they’re pulling their sister’s hair and blaming each other!
Kids are smart, too smart, and our poor adult brains strain to stay one step ahead of them. Us middle grade authors need to be sneakier when we weave in lessons and themes because middle graders can smell a moral a mile away. We must push aside that annoying, analytical adult voice in our heads and think like a kid. And if that’s not enough, middle graders demand fast-paced plots, loads of action and excitement to keep them reading! *wipes forehead*
Challenges aside, writing for children and reading middle grade books is incredibly rewarding. Nothing compares to seeing their faces light up when you read to them, to hear how much they enjoyed the book, what it means to them and who their favorite characters are and why. And the best is, I can bring out my inner child, laugh at all my own jokes and marvel at the limitless of my imagination.
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