Originally I was going to self publish an informative eBook on Amazon to do with all things self publishing for item 15 of my 30 Things project, but then I had a much better idea. Why not visit my old school and create a children's series instead. Everyone thinks it's easy to write for children - few words, nice story, bright illustrations - after all, we were all kids once right. Yet there's actually a lot more to it than that. The words have to be the right words and by "right" I mean a whole definition of things. And the pictures have to be stimulating enough to hold a child's very short attention span whilst telling a story all by themselves. Far from being the most easy, it's probably one of the most difficult genres to write for. Not being a parent yet myself, I was also interested to learn that every age group has a graduated reading and writing ability but often this is so slight, you might miss it. For example, I presumed Year 1s and Year 2s (ages 5 to 7) would all be at the same level give or take a few pupils. This graduation was highlighted to me when I looked back through the stories and pictures each class had worked on for our children's series. Getting them involved meant I had live, hot off the press research in my hands. They were basically teaching me what I needed to know about writing for their age groups!
I don't know much about teaching but I do know (from playing with my nephews and nieces) that it has to be interactive because kids get bored. So I devised a story creation selection process. Volunteers from each class had to select elements out of a hat to build their particular story and this developed the backbone of the story. I wrote down each element on the white board to keep track. To illustrate, these were the building blocks:
BOY OR GIRL OR TWINS (Reception to choose only)
NAME (Reception to choose only)
ANIMAL / INSECT
WONDER / LANDMARK / FAMOUS SITE
Reception had the most important job of all because they were deciding the main character - what gender, what name... then later what hair colour, what eye colour etc etc
And so... Georgie's Fabulous Adventures were born!
Here are some of the stories and pictures I'm now going to work with and magically mock up into first proofs whilst the kids are on their summer holidays.
As this particular publishing journey of mine develops, I'll be sure to update you.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.