Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it isn’t, but for those of you out there writing….. Writing adult books is easy. I know, you all shake your head and say she’s cracked. Maybe I am. I am a writer after all. No one with any brains is a writer. But honestly, writing adult fiction is easy. You are, after all, an adult. You think like one, act like one (hopefully), and you write like one.
Now, before I continue, I do have to mention that as I have yet to create any decent plots with my adult fiction, there are some plot holes with what I am saying. But bear with me.
The reason I say that writing adult fiction is easy is well, try writing a children’s book. Try to think like a child. Try to write like a child thinks.
It isn’t easy, is it?
I have committed myself, and by committed I mean admitting myself to a sanitarium…., to being a children’s book author. I honestly do not know where that came from. No, really. When I thought about writing, I thought romance novels. I enjoy reading them, so why not write them. Yet somehow, the course my life has and is taking me is in the direction of children’s picture books. PICTURE BOOKS! Seriously I have no idea where that all came from. It was honestly by accident that I wrote a children’s book. And then another, and another after that. I was never planning on going that way at all.
I finally admitted it to my mother a while back, and since then, it’s congealed in my brain as being what I am doing. What I am actually doing.
However. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking. It really is kind of hard to write a children’s book, and write it in a way that a child will understand the language. I have to, gasp, use short sentences and words. I can’t have these rambling paragraph sized sentences with five obscure words in them. I can’t even use standard every day big words. I have to in a sense, regress. Revert myself to a time when I thought a little more simply.
It is work.
I spent a whopping five minutes working on something the other day before I got distracted by pretty clouds. Please, insert the ‘squirrel’ joke from UP into this paragraph. The irony is I was writing a children’s book about a dog. Anyways, I sat there tapping my pen totally blank on how to get from one point to another and keep it from being too wordy. Because, there is a word limit to picture books. You can’t have it really over 500 words. And that is really pushing it. Actually I think the standard is maximum 300. That’s not even a decent article in a newspaper. Again, you would think it would be easy.
It’s not. But then, I’ve never tried my hand at flash fiction, and if you think about it, a picture book is kind of like that. You are limited to a limited amount of words, and you have to get your whole plot out there. It’s not like writing a chapter. You have to have that beginning, middle, end thing going for you.
Yet. Yet. It is incredibly rewarding to finish a book like that. I’m sure it will be even more rewarding if I ever get the darn things published. And despite my complaints, because that is what they are, on how hard they are to write, my mind is constantly thinking of different things to write a children’s book about. I have so many ideas jotted down in books, (journals and notebooks). I’m forever coming up with some new idea that a phrase has jumped out and started a train of thought with me. Living in the country and on a farm, I am mostly exposed to animal related things, but it’s quite wonderful. And a bit refreshing.
So, I am a children’s book writer. I am admitting it. Oh an if you see me reading picture books at the library, don’t make fun of me. I’m looking at my competition, and I’m looking at books that made me what I am today. Besides, do you laugh at Dr. Seuss?
Didn’t think so, unless you were reading On Beyond Zebra. Then I give you means to laugh. I laugh at that book too. It’s silly.