A while ago, I had one of those days when I was looking for a good kids’ book to review and hadn’t found anything that wasn’t like, “Oh, those wacky kids! How wacky! Kids are wacky! Wacky’s the biggest word I can use around kids, you know! Because they’re not smart enough to understand anything that’s not wacky! Wacky bears! Wacky bad guys!” And then an adult writer asked me if I thought my stories for kids were just too dark and would give kids nightmares, and I’m like, “Really? Really? Do you know what kids go through on a daily basis? How would you like to be so cut off from the world that you can’t take aspirin with you to work? And that when people physically attack you, they call it “bullying” and tell you to stick up for yourself (and that rarely anything happens to the people who do it)? And that doesn’t even begin to cover what goes on at some kids’ homes.
So when I volunteered to write an article for the Pikes Peak Writer blog, I knew just what to write about: how kids should write for adults.
A lot of kids and teens simply don’t know how to write for adults, and I’d like to give you a little bit of perspective (being, technically speaking, an adult) so that you, too, can learn how to write stories that even adults can read with pleasure.
However, first I’d like to take a minute to clarify a point that I’ve often heard discussed: picking out books for the adults in your life. Often times, when left to make their own choices, adults will pick out inappropriate books for their age range. I don’t mean that they’ll read kids’ and Young Adult (YA) books, which are perfectly fine for the most part, if perhaps a little more sophisticated than what they’re use to reading. I mean that adults will read books that are:
- And worst, teach adults that there’s no fun or excitement to life any more.
Also, please keep in mind that adults especially shouldn’t be reading books that are about death and getting old; it’s too much for them to handle. When you’re picking out books for them, make sure there’s lots of adventure and excitement, because who wants depressed adults around? Violence, romance, humor, bravery, and getting in trouble are usually signs of a good book, even for adults. Remember, if they find the words too hard, you can always show them how to use the dictionary, which they did have to use as kids but have probably forgotten how to use by now.