November 12, 2012

Where We Find Inspiration

Today, author Kai Strand shares her thoughts on getting inspired.

When a child replies to a question with an unexpected answer, do you scribble that response in a notebook? When you overhear a belly laugh from the other side of the library bookshelf, do you imagine gut laugh-worthy situations? Do you choose to stand in the long line in the grocery store simply to eavesdrop on the conversation between the teenagers?

If you answer yes to these questions, you might be a children’s writer. Sometimes it seems like writers are a dime a dozen anymore. What distinguishes a children’s writer from any other kind of writer is where they find their inspiration. If you have children, then you already have access to their friends, school, and members of any teams they may participate in. Don’t underestimate the value of being surrounded by kids in any of these situations. Listening to how they interact with each other and adults is crucial in character building. Hearing their vocabulary, understanding their hobbies, and seeing their wardrobe is all priceless research.

If you don’t have children of your own, or if yours are grown, I urge you to volunteer in schools, the public library, or after school programs—any place where you will be surrounded by the age of children you hope to write for. You will learn what is important to children, while helping to provide a safe and effective venue in which they can learn or play.

The semantics of writing for children isn’t too different than writing for adults: strong characters, compelling story, and good grammar. However, finding what to write about and how to write it will be most effective if you spend time around your target audience. Plus, you get the extra benefit of having some fun.

Kai Strand, author of:

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  1. Great inspiration about inspiration! Surround yourself with the children that you are writing for. Great advice Kai.

  2. I love talking to children and finding out about the things that inspire them. My two nephews make up silly characters and I write poems and stories for just them. My book Down The Plughole was inspired by my own children, they are now 22 and 20 and my nephews who are 3 and 8. I now write as much as I can. I absolutely love it.

  3. Thank you for hosting me today! It is always fun to get to know new readers. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I'm happy to answer.

  4. An online kids book can be really interactive and different from a traditional book in many good ways. Children book has vastly improved over the time and many child psychologists too are taking active part in the designing and writing of the books. An inspiring childrens book can help the child go through the childhood crises. Kids inspirational book may have the stories that the child is seeking.