Lucky you! You stumbled upon my blog (or you’re my professor/classmates in which case you have to be here)!
This week in class we’ve been reading Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole (Link) which is a great read and I would recommend to anyone who is interested in entering into this field. What I found most helpful in the reading this week was learning specifically what cliches to avoid. I think we come across these common themes and ideas so much that even though we should recognize them as being cliches, it becomes difficult to think past them and be unique. We’ve all read the story that starts with the character waking up about 1,000 times, yet we write our own versions of this exact story. Having all these cliches listed has really been helpful in reminding me what to stay away from as well as forcing me to come up with my own unique ideas.
Because I’ve enjoyed reading Mary Kole’s book so much I decided to take a look at her blog as well (Link). Her most recent post (Link) deals with stating simple concepts or descriptions in complex ways. While sometimes this is fascinating, Kole states that this becomes dull and confusing very quickly when used excessively. In my own writing I sometimes find myself trying to dig deep and find complex language and interesting ways to say things when sometimes it is better to simply state them outright. With popular kidlit writers like John Green who tend to write with a strong and beautiful voice, I often feel inferior (which of course I am) and attempt to bridge this gap by over-complicating my language. This post was a great reminder to avoid this unnecessary tactic and stick to writing complexity into characters and plot rather than descriptions that should be simple.
Finally, this week in my own writing I have been reminded of the way that personal experience can help and hurt writing. Of course, the easiest thing to write is often personal experience and in some cases this can be a great thing. By using our own experiences, we weave in an element of realness and emotion. However, this can become dull and monotonous when we get stuck writing the same stories or themes over and over again. My goal this week is to take my own experiences and use them as a springboard for stories, rather than trying to write down everything that has happened to me word for word.
Happy writing and see you next week!