Learning from Webinars on Writing for Children
I have been listening to webinars at ungodly hours. They feature unashamed accounts by authors saying that they hate writing and therefore knock out their books in a very short time. Anyone can write, they insist. Their claim is that if you write quickly and do not spend weeks in revision, you lose none of the freshness of your first random thoughts. Children’s books, they say, should be bashed out. They should not aim to be literature. I guess they aim at automatic writing, straight from the unconscious.
Their recommendation for producing a quick result is to write stories for children. Having spent so many hours listening instead of writing, should I try to implement what they teach? Instead of crafting my children’s books should I just pump them out?
Originally I told Luke and Rebecca the stories in Younger Than You. A children’s book, it took me longer than a year to complete. These were not, then, first unpolished thoughts. To try to take the advice of the webinarists, I turned once more to writing about siblings, hoping to knock something out, to publish fresh ideas before my mind had time to process them. I just can’t do it. I’ve revised and polished. Rotten, Mouldy, Music is the result.
Though I haven’t managed to implement their recommendations, I have found something useful in the webinars about selling. My narrator, Ant, is super excited to use what I have been listening to. Here it is, in Ant’s own words, the blurb.
Children’s Book – Sibling Rivalry
My big sister Emma’s studying ‘Enterprise’. No one knows what enterprise is or where you can get some.
They told her at Enterprise that adults choose the books children have got to read. Em says that’s our problem: we need to sell this children’s book to the adults who buy the books kids have got to like.
The first rule of Enterprise is that I have to tell you I wasn’t always this successful and I used to live on a trailer park. I asked Em if we ever lived in any kind of park, but she says to skip that part and she told me that I’m not successful at anything.
Next I have to say what your problem is and how this book will solve your problem. So, your problem is, this is the children’s book you need to buy but you don’t know it yet.
You can solve your problem by buying this book.
The benefits are, you are going to learn a lot of neat things, like how to spell important words that don’t exist and how to spell stupid words that the Guvermnt says we’ve got to learn, like ‘anchor’, which is a word no one ever uses.
A boy in my class at school, called Daniel Withers, says that’s where he disagrees with the Guvermnt.
Yes Emma, he said it just like that. He said, “That’s where I disagree with the Guvermnt.”
No, Em, I don’t know how he spells it, but he said we should have to learn very useful words, like, however it is you spell ‘Guvermnt’ and how to spell ‘thingy’.
Now I have to give you what Em calls, “YOUR FREE BONUS.” This is very important new stuff I don’t normally tell anyone.
In America you say that horrible things are moldy. You say to your mom, “Mom, this music is moldy.” But as soon as you get off the aeroplane in London, you’ve got to start calling her Mum and say mouldy.
Then, driving along, you can’t say, “I’m super excited to be on this black top highway!” Say instead, “How jolly interesting to drive on tarmac and notice an anchor in the middle of the road.”
So that’s the benefits for adults. Now what about kids?
Well kids, you are going to learn about sibling rivalry. (That’s me and Dan versus Emma.) Then you will read about siblings without rivalry. (That’s me and Dan versus Emma.) Obviously, it’s also about families, because we’ve got to include my Mum, Mom, mother, who is the anchor of our family.
Well, now you know how to end your pain: just click on the button that says, “ADD TO BASKET.”
It’s that easy, you can do it! Enterprise says you should do it.
Special Offer, for a long time only: BUY ONE FOR THE PRICE OF TWO!
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