I asked Viji K. Chary to share her view points, tips and insight on relating to children readers. I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I have.
Writing for young children involves dedication and sincerity. As a writer, I try to tap into a young person’s emotions and thoughts to make my writing ring true.
Young children show their emotions wholeheartedly. When a child is happy, he is all smiles, hopping like a jack rabbit or skipping around the room. When a child is sad, she may punch, cry or slam the door. When child is shy, he may hide behind a familiar person or cover his face. Young children show honest emotions and live in the moment.
When writing for young children, I reach back into my memories. I remember traveling on a bus with my father when an elderly man winked at me. With awe, I spend a good half hour manually shutting one eyelid. I could not coordinate my eye muscles to wink in a flash like he did. Another time, I remember being frightened as elevator doors opened between floors, leaving us with solid wood instead of an opening. I sensed my father’s panic. I remember the queasy feeling in my stomach when I was introduced to an adult that made me hide behind my mother. Once, my grandmother asked me to bring flowers from the garden. While in the garden, I was startled by an iguana behind a flower bush. I can still feel the prickling of my skin when I saw it. When I was six years old, I moved from a mostly African American school to a Caucasian school. Being Indian, there was a marked difference in acceptance for a student of color. I can still feel that inequality.
While I do not recall many incidents from my young childhood, the ones I do are filled with emotions - emotions that I can incorporate in my stories. Basic emotions, happiness, fear, shyness, wonder and anger stay the same through the generations. It is the settings and dialog that changes.
To stay in line with the setting and dialog of today, I ask my children or nephews to read my finished pieces. They will spot an error immediately. Once I wrote a story on a mouse named Red for kindergarteners. My nephew was confused with the color red and the name Red. He suggested that the mouse’s name be Jake. Jake it was.
A good children’s story, I think, has honest emotion and realistic setting and dialogue. I strive for this by keeping alive my childhood emotions. While I enjoy observing and spending time with young people in the family, it also strengthens my writing.
About the Author:
Viji K. Chary was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. Her passion for writing stories began in elementary school and has evolved from coaching children in various activities; including gymnastics, classroom activities and creative competitions. Her stories have been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug Magazine, Hopscotch for Girls and many more.
The World of Ink Network is currently touring author Viji K. Chary’s children’s picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds published by 4RV Publishing.
About the Book:
Porcupine longs to grow beautiful sunflowers in his garden just like Raccoon. When Raccoon give Porcupine seeds, she says that all they need is soil, sun, and water. But growing sunflowers is not easy for Porcupine.
Get a sneak peek of the book at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgDW_AdA1xg&feature=youtu.be
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com