Whimsy, Words, & Wisdom
Definition: Endearing quaintness. The quality of being playfully humorous, especially in an endearing way.
As a children’s writer, whimsy is a good thing to incorporate into your writing. You want your stories to be endearing, playful and humorous.
This month I feature the picture book for September, Wemberly Worried, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes. Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 27, 2010)
It's September and many children are facing the first day of school. Kevin Henkes has a winner with this one, as he does with all his books.
Amazon.com has this to say about Wemberly Worried.
Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. "Worry, worry, worry," her family said. "Too much worry." And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!
Definition: Meaningful combinations of sounds that are a unit of language or its representation in a text.
Writers love words. We use words to communicate and express ideas. We use words to make sentences. We use sentences to make paragraphs. And we use paragraphs to make stories. It’s important to use the best words possible.
This month’s word is SCHOOL. This month’s exercise is to use that word to make your own story. Think back to your early school years and how you felt on the first day of school. Create a character and invent a scene using the feelings you had back then. I would love to hear what you write.
I encourage you to do all the exercises, and in six blogs you will have six new pieces of writing. In twelve blogs, you will have twelve new pieces of writing. I say go for it! And I'd love to see what you've written for these exercises. If you would like a critique, I'll critique up to 500 words free. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Definition: Accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.
I have been writing for children for over 30 years. I have published eight books and taught several writing classes through the Loft Literary Center, community education and at conferences.
My bit of wisdom is this. If you love kids and love writing for them, or would like to write for them, you have to think like a kid, but not the kid you were, you need to write for the kid that lives in today's society. Go places where you find kids and observe them and take notes. Watch how they act and interact with each other and how they talk. Then go home and write the best story possible.
Watch for my next blog where I will share more about whimsy, words and wisdom. Til then, choose your words wisely.