I don’t get babies. They are not my thing. I don’t relate to them, and I don’t enjoy spending much time with them. They bore me a bit. They are not individual enough, little personality duds. Sorry, baby people.
So, as you may guess, I don’t write for babies. It just doesn’t come naturally for me. My ideas are too complicated, the language I enjoy using is too advanced, and my subjects would be of no interest to them.
That said, every once in a while I get an idea for the younger set. So far, at week 16, I have now written my second first draft for the extremely young. The first was inspired by a drawing (really just a doodle) I had made of a dog and a cat sitting side by side. I saw the expressions on their faces and the story wrote itself. This week my goal was to intentionally target this age group that I usually neglect.
Let me tell you, I worked harder on this simple concept book than I do on stories with much more complicated plots and characters.
Here is what made it hard:
Language – I like to use the words I want to use. Often the simpler synonym of a word doesn’t convey the exact same meaning. I had to re work sentences over and over to find the right meaning.
Rhyme – I decided to use rhyme in this one. Some of the simplest things took me hours (truly) of changing words and rearranging words. The combination of keeping it simple, rhyming, and making it sound natural is not easy.
No plot or characters – This picture book has no real plot or characters. Plot is my thing. I like interesting plots. It’s still a lot of fun and will help parents and kids interest with one another. With out a clever plot to depend on, it was really about the words.
Not too repetitive, but repetitive – I wanted this one to be repetitive. That was kind of the point of this picture book. Step one, say it over and over for rhythm, familiarity and momentum. Step two, don’t be boring. It was a challenge to say the same thing 12 different ways.
It will rely heavily on the pictures – This one is very illustration dependent. I think visually through every story I write. I like to think my stories are good enough even with out the pictures to hold interest. This one I know depends on them.
I’ll write for the very young when the ideas come, but if I can write for a little older I will. These little guys are too much work.