Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Writing for children: point of view

I'm on a FutureLearn Course, Brand Storytelling, where in week 3, Al MacCuish explains how he overcame his struggles to write a successful children's book. This is a bit of the transcript from the interview. It's a great reminder to get into the head of the child and see the world from their point of view!

"I suddenly understood why I was struggling. I had never once tried to look at the world from a child's point of view. I didn't know, understand, or empathise with my audience. So I went back the one of the very first children's stories ideas that I'd had, and I started again. And this time, the approach was completely different. I was actually looking at the world through my son's eyes. And the key turned out to be making everything about discovery. It was a really simple idea, where basically every letter in the world was alive and worked for a top-secret government department called the Ministry of Letters. Through a kid's eyes, secret worlds are immediately interesting, especially if adults don't know about them. So to reinforce that, on the first page of the book, I wrote, 'The only people who know about this world are one, the queen, two, the prime minister, three, spies, and now you.'" 

This immediately engaged the children in tests. Then he added an evil moggy to create tension and extra interest. The kids loved it!

Credit: FutureLearn interview on the Brand Storytelling course. Why not sign up? It's free!