Skip to main content

Positively Weekend! Why I Love to Write Middle Grade

 It's weekend again! That means it's time for another Positively Weekend post! Let's be positive about the writing and publishing world.

Today, I'm talking about why I love to write for younger readers, in particular 10-12 year olds.

1) Imagination

Kids have a greater imagination than most adults. Yes, they perhaps can't show it as eloquently as mature people can. Yes, adults don't always understand what kids are trying to say. But their imagination is lively and unique. An adult sometimes gets upset if a child draws a picture of a battle, but more often than not this is just a story that is playing out in a child's mind. Writing for kids is so rewarding because they add their own imagination to the story.

2) Uncomplicated

To make a good children's book, you need an engaging plot and believable characters. The ethical themes and unusual dialogue is what will engage the parents and teachers, but children really only care about an entertaining story. This method of writing appeals to me tremendously. There is no need for flowery language - in fact it is discouraged. I'm more of a CS Lewis fan than Tolkien. I think the story is more important than the indulgent description. And that's exactly what kids are looking for.

3) Shaping the Future

And then there's this. Slightly egotistical, yes, but there's quite a warm feeling to be had when you consider the possibilities for the future in a child's mind. When you write for children, you can switch on an interest button in their brains which could stay with them for life. The number of children in my class who are obsessed with megalodons...that is only because of recent films and programmes about them. I'd never come across a child whose favourite animal was a shark before the (insufferable) song "Baby Shark" became popular. Children are impressionable, and writing for them is a privilege.

4) Length

And then a purely practical reason...middle grade books are shorter. I'm not good at writing really long books. I like to keep the plot fast-paced. This is great for a children's book, but not so good for adults. For a middle grade book, you're wanting to write between 40,000 and 70,000 words, depending on the target audience. This length suits me perfectly!

5) Knowledge

The final reason is that I know more about middle grade readers than any other. I'm a teacher, and I spend every working day with a class of 25 of these readers. I know what they enjoy doing, and I know what they dislike. The amount of time I spend with them in the term means I know them almost like family. That's how I teach and get results. And, because of that, I know exactly what ingredients to put into a middle grade book to make it enjoyable for that age group.

Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


Popular posts from this blog

#IndieApril - Christopher Aggett

Our fourth Indie Hero is well deserving of the title. Not only is he a successful author in his own right, he also spends much of his time helping other authors on the Writing Community Chat Show. I have often seen authors asking for publicity and yet not giving back in return. Not Christopher! His Community Chat Show is a perfect way to give back to the #WritingCommunity

Thanks, Christopher!

Deep: the Climb of Truth

"It was hard to imagine my father as anything other than that to me, I couldn't think of him as a killer" A young woman named Dee steps into a world of discovery and fear. Having been brought up isolated from civilisation she is separated from her father and her so-called home. She sets out on a journey through a world of danger and mystery; risking everything to stay alive and reunite with her father Eli. Eli who leads a secret life, entwined in dark and dangerous military experiments that threaten human existence.
"This book had me gripped from the b…

NANOWRIMO - Beginnings

Friday 1st November 2019 - Beginnings
No matter what anyone tells you, your beginning is spectacularly important. No pressure or anything, but if a reader doesn’t gel with your first line, your second must be amazing.The general rule of thumb is, the further a reader is expected to go to find the story, the easier it will be to lose them.
Starting a book can seem a bit like a rocky, uphill struggle - but it's worth it!

One of the most well-known beginnings:
In the beginning was the word
It’s difficult to rival that one!
But it’s a statement of truth (let’s leave fact out of it, as most of use NaNoWriMo writers are in the business of fiction), and that’s what most of my first lines are.
Petrovia Lodge was all that could be expected of a country house for a family of a not inconsiderable income.
Day’s Dying Glory

In a country at peace, men of war are confined to their homes and families.
Beneath Black Clouds and White

The springy heather underfoot was the only thing which coaxed on the falte…

Book Review - Mrs Murray's Home

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the book tour for this really enjoyable book "Mrs Murray's Home" by Emily-Jane Hills Orford!

Home is where the heart is, or so they say. It’s also been said that a home is a person’s castle. But home is also with family and friends. Mrs. Murray longs for home, the family home, a castle an ocean away. The Brownies also crave for home, the same castle Mrs. Murray considers home. And Granny? Mary’s Granny hasn’t been home since she was Mary’s age. It’s time to visit the homeland, Scotland. Mary’s excited to tag along with Granny, Mrs. Murray and the Brownies. And then there’s the witch. The one they thought they’d killed. And the treasure. The one they had found. And it all ties together, for better or for worse. Join the adventure in book 3 of the popular “Piccadilly Street Series”.


I loved most of the characters, in particular Brunny. He seemed human (although, of course, he's not! He's a brownie!) but I enjoyed his …