8 Tips on Middle Grade Writing

grammarThese are from good efriend Crystal Collier over at her blog. I’ve written about a long list of genres, but forgot about Middle Grade. Crystal has a great list on a genre I am completely unfamiliar with: 
  1. First of all, if you can’t remember being a kid, you have no business writing for them.
  2. Break down adult limitations on creativity and go to the extreme. Let yourself build the impossible upon the impossible.
  3. Be charming.
  4. Keep your descriptions light and let your audience fill in the blanks with their imaginations.
  5. Be aware of the injustice kids feel when faced with adult mandates.
  6. Remember kids typically feel alone in their difficulties.
  7. Simpler language. Vocabulary should be commensurate with the age your writing for.
  8. Keep it clean. No language at this age.

She takes it a step further on her blog: Comparing it to Young Adult and Adult. For that, you’ll have to…

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9 thoughts on “8 Tips on Middle Grade Writing

  1. May I disagree with point 8? At middle age they have HEARD people say Sh.. and even stronger words. If you want to discourage them make the baddies, the ones who lose, use it. But to keep the language artificially clean makes the stories just that – artificial.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I agree that in writing for the very young ones there should be some censured words. But children from a certain age onwards need to learn that in some situations you can get away with those words (which in itself are not evil, just the usage sometimes is. See tits for example – there are birds who are called tits, there are animal nipples, teats which are colloquially called tits – and there is the derogatory use for a human female breast. The word itself is not evil).

        Liked by 1 person

          • I do agree, the C-word for example (and I do not mean the one that is used for the male genital, the latter is another of the ambiguous ones) – but when somebody behaves like an idiot one should be able to call them out on that with a “moron” or “idiot” – without having to fear censure. A children’s book should not be a swear-orgy, obviously. But the milder, more common and most likely already known ones should be able to be used, in appropriate context. Nobody pleads for a character who says the f-bomb every two seconds … But in certain circumstances no swearing would just be childish. And children hate that.

            Liked by 1 person


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