Saturday, January 12, 2019

Writing Prompt Saturday ~ Writing In A Youth's Perspective

I thought we'd go a different route today and focus on writing for youth.

No, this isn't going to be a 'how to' because either you 'get' how to write for young people, or you don't. It's not as easy as learning what we as adults believe is the 'in' lingo or what is depicted on television or movies. The true way to be able to write for this group, without sounding like a moron, is to learn from them.

Hang out with them. Be open-minded enough to listen to what they have to say. Encourage their ideas and help them expand upon them. Listen to the struggles that primarily affect them. Notice how different they tend to act/speak/respond to different groups in their lives (eg: friends, teachers, family, girl/boyfriends, etc.). I have found children and youth absolutely brilliant people who have a lot to add to our world, and I also believe they are often highly misunderstood.

That's why today we're going to reach out to young people to share their ideas. As well, it would be great to have our young/new adult writers share their insight on how they target their stories to this group. To inspire you all, I'll share one of my daughters' wonderful descriptive of the female menstrual cycle to her brother when he asked about it this morning:

"Think of the uterus as a house, if you will. A house for a baby. The uterus, or uteri as I prefer to term it, is happy for a duration of time, getting everything all ready by lining it with extra tissue and blood, making it extra comfy and pretty for the baby's arrival. This goes on for a couple of weeks until the day the uteri expects the baby's arrival. If the baby comes, it is well taken care of. However, if the baby doesn't end up coming, it's a very sad time for the uteri. It gets very upset and angry, which causes the uteri to destroy the house and rip the joint apart, sending everything it prepared earlier in the month right out the vaginal door. This results in a tremendous amount of pain and bloodshed until the uteri recovers from its disappointment, then the process restarts the next month."

That was verbatim. I think I almost had to change myself while I listened to her explain this. And she's the only kid I know who can make up words, like 'uteri', that not only adds humor to hook the listener, but also makes sense and is actually quite spot on.

That's what I was talking about earlier. How brilliant is that? These are the bits of their personalities we need to tap into in order to write for them most effectively and in the most respectful way. So all you young people out there? Give us a sample of your own, just like my daughter did above. And all you fantastic young/new adult writers out there? Try the same exercise using a character you've already given life to, or one that's waiting to come to be.

Happy Writing. :)

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