Monday, August 3, 2015

Children in Writing

When I first began moodling the main characters in my murder mystery series - a high-powered attorney who is a partner in the family law firm, and his new bride, a child psychologist and writer - they were mostly just the perfect couple on whom I could hang my social justice plots. But the two of them had different ideas about how their relationship, and their life together, would develop.


First, both developed a strong focus toward building their rural kingdom (it's just a setting, damnit!), and before long, having children and raising a family became a huge issue, especially for my heroine. How do characters take over like that? Soon I found myself searching for photos of the perfect redheaded boy to enter the story (perhaps in book #3 after the heroine suffers some fertility anguish?), instead of teaching readers about the dangers of GMO crops, fracking, and other really important stuff.

Children add elements to fiction that completely change the dynamics of a story, just as they do in real life. This month on the Blood-Red Pencil, we'll explore the topic of children as related to writing, publishing, and even teaching. With back-to-school themes on many minds, it's perfect timing.

We're also welcoming a new member to the blog - Jason P. Henry - who has contributed two posts recently, and now will share his journey to publication every month, as well as information about the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, which he is heading up this year.

Be sure to bookmark this blog and visit us on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to join the conversation. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. We love your questions and input, so please leave us a comment!

Dani Greer is founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

12 comments :

  1. This will be a fun thread to follow. I think my biggest critique of children characters falls into two categories: small children that sound like middle-aged people, and treating small children characters as an accessory, like a purse. They have them, but they are never seen or heard from, nor apparently do they require a nanny or caretaker.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I may write about the foibles of acquisitions managing for a children's book publisher. What you mention is often apparent in books written for children - they are actually books written by and for adults, cloaked in picture book format. Instant rejection.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is going to be fun. Happy to be a part of the team. And I'm coming in on a month where the topic regards children. That is perfect since I refuse to grow up. Many say I have the maturity of a toddler.... all because I won't share my crayons. Can you believe that?! The nerve of some....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha. I think the write-up on PPW Conference 2016 mentioned children, didn't it?

      Delete
  4. I share W.C. Fields' consideration of children, Dani ... I like them well-done, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've avoided using children in most of my books but I had one that was an important secondary character. I look forward to the posts and I wish I could attend Pikes Peak Conference.
    Susan Says

    ReplyDelete
  6. Characters do have a way of taking over a story, Dani. So true!
    Looking forward to Jason's posts and so glad he is aboard the BRP team. But we are also saying goodbye to Terry Odell, who was a valued member of the team. Change can be good, but I will miss her posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maryann. I enjoyed my years here at The Blood-Red Pencil, but sometimes life intervenes. I'll be back as a 'regular' person reading the blog, and wish everyone the best.

      Delete
    2. Hope your writing goes well, Terry.

      Delete
  7. My first novel includes 4 children who act like children, 2 infants, and 1 little boy who tries to protect his mother from the abuser in their lives. The second book features 2 teenagers who act a lot like mine did at that age, as well as a boy who disappeared 5 years before. His father has been unable to locate him despite hiring private detectives to do so. Yes, children are important to stories. They may or may not be main characters, but they add a vital element of realism to a tale.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I started the fourth book in my series determined to add a child to the cast of characters. I haven't gotten far, but I'm not sure he will be permanent. A lot depends on whether there will be a fifth book. You're so right, Dani. A child might really put a crimp in the plotting. We shall see.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...