on July 20, 2002
Authors wanting to write for children and/or teenagers will find just about everything they want in this book. My only quibble is that the author states, "For any age, fantasy is the hardest material to write, and even harder to sell." Therefore, if fantasy is what you want to write, you won't find any help specifically related to your preferred genre in this book.
IS fantasy really harder to write than any other genre? I personally would find contemporary realism, with the almost obligatory dysfunctional family setting so beloved of today's publishers for older children, well near impossible to write, simply because I seldom enjoy reading it. However, good writing techniques are the same no matter what genre you write, and Lee Wyndham's suggestion to read the very best MODERN fantasy titles seems eminently sensible to me. I just disagree that would-be fantasy writers should learn their craft by writing here-and-now stories. If the mere thought of writing contemporary realism makes you want to yawn, you'll only land up writing a boring story.
on December 10, 2000
You've just finished reading a picture story book to your child. You and your child were taken away into an imaginary world where the characters came alive. There was no doubt, while you were visiting that world, that the characters were real. As you close the cover of the book, you realize that the birth of the characters existed only in the mind of the author. The feeling of the power of creating such a world is overwhelming to you. Ideas begin to form and soon you are creating your own characters. You give them adventures, sorrows, excitement, problems, and successes. You literally transplant part of you, into them, in order to give them life.
Well, the above is how I feel when I write children's books. But I found that no matter how great the desire, or even how great the education, you still need to follow some guidelines, and more importantly, you must know children.
Ruels, guidelines, techniques, proceedures and a wealth of knowledge about children's writing, awaits you in Lee Wyndam's "Writing for Children and Teenagers." If you are serious in writing for children, this book will make the process as easy and painless as possible. I wish it was as easy as sitting down and writing a story, slipping it into the mail, then having a nice healthy check with an acceptance letter from a prominant publishing house. It doesn't, usually, work that way, but if it's going to happen, this book certainly can be a key to your success.
on November 7, 2001
If you're a beginning writer in need of advice, this is a great book whether you're writing for children, teenagers or adults. While in the process of writing a short story or novel, Wyndham guides you every step of the way. In every chapter she gives advice on how to keep your work organized, something creative minds usually have trouble with. Her section on getting published is extremely valuable and informative.
I think every college creative writing program should have this book as a curriculum requirement. It not only teaches, it encourages. Young writers need that more than they need a list of things they can't write about so as not to offend the teacher/administration, etc. If anyone is interested in writing ANY kind of fiction, I suggest you purchase this book and read it thoroughly.