Middle grade lingo

April 26, 2011 at 7:00 am (Uncategorized)

A friend of mine asked me to look over the first few pages of her novel to give her some feedback. I found myself rather enjoying the story until I realized that the character I was getting to know was actually supposed to be eleven years old. I thought it was an elderly (as in 60+) woman! When I mentioned that to my friend, she laughed and said she wasn’t really in tune with the kids of today. That can be problematic if the audience you are writing for is indeed the kids of today.

If you do not have kids (nor have any desire to have kids), then I would strongly suggest hanging out at the mall (maybe grab a bite to eat in the food court on a Saturday), going to the movies on a Friday or Saturday night (scary, I know), and definitely watching a lot of Disney and Nickelodean. Getting into the minds of a middle grade fiction kid takes more than thinking back to your own fifth grade days. You need to be up to date with vocabulary, dress, and everything else that envelops the very complicated and insane mind of a ten year old. And just so everyone knows, most fifth and sixth graders today have their own cell phones. Crazy, I know, but true. You may want to keep that in mind as you write. 🙂

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