I wrote a fantasy story originally geared toward middle grade. Realizing the word count wasn’t enough for a middle grade story, I changed it to a chapter book.
Good idea, right?
Yes it is, but if you do something like this, you need to remember to check the age appropriateness of the words you originally used. You might ask why this necessary…well, it’s the difference between an editor giving your story a second glance, or not.
It’s so important that publishers will ask what grade level your book is geared toward. You had better make sure the vocabulary of your story and the intended audience are a match.
What exactly do I mean? Let’s use an example:
The boy performed amazing magic. Was it an illusion or real magic?
If you were writing this for a 6th grader, the word illusion would be fine, but say you are writing for a 2nd or 3rd…then you’ll need to change that word.
According to “Children’s Writer’s Word Book,” ‘illusion’ is in the 6th grader’s vocabulary. You would need to change it to a word such as trick or fake to make it age appropriate for a 3rd grader.
The use of words goes far beyond that of choosing age appropriate words, they can be used to say the same thing using different words. Words are so amazing – just make sure yours are just right for the age group you’re writing for.
MORE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN
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