What with my travels last week, I completely forgot about Wordy Wednesday. Not that the outcry was deafening. . .but I’m sure one of my two blog readers was disappointed so I will persevere!
Twice lately, I’ve been asked if I limit the vocabulary I use in writing for younger readers. Both times, I answered (probably a bit snippily) that I focus on staying true to the story and trying to tell it as honestly as I can. I think my dander got up because it feels like there’s an implication in the question that books for kids need to be “dumbed down” in some way. And I certainly don’t feel that. One of the things good stories can do for kids is enrich their vocabulary, and pique their curiosity about words.
But then I thought about writing Two Bobbies with Mary. We certainly thought of our young readers as we selected which details to include about the hurricane and its aftermath because we didn’t want to frighten them. And with Nubs, we chose not to go into detail about how his injuries happened. So, while I would say we weren’t limiting the vocabulary, we did work hard to select details that wouldn’t unnecessarily distress those young readers. . .or even our grown-up readers! The same can be said for Hattie Big Sky and for the two novels I’ve written this past year.
So tell me. Do you take your audience into account when you write? If so, how?
It’s time for share and tell!