I don’t make New Year resolutions on the grounds that I’ll always break them. But I do make plans, and this year I plan to work harder on writing and editing, read more productively, spend less time looking at or wishing I could create advertisements, and write fewer book reviews. 200+ reviews is just too many for one year, and too much time spent not writing.
With all this in mind, and with my mum – my greatest fan and my best editor – still staying with us, I decided to start each day by editing a section from my upcoming children’s book, Paul’s Purpose. (It’s the sequel to Peter’s Promise, above.)
Of course, I know Paul had many purposes, and so do I: in writing children’s Bible stories I want to:
- Show the stories of the Bible are set around real people in a real world,
- Show that the world of history and saints wasn’t so different from the world of siblings and friends,
- Encourage and entertain middle-grade readers – I want them to think, laugh, and turn pages; I want pre-school listeners to enjoy being read to as well;
- Encourage and entertain middle-grade educators – I want them to be ready to give and find answers – to model looking for answers on Google, in the dictionary or in the Bible (or anywhere else);
- Encourage and improve reading and language skills – I like to include some words my readers may not have used before, because the real world is filled with words we all might misunderstand, and
- Encourage and improve critical thinking skills – I like my readers to ask questions, because without questions, the answers can’t make sense.
After talking with Mum, I’d love to know your opinions.
- Can I use such words as “erudite” “persistent” and “single-minded” in a children’s book?
- Can I refer to “virility-fertility rites” (with no further explanation) when my characters complain about what goes on in pagan temples?
- Is “God’s mark hurts” a sufficient explanation of why a boy might not want to be circumcised, or should I just avoid the whole question, though it seems like it was a pretty big question at the time?
Meanwhile, since I always turn these blogs into writing exercises, here a
- Think of something in the natural world – a bird, a stone, a river…
- Imagine how it came into being – evolution, hatching from an egg, rain-clouds with dried fish-eggs waiting to hatch…
- Then tell its story, from its own point of view:
- One paragraph (or sentence) for the beginning
- one for the middle, or the present day
- and one for the end, or end of the world, or “Help! It’s raining fish!”
It’s raining ice here. Keep warm.