Writing for My Grandson


Image: boomerhighway.org

Most of the stories (and proposed chapters for novels) I write for this blog aren’t really good reading for my seven-year-old grandson. That’s not to say that all have “adult” language or “adult” themes (i.e. sex), but just because the stories are too sophisticated to be interesting to a child, or some of the subject matter might be too violent.

However, when I was editing The Oppressed People: From the Chronicles of the Diluvian Kings, I thought about how a story about a dragon who loved children might be right up his alley.

Every other week, when my son has his kids, we have his kids, too. Every evening, my grandson needs to read one of us a book, and in turn, we read to him.

So I chose last Sunday evening to read him “The Oppressed People.” He liked it. He seemed captivated by the story. He couldn’t say he had a favorite part, though. But it was such a thrill to actually read him a story I wrote, something I created out of my own imagination, a story he couldn’t have accessed any place else.

The opportunity for me to read to him again occurred last night, so I chose the only other tale I thought would be appropriate: The Last Warrior. It’s another fantasy tale that again, is an allegory for modern social and political issues. Of course, he didn’t get the allegory (though his Dad would), but he still enjoyed the surface details.

I was a tad surprised when he said he liked it, because there’s really no “action” as such, at least the kind of action that I thought would be attractive to a seven-year-old. In fact, he was so interested, he asked if he could read my stories on his Kindle when he’s at his Mom’s. Maybe I can send him the links via email.

I briefly toyed with the idea of reading him Walking in Glass Slippers since it’s definitely a fairy tale (along with being another allegory commenting on social issues), but it has some suggestive language, including Ella’s “enchanted lingerie,” and I didn’t want to have to explain that part to him.

I try to write a short bit of fiction every day, and not everything I write is good content for children, but hopefully, now that I’ve had this experience, I can occasionally tailor some of what I produce for him, and as she gets older, his sister.

Anyone else out there have any experience writing for children?