Monday, March 16, 2009

Consulting the Experts- Kids!

Home at last. Lost my Knucklehead status. Things are returning to normal. Phew!

Now, I can once again focus on writing and blogging. Trouble is... I forgot what it is I like to blog about! Maybe since it's my first day back, I'll just "borrow" an idea from another blogger. One of my new favorite blogs is Zook's Book Nook.

Kimberly has lots of interesting posts, but the one that really grabbed my attention was The Rhyme and Reason of a Child's Choice of Books.

Wouldn't we all love to get inside the head of a child to understand what attracts him/her to a particular story?

Kimberly's daughter is only nineteen months, so she can't just "ask her" why she finds some books appealing, but not others. My preschoolers are just getting to an age where they can start articulating what they like and dislike about certain stories. (Of course, Jordan did tell me when she was only two and a half that she didn't like Hop! Plop! because it "didn't have enough characters." But I think she was just being contrary to exert her power :)

Becky's kids are older and she's been consulting them for years while we are in the midst of collaborating. Jordan just turned five, and I read her one of my manuscripts for the first time in the hopes of getting some genuine feedback. (it's hard to read a kid a picture book with no pictures!) She listened carefully to my Pigs story and when I was done, she actually had something helpful to contribute that no one else in my critique group mentioned. Mommy, I think Pig 3 should be a girl.

I took her advice. Kids are, after all, our target audience.

So, here is my question. Do you seek feedback from your children and if so, how much weight do you give it?

8 comments:

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh yes!!! It's got to hold the attention of my kids before I take it to the next step. I had one manuscript that - despite there being no pictures - my son asked us to read every night ... and he eventually memorized nearly the entire manuscript. That, I enjoyed. Unfortunately, it's not published yet ... but hopefully someday!
What a great comment from your daughter ... to make one of the pigs a girl! Love that!
Welcome back from Disney! :-)

Corey Schwartz said...

Thanks, Kelly. Not just one pig- the "black belt" pig! :)

beth said...

I've never sought out a kid's opinion, although with my most recent WIP, I did have two fifth graders read it...they both ended up being distracted by other things, though, and never finished my book! Argh....

Paul Ă„ertker said...

Oh Yeah! I read to the kids at my son's school. They love it... but but they're so biased. You cain't trust them littler whippersnappers.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I always read to my son. He asks great questions and lets me know if I'm making sense. If I see him getting excited about where I'm going, I know I've got something good. And believe me, he does not hesitate to tell me if it's not working!

PurpleClover said...

My kids love for me to read my manuscripts or even make up stories. But when I make up stories my daughter will say, "No mommie, the PRINCESS...yada yada yada..."

So my stories aren't always correct. But hey...the audience is always right...

J.L. Finnell said...

I often let my kids, ages 7 and 9, read aloud pb manuscripts from my critique group. When they stumble over something--either it's hard to read or understand--I know I have a valid criticism on my hands. I can also tell writers which parts made my guys chuckle as well. They're invaluable readers. Now, if they'd only stop growing up.

Kimberly Zook said...

Corey, your blog always makes me chuckle! You definitely have a talent making the reader laugh and share in the joy of your adventures! Thank you for posting about my blog. I like the idea of getting feedback from our little ones. If I read one of my manuscripts aloud while my daughter is in the room I secretly watch her to see what particular parts of the text attract her attention. It usually happens when I've done a good job with some part that uses rhyme. I can't wait to get your book to read it to my daughter!