Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why I Write For Middle School

There are many reasons I have chosen to  focus on middle school writing.  Each reason plays a vital role in my development as a writer and I hope you find them interesting. Since there are too many for one blog post I will be giving you small glimpses into my paradigm in hopes that you will share yours with me. 

     Some of my earliest memories are my mother as she read to us. I remember the way she brought each character to life with only the sound of her voice. I think that's where my siblings and I learned to create voices. Get all of us in a room and you quickly learn that we have a unique way of communicating; we love to imitate inflection and sounds of voices other than our own. We seem to have a knack for putting words in other peoples mouths by imitating not just what we think they would say but how they would say it. This often is confusing for people that don't "get us". (Sometimes mistaken for multiple personality disorder.) In any event, we have all become expert observers of behavior and communication. 

     When the Harry Potter series first came out, I immediately began reading this to my children. This was long before Hogwarts was a household word.  I found her characters easily brought to life by my repertoire of voices. So distinct were my voices that when the first movie came out, my children complained that the voice of Dobby was all wrong. These characters changed and grew up with my children which made them incredibly compelling. 

     The huge changes and growth that occur during the middle school years are ideal for creating characters with conflict.  

 Do your early memories play a role in your writing? Does anybody else create voices for their characters?


  1. I don't create voices for characters. I'm impressed with people who do - especially with book like HP because there are so many characters!

    My love and attachment to books + working with students makes me want to write for MG and YA, so I know what you mean. There is no better audience.

  2. I don't really create voices for my characters - they already have voices when they come to me!!

    I think every memory I have plays a role in my writing. To be honest. I lik your reasons for writing for MG

  3. I LOVE reading to my kids. And every character has his/her own voice. Lovely post.

  4. My memories absolutely play a role in my writing. I write the sorts of things I loved as a kid (and still do).

  5. That's so sweet that you have good memories of your mother reading to you.

  6. When I read outloud I'll create voices. And yes I think both middle school and highschool are filled with emotional memories for fodder for writing!


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