Genre tips

8 Tips on Middle Grade Writing

grammarThese are from good efriend Crystal Collier over at her blog. I’ve written about a long list of genres, but forgot about Middle Grade. Crystal has a great list on a genre I am completely unfamiliar with: 
  1. First of all, if you can’t remember being a kid, you have no business writing for them.
  2. Break down adult limitations on creativity and go to the extreme. Let yourself build the impossible upon the impossible.
  3. Be charming.
  4. Keep your descriptions light and let your audience fill in the blanks with their imaginations.
  5. Be aware of the injustice kids feel when faced with adult mandates.
  6. Remember kids typically feel alone in their difficulties.
  7. Simpler language. Vocabulary should be commensurate with the age your writing for.
  8. Keep it clean. No language at this age.

She takes it a step further on her blog: Comparing it to Young Adult and Adult. For that, you’ll have to drop by her site. It’ll be worth it, believe me!

For a thorough discussion on writing for middle grades, check out the Writing Cafe and Random Writing Rants–both with informative articles.

More genre writing tips:

13 Tips for Cozy Mystery Writers

10 Tips for Steampunk Writers

10 Tips for Picture Book Writers

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

33 thoughts on “8 Tips on Middle Grade Writing

  1. Pingback: Friday Finds: Week 52 | Avid Reader

  2. I agree with Carrie. I think children’s authors are amazing because they open a child’s mind to the possibilities and show them the beauty of imagination. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book, but I’ve never had the guts (probably don’t have the skills either), but these are excellent tips. Thanks for sharing😀


  3. Good tips. I’m always grateful for authors who write in this genre. When my sons were that age, it could be tough to find books for them. It seemed there were more novels that catered to girls than boys, but I think that’s starting to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Writing for middle grade is a different perspective. Collier has made some good points. I think there are many more aspects to be grasped as well. One of the most important is that the conflict must be resolved by the middle grade character who must be the primary protagonist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Funnily enough I am in discussions with a well-established Literary PR firm in the UK and they asked me “What genre do you write in?” and really I have no idea. To be honest, when he first published it, I don’t thing F. Scott-Fitzgerald would have known what genre “The Great Gatsby” was in either, but we seem obsessed by characterisation now. I just write what I write, and I worry about the market place afterwards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good point, Peter. I would think the firm would be better positioned to classify your writing than you are–because they deal with so many writers. Twere me, I’d call your writing literary fiction, character driven. That’s as specific as I can get!


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