OK. So, I am a child of the 60s and being a child of the 60s means that I grew up with flower children and hippies. I heard new songs from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones air on the radio. I wore bell bottoms and blue suede shoes. I had a shag haircut (and later a Dorothy Hamill haircut). I wore moccasins as shoes and I had an Indian fringe suede jacket and....
I know what The Point is.
The Point by Harry Nilsson was my favorite record to listen to when I was a kid. I knew all the words by heart and when I got a dog I felt was mine, truly mine, I named her Arrow. Then they made The Point into a cartoon narrated by none other then Ringo Starr. Oh, happy day!
I wanted to share with you, the wisdom of Rock Man and one of my favorite songs, Think About Your Troubles. Whose the boy's voice, you might wonder? Why that's Bobby from the Brady Bunch, of course!
Now what does this have to do with writing for children? What's my Point? Well, my point is two-fold. First, we authors come from a certain time and place. We grew up a certain way. We had certain experiences. And all of these things add up to our perspective on the world. They add up to our voice as a writer and that voice comes out of our MC's mouth.
This brings me to the second point. Our MCs come from a different time and place. S/He grew up in a different way. S/He had different experiences and therefore has a different perspective on the world.
How do we merge the two? My MC would certainly never have heard of Harry Nilsson's The Point. Many of you probably never have. But it shaped me. What shapes my MC? How do I have her voice and my voice? Well, you can disguise your voice as your MC's voice. That's one way to do it. But I think there's another way, a better way.
I like to have an adult in my story. An adult full of wisdom. And some of that wisdom is my wisdom. I can sound like an adult through this adult character and that is where my perspective can be heard.
It's still my MC's story. It's still her voice. And I need to know her perspective. What music shaped her? What philosophies color her world? What music from her generation will stand the test of time (or not). Pretend your MC is your own child. Let them have their own voice, but see if you can get a brush stroke in there every now and again that's yours.
And hey, whatever you do, no goofin' with the bees.