Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thursday's Children: Firsts

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For Spring Break, we went on our first family vacation since my daughter was born. We explored Savannah and took her to the beach for the first time. The most fascinating part of motherhood so far is watching her experience all these firsts. Her first word ("hi!"), her first smile and giggle, her first taste of each new food (and all the hilarious faces that follow.)

I think that's why writing for children is so much fun. You get to explore life's firsts in depth, maybe even in a way you never bothered to appreciate them yourself. You can even write about firsts you never had, for whatever reason.

In my new Camp NaNoWriMo WIP, my MC is a fiercely competitive collegiate swimmer. I've never participated in any sort of competitive sport myself, so researching this projectallowed me to imagine all sorts of things I never personally got to experience as a teen. If you write sci-fi or fantasy, you're writing about things no real person has ever experienced. And as she gets older, I'm sure some of Calliope's firsts will find their way into my pages, too. 

For now I'm just a happy sidekick in all her new baby experiences. And next time when we take her to the beach, hopefully it won't be so cold. Be gone, actual tears! Be gone!

What are some firsts you've enjoyed writing about, even if you never experienced them yourself?

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  1. Oh, she's so cute! And I LOVE Savannah, what a great town :) I do like writing about firsts - first kisses, first loves, first steps toward deciding one's own future. That's why I like to write YA. Two of my books so far feature supernatural (ghost/spirit) encounters that are far more profound than the very subtle one I experienced so, yes, I'm making it up :)

  2. Making it up is the fun part! Here's to YA Firsts!!

  3. What a beatiful little girl!

    The firsts in my stories are more often more exciting than mine were--more dramatic, even if they are a let down at the same time. Like kisses or sex.

    As far as the fantasic aspects, I love writing about first experiences. LOL. They're pretty much firsts for me and my characters in this case.

  4. Thanks, Pat! And yes, that's the beauty of it, right? Getting to rewrite things the way you wish they happened! ;)

  5. I love all the baby firsts and watching while they experience them. It's absolutely magical. Love your daughter's name, too. :)

  6. What I like about writing YA is that I get to write about a lot of these "firsts". It sounds like you and your family had a great holiday! Good luck with CampNaNo!

  7. Thank you, Chris! It gets some interesting repronunciations but we love it, too!

  8. Thanks, EM! I will need it! Balancing baby and speed writing is not easy now that she's on the move!

  9. Your little girl is a doll!

    I have a boy- from the looks of it, around the same age- so my husband and I have been enjoying some of those same experiences. It really does help you see the world through new eyes! I think especially if you had a rough childhood, living your child's childhood can be an immensely cathartic experience.

  10. For me, the most exciting part is writing about the moment when a character enters a new world for the first time. No matter how old they are, it always makes them see the world through the eyes of a child :)

    Thanks for sharing this, and I hope to see you back again next week!

  11. @Laura--you're absolutely right! I want the world to be less painful for Callie, but at the same time I think some pain helps us grow.

  12. @John excellent point! See you next week!

  13. She's so cute!
    The "firsts" in my writing tend to be better than my own. Sad. But true.
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thanks, Michaele!

    They're probably more fun in fiction, right? More control over the outcome! :)