A college friend of mine is a teacher and has asked me to write essays or edit stuff meant for school kids several times. And most of the times I have said ‘no’.
While as a reader, I still consume a lot of literature that was originally meant for kids; when it comes to writing, I don’t think it’s in me to pen stuff for kids. Whenever I sit down to write, the first urge is to either write something depressing, dark or morbid or the other end of the spectrum – something too realistic, bordering on mundane.
Kids want fun stuff, magic, fantasy, adventure, action. Fantasy fiction is still a genre that youngsters love. Adults tend to gravitate to the genre to escape realities of a normal life.
In 2015, there was an opening in a very popular Indian comic company for a writer and I decided to apply. The stories in their comics were fun and the age group they targeted was about 7-12 I think. When it was time to send out a resume, I realized that all my short stories were absolutely inappropriate as samples.
But I applied anyway. After a few days they called me to their office and asked me to write two short stories on the spot for kids. And being the morbid idiot that I am, while I did write the stories, both of them had a death in it.
The guys at the comics were honest enough in telling me that while my writing was not bad, they didn’t think I could actually write for children. Something I already figured out but gave it a shot anyway.
After that written test in 2015, I don’t think I have ever written anything that could classify as ‘children’s literature’. It’s probably going to stay that way.