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Christian Wilkie

A long time ago I tried my hand at children's literature. It was much harder than I'd anticipated. I could never get into the right mindset or tone, no matter how much I revised. One of my problems was using large words (even when I didn't think I was doing this), and my instructor asked me to study William Steig, as a kind of guide.

Carol Saller

The thing is, plenty of children's books actually use big words. Kids love big words! There's a skill to it, for sure. The trick is for the story and context to support the introduction of new words. I would encourage writers not to be overly self-conscious about the vocabulary while they're writing; specific words can be tweaked later if an editor finds any of them problematic.

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