It seems as though every time I write a story for children where I have a “not so fuzzy” character, I get mixed critiques. Some tell me they really enjoyed the character, but a lot of mother’s with small children tend to tell me they don’t want their child reading anything negative. However, isn’t life full of weird, quirky characters?
One character I invented was a Hippo who was very self-involved. She loved herself and thought she was the best singer ever. One of my friends told me she thought the Hippo sounded too mean. But really, the Hippo was not mean at all, she was just stuck on herself, which was the whole point of the story. I wanted the Hippo to discover that it took the whole team to make the choir great, not just her.
Anyway, how do we make characters interesting and bring out their personalities if they all have to be perfect? And I don’t see those stories selling.
All the research out there is very conflicting and confusing as well. Sometimes I wonder how I’ll keep myself sane with all the wishy washy information I read. One article will say that publishers don’t want anymore rhyming stories, whereas the next article will say not to pay attention to that because rhyming stories, if good, will always sell. And I really do believe that.
I was just wondering if other writers were feeling the same way. And if so, how do you keep all the information out there intact? How do you know what to believe and what not to believe?
But my most important question is: As a mother, what kind of characters would you like to see your child reading about?