Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What happened to you?!

A precocious, pie-faced, blue-eyed, four-year old boy walked up to me and stared.
"Hey, Miss Linda, your new hair color is darker."

"Yes, I got my hair cut and colored."

"SO, I guess they left the color on a little too long?" He looked puzzled.

"Well, it is darker. What do you think of my new hair?"

He walked around me giving me the once over. "I like it! I REALLY like it."

He redeemed himself. One day, that little boy is going to make the headlines, the girl's blush, his mama cringe... the big times. He reminds me of one of the Little Rascals.

He was merely making an observation, so I didn't correct him. My philosophy has always been, children should be seen AND heard. I've heard it all.

If you are a writer, it is important that your character's voice be heard, too. Do you censor your characters or allow them to speak, unfiltered?



Sioux said...

One of my former students (now in 4th grade) walked by me in the hall one morning and said, "Mrs. R--I see you're slimming down." (I'm not.) I found out later he had passed by my teaching partner and said, "Mrs. C--I see you're working out," and both comments were said smoothly and naturally.

HE is going to make some girl happy, if he can butter them up like he did us.

Unfiltered? Censored? I'm afraid my characters all sound like me. (Horrors!)

BECKY said...

Being around children can surely bring out a writer's muse! The very few times I've spoken at schools, some of the students have said some memorable things! :) And no, I do not censor my characters....because I write personal essays, memoir...it's all the real deal! Great post, Linda! P.S. Art Linkletter was right! :)

Bookie said...

I fight censoring my characters. I have a hard time letting them do bad things, be bad people!

Lisa Claro said...

I don't censor my characters. This was a problem for me with my second book in the "Fireflies" series because the hero is an attorney with a potty mouth. I couldn't clean up his speech without changing him, and I didn't want to change him. I cleaned it up where I could by adding a "swear jar" in his office so he has to pay up every time he lets his mouth fly, which gives him a reason to be careful, and that meshes with his personality and helped me reign it in.

Lynn said...

Trying to catch up on all the blog posts... as always, love what you post. You make me smile and you put me right there with you! And hey, I'm a Friday the 13th baby!

Tammy said...

I have to admit, I struggle with the issue of swearing when writing for young adults. I want my characters to sound realistic, but I also don't want them dropping f-bombs everywhere. That's one of the draws of dystopian fiction, though. I can make up futuristic swear words without being offended by them!

Susan said...

Uncensored, for the most part, but I don't use swear words in my writing. Ever.

I'm sure your hair looks great. After all, you got an unbiased opinion from the best! Susan

Val said...

I don't write much fiction, but when I fiddle around with it, I don't censor. Unfortunately, a couple of my characters say what I think but don't dare speak.

K9friend said...

Art Linkletter had quite a successful career on letting kids say whatever they wanted...the unvarnished truth from the mouths of babes.

Critter Alley

Daisy said...

You have to respect the honesty of kids. He sounds like a sweet boy.