Children make one of the most demanding audiences. They do not tolerate lies and even half truths. This is why, writing an autobiography for kids can be very difficult. However, by following the 7 simple principles described below and using the clear example provided, you will be able to always satisfy the needs of the youngest and most demanding audiences.
How to Write Autobiographies for Kids?
To start with, a short foreword that explains what an autobiography actually is, can be truly helpful. For example, you can start by saying that an autobiography is a story that an author tells about his/her own life. The rest of the fundamental principles for achieving simplicity include:
- Choose the simplest words possible. Make certain you use words that even a four-year-old can understand. These words should be short and widely used. For example, when you work on an autobiography for children, it is better to write ‘say’ instead of ‘utter’ and ‘good’ instead of ‘magnificent’.
- Use short sentences. Make certain you do not exceed the limit of about 15 words in a sentence. Start a new sentence whenever possible.
- Give enough detail. Help your young readers imagine what you are describing. Try to describe colors, shapes, smells, sounds and textures.
- Avoid using specific or even scientific terms. Check yourself – if any word ends in –ism or –ology, it should be avoided by all means. The same goes for other special terms.
- Give a careful explanation for absolutely everything. Try to think like your readers think. Explain all abstract notions, even such as happiness or thunderstorm. For example, happiness is what your Mom feels when you behave well and eat your vegetables.
- Include life lessons in your memoir for kids. Try to teach something without being too annoying. Make certain that these lessons are clear. You can even directly state what you want your readers to know. For example, you can write that breaking promises is bad.
- Maintain kids’ attention. Children are usually unable to concentrate their attention for long periods of time. This is why you should include some unexpected plot lines in your narration. By the way, you can use some interjections which are clear to children and can help focus their attention. E.g. Hey! Oh! Bam!
Sample Autobiography for Kids
Actually, by using the 7 simple principles described above, you can adapt any memoir to children’s needs. This is what an autobiography for kids could look like if it had been written by Isaac Newton:
I was born on a Christmas Eve. I have never seen my father, because I was born three months after his death. My mother remarried when I was three and left me with my grandmother. You may think this was all too sad. But I have only the best memories from my childhood with granny.
My Mom wanted me to become a farmer, but I hated farming. I went to college and became one of the best students there. I could not finish my studies because of the Plague that caused the closure of our college. Plague is a severe disease. It killed thousands of people at that time, because doctors did not know how to heal it.
One day I was sitting behind an apple tree, when – Bam! All of a sudden, an apple fell on my head. My head hurt, and I thought to myself: “Why does an apple always fall down?” And I was lucky to find out an answer: because the Earth attracts all objects. The ground acts like a magnet. This is why people cannot fly and they can only walk on the ground…
So, writing captivating autobiographies for kids is possible and within your means. Use these 7 simple principles and enjoy the applauses of your young audiences!