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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > August 2016 > Writing for children

Writing for children

ANIMAL MAGIC

Newly confident readers love animal stories just as much as younger children, says author Amy Sparkes, concluding her look at creating animal magic in your stories

Animals have a special place in our hearts and our stories. Animal books in young fiction (age 5-9) or middlegrade fiction (age 9-12) tend to fall into one of two categories: stories focusing on the relationship between animals and humans; or stories which view the world from the animals’ perspective.

Animals and humans

The relationship between humans and animals is special, whether it concerns a cherished pet, a rescued animal or an encounter in the wild. This interaction usually facilitates the resolution of the protagonist’s conflict (internal, external or both).

One way this can happen is magic. Being removed from the limits of human nature, animals are sometimes portrayed as magical, especially in young fiction. Can you create an animal character with a magical element? How would the magic work? How could it help solve a problem?

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Earn from your writing and get published: Cash prize competitions, calls for submissions and writing opportunities in 20 pages of Writers' News Discover your inner writer Cut to the heart of your novel – without losing the plot Social skills: Learn to use your online time to the max 10 top tips to get your book published and keep it selling Reader successes: Readers share their success stories Meet our publishing deal competition winner Star interview: Prize-winning poet and author Kei Miller on writing without boundaries

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