Repurposing Blog

I’ve done a little bit more research since Monday, and I’ve decided to change my project very slightly. Before, I was going to write in an historical fiction genre for children, however after doing more research on Winnie-the-Pooh (which was what drew me to writing for children, anyway) I’ve decided not to model my project off of Magic Tree House and just stick with the children’s book genre, of ages about 5-7. I’m not doing this because I don’t want to write about the history; I’m going to keep the historical aspects because that’s part of my original piece, I just want to focus more on the writing style because that’s what I want to get out of this project anyway.

I do this also because I consider Pooh to be a genre of its own. No one else writes quite like that, and I think that his style bleeds over into genre. I say this because he writes (a) for a child’s perspective while adding in some sophistication only adults will understand (this in itself isn’t unique, as cartoons do exactly that), (b) as if the action is literally happening, and instead of conveying the actual action he’ll use one of the characters’ perspectives, making it playful (as seen here), and (c) he wittily plays with different writing elements (like breaking the fourth wall, having the omniscient narrator limit himself by taking on the characters’ positions, and using dry humor surrounding his characters’ childlike egocentrism to make the characters clearly absurd while retaining the own characters’ obliviousness and thus retaining the story’s childlike innocence). That was a lot to handle in one sentence. However, Milne’s style is inarguably unique, and the point of all of that was to argue that his style makes his genre like no other writer.

The only help I could use is to find more examples of writing like Pooh. My initial research hasn’t turned up anything (besides a movie review, though it’s not of the same caliber), so having one more example to base my writing off of would be great. Otherwise, I think I just have to write. That’s the only way I’ll know what I need to work on. I will continue my research tonight by watching the Pooh movies on Netflix (not just to watch them, but because part of the charm of the story is the pictures playing with it) and the movie plays with the words spoken because Pooh literally trips over the words on the page.

2 thoughts to “Repurposing Blog”

  1. I think we have both found comfort knowing that we are always stuck in the same place with our projects! However, it looks like both of our projects are finally taking off, and I am excited for you! I did not realize that you had decided on an audience of children 5-7, and I think this is a great choice. I know you are concerned about it being too broad of an audience, but I do not think you need to commit to anything right now. I think your audience can narrow as you write; let the piece figure out to whom it is speaking. You do not need to confine yourself to anything just yet.

    I agree with you that Pooh is in its own genre since there is nothing else quite like it, and I think that is the reason you are having trouble finding other sources. Obviously you cannot just draw from any Dr. Seuss or Robert Munsch book, but your other sources may need to be a bit more flexible and less like your final vision, since Pooh is so specific. You do not need to model your work off of all of your sources, but any kind of inspiration is good inspiration!

    I completely agree with you that we just need to write. Once we start the journey, I am sure we will find a lot of answers (and probably a lot more questions, too–go figure). Happy writing!

  2. I’m excited that you’ve chosen to model your work after AA Milne; I think if you’re going to go through the struggle of dissecting a children’s book, his are certainly the richest and most rewarding with which to do so. As you were saying, Winnie the Pooh has some breaking the fourth wall characteristics that make it especially interesting, like when we trips over the words, so maybe reading a few Deadpool comics would help you to overlap those tricks with Milne’s? Also, I know Beatrix Potter is a little bit fancier than Winnie the Pooh, but it has the same innocence and character within the animals that is something really precious to capture in your history piece.

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