We all learn the A-B-C of reading and writing at an early age. And what joy it can bring. Once we have learned to read, we can be transported to far-away lands, meet giants and goblins, princes and kings — all through the written word. We can learn about orthinology, quantum physics, gardening, trams or trains — whatever interests us, we can find out more about it because we have learned how to decipher the A-B-C of the written word.
For many, the joy of reading leads us to want to be the ones who write the stories others may want to read. And, again, whatever it is we are passionate about or wish to communicate, we can convey through the A-B-C of the written word.
So what about the A-G-E of reading and writing?
Well, let me just say, I am delighted to be included in the BFOR BLOG BLITZ though my offering for today is more about writing BFOR than reading them. And if this is your introduction to BFOR, I’ll tell you what it stands for:
BFOR is the acronym for Books for Older Readers and Books for Older Readers is a website and a Facebook group established in October 2017 by author Claire Baldry to promote books with older protagonists or themes such as ‘second chances’, which can particularly appeal to readers in mid-life or beyond. If you haven’t yet discovered the website or the Facebook group, I’d really urge you to take a look.
I’d particularly like to write about Books for Older Readers – Written by Older Writers.
We all know authors come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and genders, as do their readers. An older writer will not only read or write about older people.
But is there any advantage in writing the A-G-E of your generation? Does it add authenticity to the writer’s ‘voice’ to write about a generation they have experienced?
Do older writers have an advantage over their younger colleagues when writing about older protagonists?
Younger authors must write from observation. Older authors, from experience.
An older writer has experiencing each stage of human life, from being a child, a teenager, a young adult, possibly a spouse and a parent, all the way to the later years of life, when the goalposts have been shifted so many times they are almost out of sight.
As an older writer myself – I think being 72 qualifies me to call myself ‘older’ – I have lived through all those stages, and have found, not only new goalposts, but a whole new pitch.
The journey from child to adult
planning a future, setting goals
empty nest syndrome
loss of loved ones
the vicissitudes of ageing
The things I have not experienced myself – like divorce, continuing singleness, and childlessness – I have experienced second hand while supporting friends and family who are/have lived them.
And this is where I get to my main point:
That is a lot of life experience to draw on when writing a novel.
It involves a lot of worry, a lot of pain, a lot of joy – a lot of life!
Surely the older writer must benefit from that when writing about older protagonists?
I can’t speak for other writers, but I know I go through every emotion with my characters. When they laugh, I laugh, when they cry, I cry, in the hopes my readers identify with the characters and the situations. I still feel passion, and I certainly feel pain in my daily life.
So, what do you think – is that an advantage when writing books that might particularly appeal to older readers?
I hope so because I’m about to publish yet another book with older protagonists, some of whom get their second chances.
😀 📚 😀 📚 😀 📚