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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.: )  I want to start writing a series of funny ghost stories for 1st graders that will make them laugh and sometimes a little creepy. They will be chapter books and easy to read.  Does anyone have any tips on what to write about and not write about? I want my readers to have fun but be a little scared at the same time.  I just dont want the readers to think their are ghosts in their houses lol  luckily my daughter is in the 1st grade but I want writers opinions too.  Thanks!
 

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I'd make the ghosts kind of goofy.  You could also give the protagonist some kind of knowledge of how to scare the ghosts instead of just having the ghosts be scary.  Like, for example, the ghosts have scary power but only if the lights are off.  Once you turn on the lights they become non-scary ghosts.

Also, give the hero a shrink ray.  Then you have inch-high ghosts, which aren't very scary either.  :p

We just published part one of our Halloween story, and we've got a group of ghouls that confound the Ajan Warriors by being silly.  They have evil grins and black teeth and all that, but they're also characters and they make fun of our protagonists instead of fighting them (they even do a dance number).  It works too.  Makes for a very entertaining chapter or two.
 

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It also depends on the way you are going to write it. Will it be on the Kindle? Is it a picture book? 6 year olds need things to keep their attention, but not too scary. Silly is good, but usually the characters in the books come to some understanding, have a lesson learned, etc. It should be able to be read aloud to them, since most 6 year olds are beginning readers.

I did an experiment of writing one of my stories into a Kindle picture book. It's on Amazon still. Plus, there are a lot of epicture books out there to look at. Try reading a lot of ghost picture books first. I also reviewed one for Halloween on my blog this year. I've put the links to both below:

Pumper the Pumpkin
http://www.amazon.com/Pumper-the-Pumpkin-ebook/dp/B005X1CS1A

Review for "A Ghost Went Trick-o-Treating"
http://crystalkeeper.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/charming-picture-book-for-trick-o-treaters/
 

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In first grade though, they're starting to read chapter books. So, I wouldn't stress about adding a lot of pictures. They do still like random pictures throughout the book, but the text is holding their attention more.

Yeah, I agree with not too scary. Something that they can conquer or laugh about or feel comfortable with after the initial scare. Because really, whatever you write will become their game at recess and they'll reenact it with their friends. And at night, with the lights off, the scary stuff gets magnified.

I love the idea of funny ghost stories for kids. It's what I try to write for adults. :-D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh it I'll be light. It will only have a few pictures. Probably one every 10 pages.  So only 6. It will be kindle and paperback. I know the main concept of the stories. It's about a girl who lives with a ghost who's the same age as her.  Now I just need to find out what they can do together.  I've been asking my six year old for ideas but she's being goofy  with her answers. LoL
 

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Whatever you do, DO NOT make it be because the ghost is there to collect the girl's spirit when she dies, so they can go off to the ever after together. Believe it or not, I've actually read that -- and it was written as a kid's picture book. I was just happy I read that all the way through before reading it to my kid. It would have freaked her out. Like, therapy-level freaked her out. That book was an immediate delete.
 

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Keep the sentence structure simple. In 1st grade their max DRA level is about a 20 which is middle of the year second grade. At this point they understand dialogue but mostly when it's identified by the character.
I would read Roscoe Riley Rules for some funny 1st grade appropriate humor, though it's not scary by any means.
I agree with the advice here make the ghosts funny, and I would focus more on the mystery rather than the ghosts themselves.
Think ParaNorman.
-from a 1st grade teacher  ;D
 

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sammykay said:
I've been asking my six year old for ideas but she's being goofy with her answers. LoL
Maybe the goofy and silly angle would be good. Maybe she's got something. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I asked my daughter: if you lived with a ghost, what would you do together? She said play toys with her and help her do her homework. LoL
 

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Your daughter is right.

Goofy is good.

Here's a couple of examples off of the top of my head...

A little girl might have a tea party with the ghost - except the tea would pass right through the ghost and spill onto the floor - causing the mother to scold the little girl for making a mess on the floor.

They might try to skip rope together - except that wouldn't be fair because the rope would pass right through the ghost.

She might ask the ghost to peek in her birthday gifts - ie: poke her immaterial head into the gift box.

She might want to take the ghost into school for "show and tell".

Lots of good things a girl could do with a ghost.
 
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