SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board


Discussion started on

In a picture book, is it okay to say "whatcha" - as in "what do you..."??

An idea hasn't let go and I'm eager to get it on the page, but it seems to rely on the repeated use of this wordish-word. It would even be in the title.

Normally, I cringe to see poor grammar and lazy spelling in a children's book. Whatcha certainly qualifies.

In an attempt to rationalize, I scoured Amazon, finding one title with the word, but it's adult non-fiction....

I'm in need of your wisdom.


#1 - August 16, 2015, 12:41 PM

My thought is: why not try it and see? You can read it aloud and see how you feel about it. Then have a few critique partners read it and see how they feel about it. Correct grammar is not always necessary, even if it's most often preferable.
#2 - August 16, 2015, 01:17 PM

Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region wisconsin
Go for it. I think you're really going to have to try this to see if it works.

This is a spelling/enunciation "issue," but not a grammar issue. Misspellings for effect (such as in all advertising, including childrens') have been in use for a long time.
#3 - August 16, 2015, 03:29 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region epa
I'm in the same camp. Go for it and see how you like it. Playing with words can be fun, and when it enters that realm, it doesn't always have to be perfectly correct.
#4 - August 16, 2015, 04:41 PM

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region sfsouth
The show Phineas & Ferb seems to have a thing for "whatcha doin'" and I distinctly recall "wotcher" as slang used by Tonks in Harry Potter, so I think you should go for it.
#5 - August 16, 2015, 06:49 PM
The End of Something Wonderful (Sterling 2019)
Hello, Star (Little Brown 2021)
The League of Picky Eaters (Clarion 2021)

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region houston
I think it sounds like great lots of fun. Give it a go, and see what you come up with.
#6 - August 17, 2015, 05:20 AM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

Thanks, everyone!

I'm going to give it a whirl!

Whatcha think of that?!

#7 - August 17, 2015, 06:28 AM


0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.