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Sunday, 5 February 2012

How To Write Scripts For Children

I have recently found this great eHow video on script writing for children in both an animated and live-action context.

It's an essential video and sound advice, if like me you're starting out writing your first major children's animated project or even if your live-action script has a child character or two in there, or a whole main cast of them.

It's a useful insight on what's important when writing for children that can be easily forgotten when writing, as we tend to write and appeal to the child within us first.

But the longer we ignore our audience the more we run the risk of damaging our script, characters' voices, credibility and will bore. The last thing we want to do is disrespect them and convey a lack of professionalism and talent to a script reader and/or producer.

Step out of the story for a moment and watch the video to be reminded of the fundamentals on writing for children.

Children are smart, imaginative and can be extremely witty. The world to them is a playground of fantastical opportunity and imaginative exploration in an infinite number of connections and combinations that adds up to a whole load of fun. And while learning in the process. Naturally when they watch television or a film they hand that responsibility over to the programme channel and filmmakers to play the role of Creator and are expected to be taken on a fun journey. However, not to sit back in passive mode but to be mentally active and engaged in the narrative as it develops. They've certainly set the bar but by knowing our audience and market early on we have a chance to at least meet it. At the same time it's essential that they watch only the best material that engages them on a healthy and positive level for their own continual learning and development needs. This means it's up to screenwriters, directors, producers and programme controllers to deliver that. As we know it generally all starts with us: let's make sure we get our bit right first. As the children are the future, it's wise to entertain and teach them well. Good luck with your projects and don't forget the most fundamental thing of all: HAVE FUN! "You must write for children in the same way as you do for adults, only better."

- Maxim Gorky

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