How to Write Scripts for Children

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To write scripts for children, create a story that captures the imagination without trying to dumb things down, appeal to the short attention span of children, and try to capture the voice and actions of children. Spend time getting to know how children interact to write a good script with tips from a writer, director and editor in this free video on script writing.

Part of the Video Series: Script Writing & Filmmaking
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Video Transcript

OK folks in this clip we're going to talk about how to write scripts or stories for children. I'm going to answer this question a couple of different ways. One, how to write stories for children. Stories intended with children as the audience. You don't want to treat them like idiots. Obviously you're going to have to know your audience and know the material and know how to present it in a way that appeals to a younger audience but that doesn't necessarily mean dumbing it down. A great example of this is Pixar. They continually produce high, high quality movies that appeal to a broad audience and they do so by not pandering just to children. So create a story that really captures their imaginations and their attentions because children's attention spans are a lot shorter than most adults but is also so unbelievably high quality it just absolutely draws not just them in but everyone in in such a way that your film or television show or whatever can find the broadest audience. Try to reach for that level. Try to layer your story in such a way that it appeals to a broad audience and not just kids. And now taking it a completely different way, how to write scripts for children. This is assuming you're writing a story or whatever, a screenplay, a television show and you need to have children as actors in the story itself. How to write a script for a child, obviously the character is a child otherwise a child wouldn't be playing it unless it's one of those unusual high concept scripts where the child is some reincarnated older person or whatever, in that case you need to find a really good actor child but what I was going to say is when you have children actors playing characters within your story, make sure that you really learn how to speak for children in that you need to find that voice. As a writer you have to find the voices for many different characters. Your hero, your villain, your tragic character, your unlikable characters, same thing goes for when you're writing for children. You need to find that child's voice and do this in any way that you can. Listen to them, find actual children that you know and spend time just talking and figuring out exactly how it is that they interact. But that's very, very important when you sit down to write for a child. Make sure that you are able to capture their voice and if it sounds true to what we as an audience come to expect when we see kids interacting in a story on screen, that's the best way to write for children.


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