How is writing a screenplay like writing a novel for kids?

Click to see...
Powerful Storytelling Points from Pixar
The graphics are helpful -- note the characters used to illustrate each point.
What movie is each one from?
Can you identify them all?

One must admit, Pixar knows how to tell stories that appeal to kids. But . . .
How is making a movie different than writing a novel for kids?

There are so many similarities and so many differences.

The major difference is the Internal Quality of Novels.
This allows the character to tell us -- via 1st or 3rd person what they are feeling and thinking.
There is a greater disconnect between:
the outer world of the ACTION OF THE STORY
and the INTERNAL MIND and HEART of the character.

It helps to imagine your book as a film -- with scenes and settings that change dramatically.
But novels (especially those for kids) tend to focus on ONE POINT OF VIEW. When 3rd person POV is used -- it is LIMITED -- meaning, it is still from the point of view of the main character.
The omniscient narrator is not found as much in literature today.

Another trend I see is novels for kids becoming more GRAPHIC and PICTORIAL.

Gone are the days of lengthy description. I believe this is influence by FILM MEDIA.
Kids don't have as much patience to CREATE the IMAGES in their minds -- they want them PRESENTED CLEARLY -- on silver platter.

Make your character do things.
Give them symbols, a look, distinction.
Make him or her travel and confront obstacles out in the world that illustrate the conflict he or she is experiencing internally.
Make everything about the book crackle with uniqueness.
In the new world of the internet, which is also very graphic, difference stand out.
Weird has become the  new normal. And normal has become just plain boring.

Think about the balloons in the movie UP. What a powerful symbol!
OR the umbrella in MARY POPPINS! (all film, even older ones, are in their graphicness, more connected to how kids and teens see the world than BOOKS sad but true!)



  1. This is great, Deborah! Thanks for the link, and analysis. :)

  2. Thanks, Kathy! I didn't realize how much I had to say on the subject, but it is something I think about a lot, being a huge fan of films. Images are more accessible then words, on the whole, because we don't need to
    work at understanding them.


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