Some of you will have noticed the Young Adult craze in books and movies recently, what with Harry Potter and that sparkly vampire boy everywhere. Not to mention the Hungry Games; LOVE IT. Even movies for younger kids are exploding in popularity, as mom and dad try to shield their kids from the reality of not being able to sign them up for pageant classes.
Haven’t you wondered how you could get in on the action? I’m here to help you. And don’t think you can’t do it- writing for kids is easy if you have a rollicking imagination and a natural zest for life!
Here’s my easy-to-follow formula, based on hours of visual research.
1. The main character must be a misfit or physically challenged, a la Happy Feet and Nemo.
2. A great loss will have befallen them. Nemo, Bambi.
3. The main character finds a group of loveable, but odd buddies. Shrek, Ice Age, Wizard of Oz
4. A long journey arms the main character with strength and perseverance. Tangled, Ice Age, Nemo, Happy Feet, um need I go on?
5. The main character narrowly escapes death or maiming!
6. The main character, as well as some secondary characters must learn a vital lesson.
7. At the end, there must be a marriage, a reunion, or some sort of major event.
Now. Let’s pull all of these elements together and create a best-selling story, shall we? Grab your #2 pencils and caffeinated beverage of your choice.
Once upon a time there was a two-headed girl whose greatest passion in life was Irish dancing. Her cute-as-a-button sister mercilessly made fun of her. Not because of her two heads, but because Irish dancing was so, like, 2008. When the teasing proved to be too much, little Flora (the two-headed girl) set off an a journey to follow her dream: she was going to Ireland! She packed her curly wig and dance shoes, little socks and skirt, and started out.
When she arrived in what she thought was Ireland (but was really Gary, Indiana), Flora visited the nearest carnival and grabbed the first three freaks she encountered. One was tall and thin with a hunched back and giant boils. He was more than a little dopey. The next was fiery-tempered and startled easily, causing everyone to jump. The third was tiny and fluffy, like a kitten, but more like a tiny fluffy robot with an unusually heightened sense of telepathy.
Oh, but they formed a merry, motley group! As they journeyed on, they saved each other several times from horrible menacing villains and natural disasters. This caused them to realize that your real family is made up of those who stick with you, whatever may come. Also, they would remember to carry pepper spray next time.
At the end of the arduous journey, the pals came upon a VFW hall, where Flora was able to perform her most haunting, heartfelt Irish dance ever for a room full of drunken veterans. The applause was deafening, and she received a somewhat standing ovation, plus a few unsavory invitations.
The next morning, the friends decided they should all get married, and did so promptly. As nobody was quite able to determine the sexes of Flora’s companions, there was no question as to whether the union was legal or not. They all lived happily in a fun little house they found with lots of toys out front, near a smog-producing steel plant.
Good luck, folks, and consider using me as a voice for one of the characters in your movie. I do a killer quirky sidekick.