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Writing a Script for a Younger Audience

No matter the genre or specific niche related to a script, anything involving the matter is a complicated task to accomplish. Considering not many people come close to accomplishing this goal, it's a remarkable achievement for any person to do. Outside of the pure accomplishment from finishing a script, there's something even more exciting when you finally sell a script.

Nonetheless, every script has a target audience. A target audience is what people tend to think of who will enjoy something; it's used virtually every market in the world. With scripts, a romantic comedy has a different target audience than arthouse films. With this in mind, writing a script for a younger audience is an even more difficult task to do since it has such a designated targeted audience in mind.

Whether it's the way characters talk, the story, the nod to parents who are bringing their kids to the see it, or anything for that matter, it's challenging to develop a script for a younger audience. No matter how you frame it, it's a problematic manner for many reasons, which is why an even smaller percentage of scriptwriters try to do it.

Down below, we're going to discuss various information tied to writing a script for a younger audience. Although this is a somewhat broad list in the field, it'll help screenwriters who are interested in writing for a younger audience understand what's expected. Be sure to utilize this information to help your writing and to continue working on your craft as much as you can. Let's get started!

Still from 'Shrek'. Photo credit: Dreamworks

Think About What Kids Love

First and foremost, as a screenwriter in this particular genre, you need to understand what kids love. Considering kids have vastly different interests than adults, it’s vital to think about what they would find entertaining in a film or television series. Plus, since every kid is different, it’s crucial to think about how you can entertain every kid who might end up watching your piece.

The best way to do this is to look at popular television series or movies that kids love. Before reading the script, watch them and see what sets them apart from everything else. Take notes and see what kids will specifically love from it. Although this is a somewhat monumental task, it'll come with enough practice.

If you have a child in your life, consider doing this practice with them. That way, you'll see their reaction to the film or television series, and it'll help you understand what stands out. Once you watch the specific television series or film, watch it again but with the script in hand. Reading the script thoroughly through will help you get a deeper understanding of what makes it so great.

Know the Market

Outside of thinking about what kids want and love from specific films or television series, you have to know the market. A market doesn't necessarily mean to cater to a younger audience, but it's crucial to see what's selling as scripts for younger audiences. For example, if an animated superhero movie just caught a ton of attention, maybe it's time for you to write a younger audience script in that genre.

On the other hand, you need to understand who will be potentially watching this film or television series. Other than kids, adults will most likely dive into the matter since kids can’t see movies by themselves. Thus, why dialogue plays such a crucial matter for crafting the right script in the genre.

Use the Right Dialogue

As noted above, an excellent script for a younger audience can't be done correctly without the right dialogue. Although this appears to be a somewhat broad notion, it makes a lot of sense. Kids won't be able to understand a complicated dialogue exchange in a Coen brothers-like script. On the other hand, the script shouldn't be dumbed enough to spoon-feed the audience. There needs to be a happy medium.

Utilize Useful Lessons

Any great kids movie or television series has an implementation of useful lessons. Whether it’s Shrek and how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or Wall-E and the importance of taking care of one another and the planet, every young audience script has a message. Of course, this message shouldn't be painfully obvious, but enough of a motif that enhances the script.


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