Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Victoria Lucia

What Children’s Stories Can Teach Screenwriters About Storytelling

What Children’s Stories Can Teach Screenwriters About Storytelling

Children’s books, television shows, and movies are our first introductions to storytelling. These initial stories help shape how we understand and interact with the world. Their value isn’t lost after we grow older; on the contrary, children’s stories can help teach us a thing or two about screenwriting!

Simpler is often better

Children’s stories teach us to take an idea and distill it down to the core of itself. I’m not saying to dumb something down, but I’m talking about expressing an idea in the most economical way possible. Delivering a story most straightforwardly increases your odds of it connecting with an audience, which is probably why Pixar movies connect so well with kids and adults.

Conquer Screenwriting!

SoCreate leads you to success

SoCreate Screenwriting Software offers an entirely new way to write a screenplay & still outputs a professionally formatted script.

Learn More

Student Pricing:Student Pricing Available!

$3.99/mo. - billed annually
Get it Now

No story is too small to tell

You can find a meaningful story anywhere. Children’s stories show us that a purple crayon can be a powerful tool for creation, giving a mouse a cookie can send you down an unexpected path, and being sent to bed without supper can be how a wild rumpus starts. Children’s stories remind us that no story is too small to tell, only the limits of our imaginations dictate the possibilities of a story. You don’t always need to look towards the fantastical to tell a compelling story. The next time you’re stuck creatively, consider thinking of things smaller in scale and a little closer to home. Stories are all around you.

Tell stories honestly, even if it’s it hard

Charlotte’s Web, The Graveyard Book, and Love You Forever are all children’s books that tell stories with difficult subject matters. These books work because they tell their stories honestly, which should be the ultimate goal for all writers. Even when the lesson in the story is a difficult one to tell, approaching it truthfully is how it will effectively connect with an audience.

A happy ending is okay

Sometimes as adult writers, we doubt the authenticity or believability of a happy ending, but some stories deserve just that. The triumph of good over evil or the well-deserved success of a character aren’t endings only children enjoy. As adults, it’s just as satisfying to see Harry Potter defeat Voldemort and for the wizarding world to become a safer place.

Children’s stories remind us how to tell the core of a story in its most reduced form. The story can be just as exciting, but a simpler way of expressing something can still have power and meaning. Often, power and meaning are easier to grasp, making the story more enjoyable for more people. Children’s stories often instill us with lessons we carry throughout our lifetimes, and their ability to do that is nothing to look down on. Acknowledging and exploring the techniques children’s stories employ can improve our own storytelling skills, ideally making our words something an audience will keep with them for a long time.

Speaking of straightforward simplicity, are you on SoCreate’s Private Beta List? The new screenwriting software is coming soon, and one of the most amazing things about it is that anyone will be able to write a script using it – from kids to adults and beginners to experts. .

Happy writing!

You may also be interested in...

How to Use Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling in Your Screenplay

Pixar is synonymous with thoughtful films featuring developed characters and storylines guaranteed to hit you directly in the feels. How do they manage to crank out poignant hit after hit film? In 2011, former Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats tweeted a collection of storytelling rules she learned from working at Pixar. These rules have become known as “Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling.” Today I’m going to share these rules with you and expand upon how I use them in screenwriting. #1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes. Audiences want to relate to a character and root for ...

How To Use Cultural Storytelling Techniques to Tell a Unique Story

Storytelling is at the core of who we are, but who we are is varied and different. Our individual cultures significantly impact our lives, and, in turn, how we tell stories. Culture not only dictates what stories we tell but also how we tell them. How do storytelling techniques differ around the world? What do different countries value in their stories over others? Today I’m exploring how different countries use culture in film and television. Heroes: The Hollywood film market has the American hero story on lock, where the said hero rises up to fight a good fight, often in a huge action-packed comic book way. Following 9/11 ...

Screenwriting for Dummies and More Books for Script Writers

All writers should continuously strive to improve their writing skills, and what better way to do that than by checking out a new screenwriting book! While some screenwriters go to film school, there are so many resources to learn the screenwriting process that cost a lot less. Save The Cat!, Screenwriting for Dummies, The Screenwriter's Bible, and more … today, I'm talking about some of my favorite books by screenwriting gurus written for screenwriters! Pick one up before you write your next - or even first - movie script. Probably one of the best-known books on screenwriting, Save the Cat! breaks down ...