Storyteller's Rulebook: Kid Logic in "Humans of New York"
After yesterday’s heavier material, let’s look at the gentler side of “Humans of New York”: the kids. Once again, what Stanton does seems easy (Kids say the darndest things!) but there’s more going on. Whenever I’ve had to write kid characters, they utterly defeat me, because I can’t resist the natural urge to simply write them as little open-hearted adults. The key to writing kids well is to understand their bizarre logic. Stanton focuses in on this aspect like a laser.
Kids are worried about things that only kids worry about. Sometimes this causes them to overestimate their challenges...
And sometimes to underestimate them:
And whoops, here we are back in tragedy-ville, because utilizing kid-logic fears can also be a great way of making the horror of a situation feel more real:
Kids have almost all of the same worries and anxieties as adults, but they process them in strange ways. Good kid-character dialogue reflects our own fears (large and small) back at us in a funhouse mirror, allowing us to see anew in a fresh and startling way.