I Wrote for Kids and I Liked It

As you might be able to tell if you’ve checked out the front page of the site, I’ve had a couple kid-friendly credits to my name recently, with Step into Christmas over (obviously) Christmas and my piece in the Puppet Theater family-friendly performance this month.

I’ve also been in the planning stages with a writer/musician friend of mine on an original musical for kids. And I wrote that spec for Vampirina for the Nickelodeon Writing Program competition.

vampirina

(If you do not know what a Vampirina is, she’s an adorable Disney Jr. cartoon.)

The Vampirina script was so much fun to write… like, I actually… ENJOYED writing it? It was challenging because I’d never set out to write for the preschool audience before, but I wrote it without *too many* crippling anxiety attacks.

Next up is a spec script for the Amazon Prime kids show Just Add Magic. Because having a second current spec is always good and my old ones are (a) outdated and (b) not kids’ shows. I know I’m kind of taking a risk choosing Just Add Magic… I watched the entire series and, though it hasn’t been announced as renewed OR cancelled yet, the current “final” episode felt very, well… final. Like I feel like if it returns it will be one of those reboots, like when we get a new Doctor on Doctor Who, but with less, you know, burning.

doctorwho

So even if it does come back, it would be like writing a Peter Capaldi and Bill script when they’re not around anymore. It may be instantly outdated the second the show gets renewed (assuming it does, which it should, because it’s wonderful).

But I want to move forward with it anyway because I kind of love the show and actively WANT to write an episode of it. It was on Nickelodeon’s “accepted shows” list for shows they’ll accept as entrants into the preschool track of their competition, but I didn’t get into it until after the submissions were due. I’m going to just write it anyway, even though it may not even make their list next year since it’s technically not a preschool show like a lot of the others were.

So that’s… five projects either done or in development (“floating around in my head” and “Skype convos and shared spreadsheets” totally count as in development, shush) in less than a year. And I really enjoy it. And I think I’m maybe… dare I say… *good* at it? Or at least, my voice lends itself well to this style of writing. Yes, I’m comfortable saying that. My voice lends itself well to four-year-olds, people! But also to, say, ten-year-olds. I have range.

I don’t know why it took me so long to steer my writing down this path. I’ve wanted to write for kids basically since I started writing. I just sort of never did it because there was always a “real script” to be writing first. So I’d kill myself over the “real scripts” that languished in the awful development hell that is my brain, and nothing would ever feel “finished.” And because nothing ever felt finished, I never moved onto the “fun projects” that I’d been reserving just for my own time, i.e., not something I’d share with my writing group.

But why did I think I couldn’t bring in children’s scripts to my writing group? Other people have before. And why didn’t I see it as “real writing”? Maybe I needed the first door to open with Step Into Christmas to make me feel like it was a viable path for me to start down, because before that it was like “ok, so I write a script for kids… and then what?” None of my usual submission places take kid scripts. But now it’s like… just write what you feel like and figure out what to do with it after. And I don’t have to STOP writing for adults. It just makes sense to, you know, write what I like writing and to do that more often in my life. Some things in retrospect seem very obvious.

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Filed under kids tv/film, playwriting, theatre

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