Children & Teen & YA: Writing the child scare

Clowns.

My daughter has hated clowns, I would be safe, to say, most of her life.  Some forms she doesn’t mind – like the Joker’s girlfriend.

But what, I think, scared her more was the thought of losing a favorite stuffie.

Why would we want to scare children?  Why would they want to be scared?  I immediately think of Scooby Doo and all the monsters he chased.  I think about the Goosebumps books and even the fairy tales.  And why is it almost always the moms who are killed off?

The stories in multiple forms teach that good will overcome evil.  That the young stars will survive, be looked after.  Whenever the child is frightened or worried there is a solution and all will be made right.  Different but safe again.

Plus I think everyone enjoys that edge of the seat feeling and laughter after the scare.

All in proper dosages.  All fitting the story and characters.  And always no more than what we’re capable of handing to our young readers.

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