No Adults: Have you seen a kid’s movie with adults in on the action? The Goonies is a fine example when they go exploring the underground world by themselves. Paranorman (I saw it last month) is another fine example. The adults do defend their town against zombies near the end- with hilarious results- but they aren’t the main feature in that movie. The oldest primary character can at least be a teenager (16-17) at most. The villains below are adults, but they are only small parts in this classic, hilarious scene.
Cheery Titles: Again, The Goonies and Paranorman are goofy titles. The Shining, Sandman Slim, and Infernal are not. They tell you all there is to know in the title. It’s going to be a rip-roaring thrill ride from Stephen King, Richard Kadrey, and F. Paul Wilson respectively. R.L. Stine is a master of silly titles fitting into kid’s horror with The Prom Queen, Party Poopers, and The Attack of the Aqua Apes- I wonder what that one is about. I came up with the title of Mutant-Cowboy-Space-Pirate because that is what the main character is dressed as.
No Heavy Violence: Gore and blood are surely not for a kid’s story. Action on a small kind, sure. I’m not even putting guns in this story. I won’t ruin the end but the title character and his friends gang up. Vampires are involved. No character should die. The bullies do get what’s coming to them but not death. Death is too heavy for a kid’s story. Monsters don’t fall under this rule.
Well, okay, below is PG-13, but it gets the point across.
Overall Fun: As I said, I had a lot of fun writing this. It’s so different from what I usually write and the characters are to die for. The tone is light and friendly. Candy and clowns and thrills are all here under a circus tent.
If you had fun (or still do) reading R.L. Stine, this story truly is one you can sink your teeth into. Mutant-Cowboy-Space-Pirates arrives October 27.