An Alternative to Ignoring Children: Treat Them Like Adults

I mentioned James Thurber’s amusing letter to a child, but I would much rather have received one from C. S. Lewis. This letter to a girl is  full of good writing advice, including this elaboration of “show, don’t tell”:

In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.”

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3 thoughts on “An Alternative to Ignoring Children: Treat Them Like Adults

  1. Children matured into adults very quickly in times past; getting married by as early as 14. And I’ve noticed, in old paintings, that sometimes children look more like miniature adults, in their proportions, and their bearing / gravitas. Might not indeed, as suggested in your link, treating kids like adults, help them mature faster?

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