Hat Trick is Violent

I’ve been doing most of my writing on Twitter of late, but I’m on a social media fast for the month of October. In the interim, I started posting updates on Patreon, as I had this theory that people would be happy to underwrite kids’ books For Great Justice!

That theory has not borne out, and I’ve got a new idea that I’m going to test today, and likely put into full motion next month, but here’s a public post on my current work in progress, Hat Trick 1:

This, right here, is a dream sequence. But someone does actually get stabbed in the book.

Hat Trick wasn’t really intended as a children’s story. I’m creating it in children’s book format because that best suits the Venn Diagram of “Things I can make with the time and resources I have” and “Media suitable for Hat Trick.”

That said, I’m still going to read it to my child. Why? Because I’m with C.S. Lewis on this one.

Those who say that children must not be frightened may mean two things. They may mean (1) that we must not do anything likely to give the child those haunting, disabling, pathological fears against which ordinary courage is helpless: in fact, phobias. His mind must, if possible, be kept clear of things he can’t bear to think of. Or they may mean (2) that we must try to keep out of his mind the knowledge that he is born into a world of death, violence, wounds, adventure, heroism and cowardice, good and evil. If they mean the first I agree with them: but not if they mean the second. The second would indeed be to give children a false impression and feed them on escapism in the bad sense. There is something ludicrous in the idea of so educating a generation which is born to the Ogpu and the atomic bomb. Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker. Nor do most of us find that violence and bloodshed, in a story, produce any haunting dread in the minds of children. As far as that goes, I side impenitently with the human race against the modern reformer. Let there be wicked kings and beheadings, battles and dungeons, giants and dragons, and let villains be soundly killed at the end the book. Nothing will persuade me that this causes an ordinary child any kind or degree of fear beyond what it wants, and needs, to feel. For, of course, it wants to be a little frightened.

On Three Ways of Writing for Children. C. S. Lewis


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