Have you ever watched a movie or read a book and thought, that wouldn’t really happen? Of course you have! As adults, we are constantly expected to allow some suspension of disbelief in our entertainment, especially in science fiction and fantasy. Children, however, are not as forgiving and will call you out if the facts of your fiction aren’t logical.
A quick search will give tips about creating believable characters, plots, and scenarios that children will love. But very few articles remind authors that children are way more perceptive and knowledgeable than many adults give them credit for.
Young people are constantly studying the world around them to figure out how everything works. In fact, it’s not uncommon for many elementary aged children to fixate on a topic that intrigues them. For a time, they’ll read and research everything they can find, to the point of becoming an expert among their peers.
Young readers are extremely savvy and pay much more attention to tiny details that an adult will overlook (or even forgive) for the sake of fiction. Even if creating a world, you must make it realistic enough for readers to accept. Unless you explain why something works differently in your world, you need to keep natural, physical, and scientific rules intact.
So the next time you’re tempted to add penguins to your Alaska excursion, fly a gasoline powered spacecraft, or create a car explosion with a pistol shot, make sure you’ve got your facts straight.