From Lewis Carroll to J. M. Barrie, tons of classics have been inspired by children in the authors’ real lives, telling the tale of extraordinary kids in extraordinary worlds.

For Lewis Carroll, it was the daughter of family friends. For J. M. Barrie, the influence came from a mixture of his little brother and the boys of a friend of his.

So the question remains; why were these adults so heavily influenced by these children, and what can modern authors learn from these children?

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  • Endless Imagination

    • There are no limits to a kids’ imagination; anything is possible. Fictional worlds, creatures, and adventures lie ahead for every kid, and they could for adults, too, if we would just take a page from a kids’ book. Possibilities are everywhere once you stop believing that they’re impossible.

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  • They Teach Patience

    • Any parent, teacher, or babysitter will attest; children take patience. But so does writing. Sitting down and taking time to write a story even when it becomes difficult or even tedious takes patience.
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P e r s p e c t i v e from MadHope Photography
  • Their Curiosity

    • As we grow older, adults begin focussing on a very small array of life; work, bills, taxes, etc. But like Alice, children have endless amounts of curiosity, always caught in that endless loop of, “why?” They challenge everything, and it’s something adults should relearn as they grow older.Writers challenge the world’s questions in their writing, and show their pure curiosity in their work.
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Two boys playing in a park. Munich, Germany
  • Trial and Error

    • Kids try something and get hurt and learn from it. They’re not afraid to try new things, even when they might get hurt in the process. This goes away when they grow up and begin to fear pretty much everything–getting injured, or making a fool of themselves, etc. Writers–and people in general–need to learn to take chances and learn from their mistakes without fear.

 

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