When his stepdad, out of frustration, accidentally tells him his real father is Santa Claus, an autistic 12 year old sets out on Christmas Eve to find him.
Hello mikepedley85. Found this very interesting.
Is an ‘autistic 12 year old’ that easy to believe? I have a 10/11 year old niece – diagnosed, and she’s not gullible enough to take off like that (they lie on that spectrum) Maybe edit with the adjective ‘gullible’..
Can see father playing the lead. Suggested Format-
“When a frustrated conversation sets his autistic 12 year old looking for his real father, Santa; A desperate widower must find him in the Christmas bustle”
I recognize that in the 1st Act a writer has the license to create an alternate world and rules for that world. Still, he must set up that world and the rules in a way that the audience will buy into, in a way that induces an audience to suspend disbelief.
That said, on the basis of one sentence instead of 30 pages, I am unable to suspend disbelief. Specifically I find it difficult to buy into the father’s outburst. Why would any parent, even out of frustration, say something like that? Especially given that the opposite situation is quite credible, that a parent would blurt out in frustration that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, that it’s about time his kid grew out of his juvenile fantasies and realized it.
Unless, that is exactly the world you are setting up: the kid is, indeed, Santa’s love child.
I have no problem believing that an autistic kid is gullible because a symptom of autism is a deficit in the cognitive ability to read between the lines of what others say. Every statement is taken literally, every presentation at face value. So the kid still believes in Santa because he sees him in ads, in print and on TV, ringing bells in front of grocery stores, posing for pictures at shopping malls, etc.
The blurting out is secondary, no? The man can get drunk and spill the secret, the kid can stumble upon a video or picture that reveals the truth…and it’s the same story. If yes, cut the detail from the logline. “After learning that his real father is Santa Claus…“
For a high-concept story of “Boy looks for his real father, Santa,’ the addition of him being autistic feels like a distraction or second hook. I’d like to read/see a romcom with a teen or adult who’s autistic or a horror with such a protag or mc. But for this novel scenario, consider a kid who represents many more people.
Next take, look to create more of a mental picture of what happens in most of Act II. Where does the boy go? How? Alone? Is it a road trip?
What are the stakes? Seems the boy still has his mother, the step-dad sounds normal enough…what exactly propels him and what would happen if he does not find Santa Daddy?