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.

Summitry Posted on March 28, 2019 in Family.

Currently unsure whether to have the father the protagonist or the son. I think the father’s got the biggest arc but seeing Christmas through the eyes of an autistic child is interesting. All thoughts welcome.

on March 28, 2019.

Version 1 //

When his father, out of frustration, accidentally says his real father is Santa Claus, an autistic 12 year old sets out on Christmas Eve to find him.

on March 28, 2019.
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3 Review(s)

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”

Summitry Answered on March 28, 2019.

Thanks for the comments. I’m going to look more into the validity of it.

on March 28, 2019.
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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.

Singularity Answered on March 28, 2019.

Valid comments. Maybe he’s a step father? This then gives more credible reason why a) the guy could realistically (and accidentally) say something about his Dad being Santa Claus and b) gives a greater motivation for the kid to go out and find him.

on March 28, 2019.

>>>Maybe he’s a step father?
Okay.  I assume you’ve got a good backstory for why his real father abandoned him.  And  who his real mother.  What’s the tone for the story? Are you playing  it out with a straight face or as a somewhat dark comedy?

on March 30, 2019.
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Cute idea.

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?

Mentor Answered on March 29, 2019.
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