Is it ill-advised to have a child protagonist (either first or third POV) in a story that contain a fair share of violence and gore ?

I'm worried readers of this kind of story may not relate with a young character, or find the whole thing annoying/tasteless.
To be clear, my story isn't a non-stop stream of bloody, horrific events suffered by the protagonist, but it does contain a few disturbing or violent scenes.

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can. Most Stephen King's books have children in them. IT is half narrated by childrens' point of view.

A child is innocent and generally untouched by evil, so it is a very good and interesting character for a weird tale. It forces the adult reader to look into dark themes with a "clean" or detached perspective, so an adult reader can be engaged and be interested. On the other hand, it reinforces the dark concepts, by showing them to a younger and weaker person, thus raising sensations of horrors in the reader.

What you want to avoid is making it gratuitous, such as having a kid suffer horrors just to make your story morbid. That is a meaningless choice, and I would avoid it - unless you want to write dark pulp pornography (which I would also not recommend, but that's just me).

Generally speaking, writing with the POV of a kid is more difficult: it requires good taste, intelligence and common sense, and a strong empathy with your characters. But it is not "forbidden" or ill-advised, at all.

  • 2
    Game of Thrones also has several children as PoV characters, and a high level of violence and gore. Just be sure that your kids feel like kids, not miniature adults. Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 18:19
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    See also: Room, To Kill a Mockingbird, True Grit. Commented Dec 27, 2017 at 14:00
  • 2
    Lord of the Flies.
    – Misha R
    Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 18:19

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