child narrator in adult book?

by Emma
(The Netherlands)

Hi Glen,

I would kindly like to ask you if it is possible to have a child narrator and main character in adult fiction? I don't want it to become a children’s book or young adult, but it needs to be told from the perspective of a 6 year old girl. Would this be acceptable or is this a no go?

It could be told by an adult version of this girl and use flashbacks but I would like it better to tell the story from a child's perspective.

I hope you would be so kind to answer my question. Thank you so much!

Kind regards,


Answer: Very little is impossible.

However, you will want to make clear from the outset that the book is not intended for children. A maturity of the situation, tone, or atmosphere may suffice to indicate to the readers who your intended readership is.

You may have to put some thought into whether you a child's vocabulary will be appropriate, which you may need to do if the child is the narrator.

It may be easier to write in third person limited rather than first person, so that your narrative voice can have a greater maturity than the character. This is a variation on having an adult narrator tell the story of his/her childhood, which is sometimes done for the same reason.

You may want to write a chapter or two and then invite others to read it and see if they think it is a children's or adult book.

Best of luck.

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