I’ve been remiss in posting, so I’m playing a little catch up today. Today’s post will be about the villains the Minions have created for their November novels. We’ve started working on the actual plot sections, but I’m leaving that post for another day.
Constructing the villains brought up some excellent opportunities for discussion. Kids tend to see the world in black and white. As we discussed their villains, I could see them mentally grappling with the concept that maybe the world is a bit more gray than that (please no 50 Shades jokes). Let’s start with artwork this time and we’ll analyze them one by one.
Minion 2.0 came up with some interesting ideas for her villain. Most is pretty typical villain stuff. She’s evil. She does magic. Magic hurts her. She catches fairies, dragons, and other magical creatures.
The first thing that got me was why she catches the magical creatures. Apparently, the mayor of Darkville has ordered all the residents to catch these things, tear their wings off, and burn them to a crisp.
This is where I have to remind myself that stories people create does not necessarily reflect who they actually are.
The next questions in the workbook helped develop the aforementioned gray area. It turns out Devee (we’re working on that name as 2.0 has trouble thinking up names, so I’m showing her some tools she can use) has a good side. She likes someone named Eric. The cool thing here is that these witches become more good as they get older. When they’re born, their hearts are 100% evil. As they age, a spot of good develops and grows until it fills up their hearts. Apparently Devee is struggling as she has started to develop some goodness and no longer wants to rip the wings off of fairies and torch them.
Holy inner conflict, Batman!
Next up, we have Minion 1.0’s bad guy.
Roary here is actually a princess. Apparently she either killed her family (accidentally) or they just died, leaving her alone in the castle. Roary didn’t care much for being held prisoner by the guards trying to keep her safe, so she escaped to a cave. She brings darkness wherever she goes and her weaknesses are cuteness and angels.
Everyone is scared of Roary, but she’s really just a lonely little girl. She can’t help that darkness follows her everywhere, and what she wants more than anything else in the world is her family back. I’m not sure how v1.0 is going to resolve this conflict, but I think she already has a good idea, judging by how quickly she zooms through the workbook pages.
We’re working on more story outlining today, but we still have many pages to go before November 1. I think they’re ready to start writing already. Still, these exercises and questions are definitely making them put more thought into what they’re writing and why. I’m making sure to ask further questions when I see they’ve given a one-word answer. It causes them to think deeper than “well, I answered the question so that’s good enough”, because then they’re accountable to me. By having to verbally explain their answers they put more thought into it. If there’s anything that motivates Minion 1.0, it’s proving that she’s right. When I question half-assed written statements she has to defend her answers and, whether she is aware of it or not, it builds more depth to her story, characters, and setting. I’m sneaky like that. I hope they look back on this experience some day and they realize how crucial this ability to question and reason things out is, and why they’re able to do so successfully. My constant barrage of questions is forcing them to think beyond the superficial and they are rising to the challenge wonderfully. If we make it through November, I think we’ll all have learned some incredible things not just about our writing and the creative process, but also about ourselves.
Up for the next post:
- Make Up Your Story
- Outline Your Plot