Not a great deal to report today, but some things of interest.
Summary of Pages:
- Main Character Worksheet (pages 4 through 10)
- Supporting Character Worksheet (pages 1 through 3)
Tonight was for further building of the main protagonist. There weren’t many surprises here, but we did get into a few of the finer points of story crafting. Specifically, what makes a reader believe in a story or character (suspension of disbelief without actually calling it that). Most of this was directed at Minion v2.0 as she’s quite talkative about her story during these little sessions, whereas Minion v1.0 is more hard-headed-I-already-know-what-makes-a-good-novel-duh and not really open to thinking she MIGHT not know everything at her wise old age of 10. (I swear the actual teenage years might kill me.)
This was our primary focus when they were asked to list some things they didn’t like about their main characters. Minion v2.0 was trying to take the easy way out by saying she liked everything about her main character. I countered with “perfect people are boring”. After she stared at me blankly I expounded.
Real people aren’t perfect. I asked her to think about her friends. Kids regularly disagree with one another, but they still maintain friendships. They do things we disagree with or have personality traits that we either tolerate or overlook because there is more to that person we love than things we don’t. Example cited: your sister can be bossy sometimes, but you still play together and love her, right? Just because there’s something we don’t like about someone doesn’t mean we don’t like the whole of the person. It’s people’s flaws that make them interesting, that get them into hairy situations which they have to use their good parts to get out of. That’s what makes a story interesting too. Without those flaws we get EVERYONE LOVES EACH OTHER AND NOTHING EVER HAPPENS. Yawn.
So we kicked around some ideas and v2.0 settled on her character flaws:
- All fairies are good dancers, but Emily the Fairy isn’t. (I think this won’t be a very big deal when she’s writing, but I didn’t tell her that.)
- She is a little over-curious and doesn’t listen to her voice of reason (more on that later) when advised otherwise
- which means she gets in trouble. A lot.
Minion v1.0 picked a (more or less) single flaw, but it’s one that will drive the whole story in her case. She did well.
- Lianna is the new girl in town. This is a flaw to outsiders as
- She is very shy.
Elder Minion did better on her own initially (she’s older so that’s expected), but after talking it through with the younger I think the character flaw we settled on (dancing aside) will be the whole impetus for the story in the first place. She immediately wanted to start writing notes about the plot, but I told her to hang on to them for a bit. We’ll get there. I’m glad she’s excited, but if we’re staying in this for the long haul, pacing is important.
Next up was the first section of the supporting character worksheet. I didn’t get a lot of information from v1.0 as she went all emo on me (anyone want to borrow an elder minion for, oh, 8 years or so? *tired sigh*), but I got as much as her supporting character is the first person that befriends the main character, Lianna.
More story development for v2.0 went down as she built up Emily the Fairy’s best friend, Peter the Fairy. Peter is Emily’s voice of reason that never gets listened to. He sticks by her though, because aside from her impetuousness and lack of dancing ability, Emily is still awesome. We only got as far as the basics tonight, but I suspect Peter will have some gifts and flaws of his own that ensure he’s not just a nagging so-and-so.
Of course, we closed with drawing the supporting characters. This is their favorite part (naturally).
Tomorrow we’re expounding on these supporting characters and covering the basics of their villains. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for that. :)