Posts tagged ‘plot’
Julia Donaldson is an amazing kids writer. She is the author of things like Room on the broom.
Her stories are always original and cute. They rhyme and the pictures are colourful and fun to look at. I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t get tickled by her work.
If you look at why she is different for most of the other children’s writers then you see a couple of clear messages.
Don’t talk down to children
Kids are not idiots. They probably understand more that you give them credit for. They are more imaginative and enjoy playing more than adults, this means that you can play with the words you use and make interesting characters for them.
Short but tickle the imagination
Donaldson’s books tend to be short enough for a parent to read in one sitting. This is great because kids get bored with long winded stories. But in that space she really let’s kids use their imaginations as she describes all sorts of fun, original tales.
Lesson books about a child who doesn’t want to share are in abundance. Who needs that? Good parents have taught their kids about sharing without the use of these stupid books. Keep to entertainment.
I have mentioned this a couple of times in the other sections but this deserves a section of its own.
The more original and fun you can be the more kids will enjoy your work.
The next time you are in a book store look out for a copy of something by Julia Donaldson and you will see what I mean.
There are a couple of reasons why a story plot is not feeling right or is boring. Examine the work and see if you can find the week points using this guide.
Too little action
A story becomes tedious if there is a lot of inner feelings and not a lot of action. This doesn’t mean that you need to have ninja’s jumping through the ceiling, it just means have your character do something interesting. This has to tie in with the book and the character.
Take Kung Fu Panda – it was a cute little story of a rather large out of shape guy that ended up being a super Kung Fu fighter. In it his inner changes were matched by a lovely sequence showing him learning and growing.
Too much action
An action film with no real plot is an excuse of car chases and fight sequences. Make sure that the action is relevant to what you are saying.
Keep asking yourself, what is this telling me about the character and is it clear enough that the dumbest member of the audience will get it?
A weak main character or main plot
99.99 percent of story problems come from a weak main character or a problem with the plot. You have to make sure that you have an interesting character that people want to get to know. You also need to make sure that the reason for the character doing or reacting to something is strong enough to drive the plot forward.
Weak character or weak plot = terrible story
Information which is not relevant
Too often a writer will have a weak concept or a concept that will get him or her 150 pages into the book, but it is difficult to end or it is too short. This means that they will go back into the book and kill good writing with bum fluff (a term I use for the really irrelevant, thoughts, feelings and descriptions which leave you thinking, who cares?)
I wish the publishing houses would learn to cut these books down. I would rather read a good 100 page book than a fluffy 300 page book. Oh, but a great book, be it 100 or 300 page is well worth it.
Repeating a point
Too often a writer will have a weak concept or a concept that will get him or her 150 pages into a book…
Repeating a point is annoying. Do I look so dumb that you had to tell me this three times? Dude, I got it the first time, move on or do you have nothing more to say?
At the end of the day, if you describe the character well and keep the pace of the books good. Have an interesting plat and character then you will have a readership.
We would love to see some of your work. Please post some of your writing, plots or ideas and we would be glad to comment on them.
The first steps towards writing your own book.
The second part in how to create a good, convincing character for your book or story.
The first post in a series on how to create good characters for your stories.