Who Can Help Me Tell This Story?
This week I had the joy of interviewing my friend and picture book hero, Peter H. Reynolds, for the Children’s Book Hub. As usual, Peter said a million inspiring things and shared a number of jewels about writing. Among them was a reference to his own writing process that set off lightbulbs in my head. For those of you who have been participating in PiBoIdMo, or 12X12, or just find it hard sometimes to move from idea to story (as I do), this may be useful.
Once an idea comes to him (as they do all the time, because he has such highly developed Story Radar!), Peter asks himself, “Who could help me tell that story? What character and what situation can help demonstrate that idea?”
My ideas often start with theme – with the take-away, so to speak. But good storytelling is all about character, after all. If the characters aren’t compelling, believable, interesting, then the reader doesn’t care… and if the reader doesn’t care, the take-away usually ends up being didactic or lost altogether.
Who can help me tell this story? What character, in what situation, solving what problem, can illuminate this idea?