Thursday, February 8, 2018

Similarities Between Novel Plots and Two-Year-Olds

In addition to my writing, my major focus in the last two plus years has been getting to know my grandson (now two and a half). I’ve learned a great deal watching and interacting with him. Here are several of the lessons that apply equally to writing novels.

My grandson loves playing with his toy train, which he pushes by hand over wooden tracks. He enjoys a specific track configuration for several days, then wants to change it. Equally true of novels. Readers don’t want the same plot over and over. They want new twists and turns.

My grandson will run the train along the track for a while, but this is too easy. He will then remove a piece of track so the train can’t proceed and say, “Oh, no.” Often he will replace it with a different piece of track. Other times, he will put toys on the track to block the train. As in writing novels, there need to be obstacles and conflict to bring the story alive. We don’t want a boring story where everything is fine with no challenges to be overcome.

It’s fun to watch him construct his own stories as he plays with his train.

No comments: