Today, my daughter and I went to Denny’s for breakfast. Well, she had breakfast. I had coffee. While we were there I took the opportunity to talk to her. You know, without my phone in my hand – not even to google stuff we were talking about. I know, right?
Anyway, we started talking about book two in my series.
“But, book one isn’t done yet!” you say. You’re right, but…it’s time to start thinking about where the story goes next.
Let me back up a second. Last night, I started reading a book to my daughter, and this particular book has a series of character profiles at the beginning. It makes for easy reference if you forget who is who later on. As I read through those pages, I paused and said, “You know, this is what authors do when they’re creating a new character.” I was excited about it. She just blinked at me until I went back to reading.
Back to Denny’s. I decided I wanted her opinion on one of my characters: the Bad Guy. I brought up the character profiles from the night before, and I could see she made the connection (not just vacant blinking, but blinking with feeling). We chatted briefly and she went back to her pancakes. Suddenly, she stopped chewing and with a very matter-of-fact demeanor and a chunk of pancake in her hand, she said:
“Good guys drink tea, bad guys drink coffee. That’s the difference.”
Then, she stuffed a giant piece of pancake in her mouth.
My mind was blown. I couldn’t help the slow smile and all the turning wheels behind it. I gushed out-loud over her idea, and she sat up a little straighter and looked at me a little sassier. Keep your eyes on this one folks, she’s going places.
I liked what she said so much, I made a graphic of it (look for it all over social media soon):
We spent the rest of the morning discussing all the traits of Mr. Bad Guy: how he looks, what type of vehicle he drives, what are his reasons for being the bad guy, what are his hobbies, what’s his name and why that matters, etc.
It was great. I wrote everything down in red crayon on a white napkin. I’m keeping that napkin. Maybe someday, I’ll have it framed and give it to my daughter.