Today’s warm-up exercise came from Jo Knowles. I loved this quote: “As you know, the plot of a story is basically all about what the character wants, and how they overcome whatever obstacle is in the way that keeps them from getting it.” (Jo, you should know, I really don’t know much at all! Though I love to read and even teach reading, I don’t know much about crafting a story! Thanks for helping me!)
Anyway, I have a lot to learn about my character named Bailey. I need to know what he really wants. What is his quest? I tried writing this about what he wants, based on a sentence starter from an exercise Jo gave last year: “On Making Characters Real”
This is a story about a boy, Bailey, who wants time with his dad making models and building things and to not go to school where people bother him, but underneath that, it’s a story about a boy who just wants peace and later hope in a brighter future.
Here is Bailey talking:
I wish I could just be home schooled. I hate going on the bus, especially when I have to be the first person picked up. My life would be so calm if I didn’t have to see her on the bus. I wonder if Mom would let me stay home and learn with Dad now that he’s home.
I have never told anyone this, but sometimes I dream I am watching my own dark and rainy funeral.
If I had the guts to tell Debra she’s a thug, I just know that she’d deck me.
The only one who really understands me is Dad and that’s because he listens to me. I sometimes can’t think of what to say next because there is so much listening on his side. When I feel like we’re stuck in the middle of an awkward silence, I look up and he’s looking at me. I can’t believe he’s still listening. I say things to him that I would never be able to say to any other person.