The Writing Process: Humble Beginnings

Now that school is here, I hope to write some pieces that more directly speak to students who might be interested in writing. I previously mentioned a new book I’m thinking about, as opposed to, um, actually working on, though I suppose they are one and the same. You can’t exactly write without thinking (and believe me, I’ve tried, doesn’t work).

So, anyway. I have an idea for a character who gets into trouble at school. The book is about this kid, and, in part, the surprising relationship he builds with the school principal. But how and why does this boy get into trouble? What does he do? What kind of hilarious escapades can I conjure? Then one notion hit me over the weekend: He smuggles a goldfish into school!

I love that idea. I can WORK with that idea. That is: There are possibilities that appeal to my (bent, twisted) sensibilities. So then begins the series of questions: How does he do it? Why? What goes wrong (because something must go wrong)? I’ve already daydreamed over a host of options — involving a thermos, soup broth, and a swallowed goldfish — but I know I’m not there yet. I’ve got to learn more about tropical fish, and probably make a visit to my local fish store (Davey Jones’ Locker on Delaware Avenue). Maybe they’ve got some ideas; research like that always helps, talking to experts always helps.

Yet I did “hear” a line of dialogue, a principal bemoaning something like, “Because of your actions today, an innocent goldfish is dead.”

I wonder if any of that will make it into the book? I wonder if this kid has got a name?

One comment

  1. Love that! And I hope that morbid line stays.

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