So What Else Is About It?

When was the last time you told a kid something you thought was really fantastic and they just looked at you with a very bored expression and said, “So what else is about it?”

This happens to me on a fairly regular basis. Why?

Because I have seven grandchildren under the age of 10. And this means that at any given moment I have to be prepared to spit out a humdinger of a story. Off the top of my head. While at least eight, maybe twelve or fourteen eyes are staring at me. And it better be good, or those kids will drift off into some kind of nasty mischief that usually results in Grandpa bellowing and the mommies and daddies looking for a wooden spoon. I’ll leave the details to your imagination.

So what else is about it?

Well, it goes like this.

Me: Once upon a time in a far away land –

Kid #1: (with a heavy sigh) Grandma, all the stories start that way.

Me: Okay, okay. Give it a minute. Wait until we get to the good part.

Kid #2 (or maybe #4): With the pirates?

Me: There are no pirates in this story. Now sit still and listen. Caleb, get off your brother. And Nikolas, stop driving that car up Josh’s pant leg. Okay, here we go. In this far away land, there was a very large dragon.

Kid #3: A green one?

Me: No, I think he was purple.

Kid #5: I WUV purple dwagons!

Me: Great! This dragon had a problem, though. He couldn’t breathe fire.

Kid #1: You mean it’s not a girl dragon?

Me: Um – no, I don’t think so.

Kid #1: Everyone knows purple dragons are girls.

Kid #2: Not all of them.

Kid #1: Yes, all of them!

Me: (sensing a dispute in the making) Come on, you guys. It doesn’t matter. The dragon is a boy, purple with orange and green spots, so there. And he can’t breathe fire so we have to find a way for him to learn.

Kid #4: This is boring.

Me: Do you want to clean the toilets?

Kid #4: No way!

Me: That’s what you have to do if you say it’s boring. Now be quiet and listen!

Kid #2: Guys, let’s go play BeyBlades.

Kids #3, 4, and 5: Yeah! (they all run off)

Kid #1: I’m going to read my book.

Me: But I’m not finished the story!

Thankfully, the scenario has not played out quite like this too many times. I can usually manage to hold the attention of even the squirmiest of little boys, but it’s a challenge. Definitely a challenge.

So what else is about it?

It’s a good question to ask of any story.

Think about that next time you’re struck with writer’s block.

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2 Comments

Filed under Being Creative, Imagination, Kids, Writing

2 responses to “So What Else Is About It?

  1. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Wow. I love how you brought this around. That’s the same question we have to ask about anything we write if we want to hold the reader’s attention. Thanks.

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