By C.L. Beck
Since good writers should be multi-faceted, I’ve momentarily turned to writing children’s stories. Believe me when I say it’s not easy.
Let me give you an example:
First, imagine you have this great murder mystery in mind. Oops, you’re already off to a bad start. Unless you want parents calling at two in the morning because you gave little Zu-Zu nightmares, “murder” is a four-letter word. Well, ok, not really. It’s a six- letter word that’s the equivalent of a four-letter word.
Throw out the murder, but you can keep the mystery. Next pick a setting. Let’s have it take place in … oh, I don’t know … how about an office?
Every great story has to have a protagonist (that’s the good guy), and an antagonist (that’s the bad guy). So, let’s make the protagonist a mouse, and the antagonist an unknown being.
Throw those all together, with the antagonist moving around the mouse's most prized possession and what have you got? Voila! A story about a mouse who’s mad because someone moved his cheese.
If you’d come up with that idea 20 years ago, you’ve be rolling in the dough because you would have authored “Who Moved My Cheese”, an adult self-help book that is loved by corporate executives. You’d be rich and famous … with everybody but the kids.
I’m sure you can now see my frustration. Like I said, it’s not easy to write children’s literature. And just think, I’m doing it in hopes of making $25 a story. I must have rocks in my bats. Or belfries in my head. Or whatever.
But I’m not going to give up. I’m going to try until I get it right—at five cents a word, for 500 words.
I know. What if I create an adventure story, on the high seas . . . with a captain . . . and a great white whale?