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A 13 year-old's idea is rejected...
on 2 August 2017
Just imagine you were teaching a class, and a 13 year-old said, "I'm going to have this bloke, right, and he's a brain surgeon and his son's a rock star and his daughter's a poet and he lives in this big house in central London, then some bloke threatens him, then come round his house and threatens his daughter. But it's alright, 'cos someone reads a poem which makes everything alright. Then this brain surgeon has to operate on the bloke that threatened him...."
...and you'd say, "Well, you've got some interesting ideas, but don't you think it sounds a bit hard to believe?"
You might add, "Well, if you can make the characters likeable, people who your readers can relate to...", but your teenager responds:
"No, I'm going to make them all arrogant tossbags that no one will like."
So, you have a little chat about what makes a good story and convincing characters, and eventually, the young person responds:
"You know what Sir/Miss, you are right. Come to think about it, my idea was a bit mad. Plus, it would be a better idea to create characters that don't sound unbelievably ridiculous, wouldn't it?"
So, your pupil produces a more enjoyable, believable, well written, convincing piece of work, with characters you can empathise with. You are so pleased, you 'phone his Mum to say well done. Everybody goes home happy.
Which begs the question...why did no one phone Ian McEwan's Mum to tell her that he had produced this, and that he would need to redo his homework?