But it's sunny for now, and I'm warm, and happy.
Wanted to talk a bit about reality in fiction, if that makes any sense. Specifically, children's books, and the importance of knowing what is believable and what is dull.
|Hogwarts' bathrooms matter because of what |
happens in them. Ahem.
Eating meals is a different kettle of fish, it seems. While waking up and looking in the mirror has become a trite way to start a book - again, because it doesn't really mean anything at this point - it seems that meals have something more to them, and to miss them out is to take something away from a kid's experience with a book. Think of Harry Potter and all that flippin' food. The Hobbit and LOTR make a big deal out of food and making sure it's being stored and eaten well. Hunger as a motivation is something we can all understand - it becomes a literary tool rather than a simple recounting of what a person did before they left the house.
In fact today The Guardian has a tongue in cheek article dissecting different literary breakfasts and what they might all mean. Good to see second breakfast gets a mention.
So why eating and no poopin'? Because we can say things with food, its preparation, characters preferences, what happens if the get it wrong, or get hungry - and, especially for children, hunger is a relatable, driving force behind a lot of things.
Not every meal has to come up, but ones that impact the plot and the characters would be silly to overlook.
So what else should character do and not do? Do kids care if we're never told that the shower or brush their teeth? I'd say no, right up to the point where it becomes a part of the story - where it's commented upon, or it leads to an argument, or the tooth fairy comes, or the shower monster attacks, etc.
|Porpoise. Not purpose.|
There are some great children's books with fantastic toilet humour and no meals - don't get me wrong. But they're there for a reason. The writer could justify and defend those scenes. And that's the clincher : purpose. Things with purpose stay in stories. Things without it - well, ask yourself., why would you read something with no purpose at all?