14 May 2012

Ideas for kids - Characters - WHO - Underdogs

Jack Trelawny's Story House - Ideas for kids - WHO is in the story - Underdogs - Gnomes
The Seven Dwarfs - can you remember all their names?
There are often one or more CHARACTERS in a story who are UNDERDOGS. They are sometimes called SYMPATHETIC CHARACTERS because you feel sorry for them when you read about the nasty villains being bad to them. Underdogs are usually in big trouble and have big problems. Trouble and problems usually mean the person reading the story wants to turn the pages over to see WHAT happens.
I got the ideas for the Nine Gnomes of Washaway Wood from mixing up the Seven Dwarfs from the Snow White story with the gnomes that are famous for living in gardens in Cornwall. This is one way to get new ideas - take two old things and mix them up or put them together to make something new that is all yours for your story.
Just like the Seven Dwarfs, gnomes are small characters who are 'vulnerable'. This means they appear to be nice and sweet characters who are likely to get attacked and hurt by the villains. Of course, how things appear is not always how things really are. For example, Clevercloggs the gnome is very wise and knowledgeable and uses his brain to beat the villains. Often in stories, the underdogs 'turn the table' on the villains and come out on top. It's worth knowing that people seem to like reading stories where the villain pays for the trouble he has caused.
To make my gnomes different, I decided to have nine instead of seven. I also decided to have two female gnomes and so had to think of a name for girl gnomes - 'girnomes'. Just like the Seven Dwarfs, I wanted each of my gnomes to have one thing about them that distinguished - that is, made them different - from all the other gnomes so that they you can see straight away who is who.
The Nine Gnomes of Washaway Wood in Kernowland - do you know their names?
IDEA: For your next story, look at the gnome blogs and read the Kernowland books to find out as much as you can about the Nine Gnomes of Washaway Wood. Then think about how one or more of them might get into big trouble or have a big problem. Now write a story in which the trouble or problem is at or near the beginning. In the middle, try to make the trouble or problem get worse and worse so that it appears the UNDERDOG characters will never get out of it. Then, just as it looks like they have no way of beating the trouble or problem, think of what they would have to do to overcome it. Remember, most readers like happy endings so don't forget that VILLAINS need to get what they deserve!


See you next time in the Story House.

Happy writing... and reading!