Monday, April 03, 2006

Hey Presto! This Weekend's Talk

Muddles, Morals, and Making It Through; or, Plots and Popularity

Being some thoughts on outsider stories, well-rounded characters, moral development, and why I hated fifth grade. The page does not yet include my school picture as promised, but it'll be up by tomorrow. Note also that the character chart is almost certainly not definitive, and further suggestions for categories are welcomed.


  1. Fantastic! Thanks for the words of advice and for the character chart. I'm going to use the chart to see if I know my characters as well as I think I do. :-)

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your life and knowledge with us.

  2. Great stuff, Cheryl. I was struck by something odd, however. You wrote...

    The outsider could give up what makes him different and become part of the community once and for all—the join ’em route

    But these...are not the ones we tell children again and again and again.

    I agree. And yet, that's EXACTLY the story presented in the HUGELY popular Rainbow Fish. You know where I stand on that book, and yet there's no denying the popularity. Go figger. I stand wit' ya, though.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. The aforementioned fifth-grade picture:

  4. Excellent talk - satisfying like a good book. Thank you!

  5. Yu made very interesting points and I find it helpful that as an Editor you have put yourself out there to help so many of us writers figure out what we are doing right and wrong!

  6. Apologies for the missing o in You.

  7. Hey Cheryl, the new guy is cute.

  8. So now we have a new game to play in the car when we are out driving around.... "Rudolph" or "Duckling". One person names a story or movie and the rest of us try to decide whether the protagonist is more a "Rudolph" or a "Duckling" We sorted through Star Wars, Naruto and Cinderella... we got stuck on "Usual Suspects."

    Love the photo... I want to bake fifth grade you PIE!



    PS the fifth grade me… with Mamie Eisenhower bangs...