Sunday, January 04, 2009

What Was Your Favorite Childhood Story?

What was your favorite childhood story?

I count myself lucky. My mother used to read to me. I know she tired of reading the same stories over and over, but I did have my favorites. Before I could read I had standard favorites including The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears, The House that Jack Built, and Rose Red and Rose White. Nursery Rhymes (I don't know why they call them that with some of the gruesome content), painted all kinds of pictures. Spiders scaring young girls off their tuffets, little men claiming the first born if you couldn't guess their name, and a boy trying to drown a pussy cat in the well. Yet, these "poems" captivated me. Why? Because they told a story. And they left me thinking. For example, I always wondered how the fork felt when the dish ran away with the spoon.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Promp:Take your favorite childhood story or nursery rhyme. Ask yourself why you liked it, then ask what you can learn from it now. For example:

Ding dong bell
Pussy's in the well
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Flynn
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout
What a naughty boy was that
Try to drown poor Pussycat,
Who ne'er did any harm
But killed all the mice
In the Farmer's barn!

This poem offers conflict and resolution, good vs. evil, and a hero and a villian. It also creates an image in my mind. Doing a little more research, I learned this was written in the time of Shakespeare and the original version left the cat to drown in the well.

Once you can identify what you like about a written piece, it is easier to incorporate it in your own writing.

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Pumping Your Muse (Creative writing book)
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