Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Squidward can't make Krabby Patties
So I'm sitting on the couch folding laundry while my children are watching Spongebob (I know, not exactly educational programming, but hey, it makes me laugh). It was the episode where Spongebob and Squidward are competing for employee of the month. Towards the end of the episode as the two are doing crazier and crazier things to try to get Mr. Krabs attention, Squidward starts frying up Krabby Patties. My eight year old daughter, who is sitting next to me mutters under her breath, "I thought Squidward couldn't make Krabby Patties."
There are two lessons I learned from her indignation. One, my kids watch way too much Spongebob. And, two, your characters have to stay true to themselves no matter what situation you put them in. If you've already established that your character cannot do something, you can't have them doing it in another chapter/scene/book just to prove a point. Especially if you write for children or middle grade. Kids are smart and not as willing to overlook character breaches as adults are. My daughter helped reiterate a lesson I've heard a lot in writing-- My characters must always stay in character. Even if they're growing and changing, characters should each have a way they would handle change and growth. Now, Squidward, get behind the register and don't touch the grill unless you take a class that you will grumble your way through. :)