Monday, March 19, 2012

Characters and Kid History

I've got a ton going on right now, so instead of trying to come up with something super insightful, I thought I'd just have some fun. There's a series on YouTube called Kid History, and it's one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Basically they have a group of young kids all telling the same story, and as the story is told, it's acted out by a group of adults. It's such a simple idea, but they pull it off magnificently. This is pretty much my favorite one.

One of the things I really enjoy about it is how simple the stories are. Again, the stories are being related by kids and there's not a lot of room for character development or exposition. But it's not needed because the characters themselves are so fun to watch. Now, I'm not saying character development and exposition aren't important in a book or a movie. They definitely are. But there's a limit to how many types of stories there are. No matter what story you come up with, some variation of it has been done before. And that's okay, because no one (hopefully) has ever done your story the way you've done it with the characters you're using. So have fun with them. Make your characters memorable and your story will be memorable. That's all I've got for now. Instead of listening to me yammer you should be watching all of the Kid History episodes.


Jordan Dane said...

Thanks for this interesting post, Dan. Loved the videos you chose. Someone at a conference mentioned that pitching your book to an agent or editor has elements of the way a kid shares a story. Their enthusiasm shows & yours should too.

"And then this happens, and then, and then..."

Dan Haring said...

Glad you enjoyed them Jordan :) I think sometimes we get bogged down by lots of stuff and we forget to just tell the story in a way people can relate to and get into. Kids are so smart.