My son is a prolific aspiring author. Today we were watching an episode of a chick-flick TV show that started in the year 2000. This particular episode ended with the introduction of a new character. One of the main characters is thrilled, the other landed somewhere decidedly less than thrilled.
When the show was over my son was positively and breathlessly speechless. It was contagious for me and I caught his excitement as he struggled to express his reactions. He was so frustrated, though. He sputtered, “I write really well and I think really well, but I…I…” Fittingly, he couldn’t finish the sentence.
I did not want to put words into his mouth, I greatly wanted to hear what he was thinking. So I tiptoed around, trying to give him some starting words so that he could express what had him so excited.
Finally we figured out together that he really appreciated the literary device of introducing a new character that shakes up the status quo. He could see how the show was getting settled and that it was possible to predict what would happen in different relationships. While we may see it as predictable, for this boy only just understanding story development, tossing in a new character who evokes a variety of emotional reactions was nothing short of brilliant.