turkey is roasting, the pie is baked, and the cranberry sauce is chilling in
the fridge. My mind wanders back to holidays past. One year, I was cooking a
turkey at my mom’s house in California. It’s entirely possible that this was a
Christmas turkey, but no matter. As always, I simmered the neck and giblets to
make broth for the gravy. My brother came in the kitchen to help with the
last-minute dinner preparations.
thought that out of the goodness of my heart I’d cooked the giblets for his dog,
Lady, who had also joined the festivities. My heart isn’t actually that good.
At least it didn’t occur to me to prepare a treat for the dog. My brother
dumped the broth down the sink and cut up the giblets for Lady. Boy, was I
retrospect, the gravy was fine without giblet stock, my brother suspects I’m
kinder than I actually am, and the dog was delighted. Maybe that’s what
holidays are all about.
this link for detailed descriptions. (Of course, most people have more than one
kind of smarts.)
talk got me thinking about how I could use character smarts to improve my
writing. In every story, the main character must develop new skills, acquire
new knowledge, or overcome personal challenges to achieve his or her goals.
do this by learning.
how characters learn allows a writer to enhance character development and
strengthen the plot. Suppose a character is a picture-smart artist. If she
achieves her goals through an increase in self-confidence that accompanies the
refinement of her artistic skills, the novel will ring true. On the other hand,
if a self-smart individual, who prefers to work alone, is forced to collaborate
with a group of people-smart characters, the story will resound with tension.
kind of smarts does your protagonist have? How does he or she learn in your