Making Mistakes and Deflated Dinosaurs
One of the tell-tale signs of an unforgettable story is one that allows the character to make mistakes. I’ll admit, I do cringe when I read them, thinking “No, you can’t do that! Stop!” But by the end of the story, I’ve realized the mistake made was something that had to be done to ensure the resolution of a much greater picture. It’s part of the journey, right? Well, I think so anyway.
As a writer, I like to think of my characters’ mistakes as opportunities: opportunities for growth. In my chapter book for young readers, the main character has been stagnant, sitting on the sidelines of his life. As he races across space to save his friend, he actually begins to live. He’s done being afraid. It is the most amazing thing to bring a character through a process like this.
I also think it’s so important for kids to understand that mistakes will be made. This is a part of life. We can all put such pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but, guess what? We aren’t and won’t be. I laugh out loud when I see the pictures of people who failed at baking the allegedly oh-so-easy recipes from Pinterest. I love them! Who hasn’t been there? And these people experienced a deflated dinosaur cake with such humor! So much so, that they took pictures we can all relate to and enjoy.
There are mistakes, ahem, opportunities everywhere. We draw from these, in life, to pour into our writing. For instance, my husband and I moved into our neighborhood about eight years ago. We briefly met an older couple across the street. I had wanted to get to know them better, but I was always too busy with work and kids. But then, last year, the wife passed away. I was shocked and wished I had taken the time to get to know her better. So I decided I wouldn’t make the same mistake with the older gentleman. I began doubling our family dinners and taking him some. I discovered our neighbor is a true gem of a person, and this relationship has been such a blessing to our family. What a mistake that has become a true opportunity!
And has made my journey even that much more beautiful.
About Amberly Kristen Clowe
An avid story writer since elementary school, Amberly Kristen Clowe truly discovered her passion for writing after enrolling in a college, children’s literature class, where they read and analyzed children’s books. After completing her BA in early childhood education she began her teaching career. “After my first year of teaching second grade, I had so many ideas swirling around in my head, I had to write. I might have gone crazy if I didn’t!” Clowe expresses.
When she’s not writing, Amberly can easily be found singing the ABCs with her daughter, reading jokes to her son, or just being lazy with her husband.