Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Second blog of the day, but this is VERY important...

As you may know, we've been having a bit of trouble with our dear Erik and his penchant for telling lies. He's very good at, and if it were not for our parental instincts, he'd probably get away with many of his lies because they're completely plausible tales of the hows and whys of things happening or (as it often is for him) why things didn't happen...

So, a couple of months ago, mum suggested maybe we should really be encouraging his interesting in story writing, because as she put it, "People in our family love to tell stories, and most of us a very good at it" - this is true, both mum and I have a long history of telling elaborate untruths to our school mates as children (my own involved living in a different city, and having my father fly me to school in a helicopter each morning, as well as being a recovered polio victim)...

But how to do this without being far too obvious...

So, Erik already writes stories, and has done so for a long time - long before he was actually literate - he used to dictate them to me when he was younger.

So, I've been showing a lot of interest in his stories, and talking to him about characters and plot and what not - a lot of which they have also covered in school, so it's been a lot more conversational than instructive on my part. I've also talked to him about my writing, and Dave about his...

Then yesterday Dave discovered (from the chaotic depths of the study) an old line book we'd bought for Erik before he started school, for him to practice writing in. Dave gave it to Erik with the suggestion that it might be a good place for Erik to write some stories. We didn't really expect Erik to sit down then and there and start writing, but he did.

He spent most of yesterday afternoon at the dining table working on this story, and in the end he'd written 4.5 A4 pages (about 50 words a page). The story was about a boy who lived with his grandfather, who wanted him to be a musician. The boy wanted to be a martial artist (is that a term), and so after an argument, he ran away from home to the city, where he trained in martial arts for several months. His grandfather came after him, and somehow (I'm a bit fuzzy on this bit) got caught up in a fight between the boy and some other guy and was killed...

Anyway, the part that REALLY impressed me was that Erik kept skipping back and forth between what was happening in the city and what was happening at home. Like, he followed his protagonist to the city, then wrote, "Back at home..." then descibed the grandfather finding the note, then skipped back to the city with, "Meanwhile in the city..."...

While kids Erik's age certainly have enough abstract awareness to know that two things can be happening at once. In writing, they often don't show this, but instead follow one character through their continued experience. So, Erik skipping back and forth between these characters who couldn't be aware of one another's actions, showed a rather advance grip on dual realities! (which is probably why he's such an accomplished liar, roflmao)

Anyway, was a proud, proud moment in our house yesterday watching him work on this story. Before he went to bed, he'd already started a new plot - whether it had the same characters or not, I don't know yet...

No comments:

Teenagers and the failing parent...