Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shock Factor

Tip of the day: has a no-guilt choco-pumpkin muffin recipe that is soooo easy. Mix a 15oz can of 100% pure pumpkin and an 18.25 oz box of devil's food cake mix. That's it! Put it in the oven at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. Makes 12 muffins (181 calories, 3.5 grams of fat).

I took my kids (2, 4, 6, and 8) trick-or-treating Sunday and we had a blast! There was one house in particular that I absolutely loved though. Throughout the neighborhood people have set up all kinds of scary decorations outside of their homes. So the kids were pretty used to seeing all the decor. When we approached this house:

my kids were walking ahead of me so I was just coming up the sidewalk when I saw them peering into the huge bowl of candy that said take some. The outside lights were off (indicating not home during trick or treat time in our neighborhood) and the oldest was reading the sign to the others and deciding what to do. Do we take one or two candies? Which one should we choose? and so on. All four kids were hanging in the bowl though. Suddenly, the "prop" on the chair jumps up with his hands over head and screams RAHHH!!!! Oh. My. God. I about lost it. I was completely hysterical on the man's lawn at how good he got my kids. My kids giggled but were mostly shocked. I won't lie, one peed her pants. But still, it was so freaking funny! And unexpected. And I looooved it!

Of course this makes me think about writing. And I recalled something Deena had said after getting back from the NY SCBWI conference and how Libba Bray had said not to use the first idea that comes to mine because it's the same one everyone will automatically think of. And how awesome surprise is when reading. I think I need to work on that harder in my writing. Take what the reader thinks is going to happen and completely turn it around on them.

Do you guys work on that with your writing?

Kristina, Miss See Me On the Shelves


Lisa Schroeder said...

Excellent point. I always love it when I'm reading a book and I have no clue what is going to happen.

I'm pretty sure *I* would have peed my pants if that had happened to me. I hate being scared like that.

DeenaML said...

Tina, thanks for reminding me of the LB quote -- esp since during a session on "fat lit" today I had a huge brainstorm for a YA that has been percolating for a long time....