Thursday, March 30, 2006

All About The Gopher

Caddyshack was on TV last night. And because I'm such a TV geek, I actually saw a show about Caddyshack a few years ago, and I know that Carl the groundskeeper (Bill Murray) was not originally the main focus of the movie. If I remember right, the gopher wasn't either.

You wouldn't probably know it, but the movie is actually about Danny, the caddy with a bazillion brothers and sisters, who is trying to find a way to go to college.

And of course, there are many other story lines that were added to showcase Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, and Ted Knight.

But Bill Murray stole the show with his pursuit of the gopher. His performance was mostly ad libbed, and the crazier he acted, the more time he got in the movie, until the movie is mostly about him and the gopher. Or at least that's what everyone remembers.

So what does this have to do with children's books?

It's all about telling a story that your audience will love. And sometimes that means pushing your main character back a bit to let one of the more interesting or unusual characters tell the story.

Do you have a gopher or Carl the groundskeeper hiding in your story? If so, let them out to play. You never know what will happen.

I'm alright
don't nobody worry 'bout me
why you got to give me a fight?
why can't you just let it be?
I'm alright
don't nobody worry 'bout me
why you got to give me a fight?
why don't you just let me be?
I'm alright...