Forums Club Ed Editors’ Forum Fiction requires cruelty Reply To: Fiction requires cruelty

Nancy Disenhaus

Hello, Jake and Jennifer. I have found my way to this thread at last, and I am so happy I did. A friend was writing a middle grades novel which seemed to have such minor conflicts in each chapter, and I finally realized that–oh yeah–fifth graders can have pretty tame lives compared to the characters in the types of fiction I tend to read. I’ve been trying to read a few middle grade novels now so I have a better sense of how these can work. My favorite line for teaching conflict to kids was “The cat sat on the mat–no story. The cat sat on the dog’s mat–now you have a story.” I can’t recall where I heard that, but I love it. Guess I need to get over to Brainy Quotes.