1. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    Children's story ending... HELP PLEASE!!!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Rachelle, Jun 21, 2015.

    Hello,
    Long story short; I need help and would GREATLY appreciate ANY suggestions or bits of inspiration!



    So, I've been writing a children's book. It's a comical & inspiring picture book that rhymes (for I guess you could say, maybe kindergarten to 3rd grade-ish??).
    It started because I want to read it to the ill children at infusion centers, hospitals..etc that I volunteer at sometimes and will also be submitting it for publishing consideration as well.

    I have the beginning & middle done and love it so far... It's adorable. I had just finished the main part of the story and then BOOM, completely blanked. I waited a few months thinkin time might help with the writer's block but still stuck..
    It's just one of those times when I need to take advantage of the millions of creative minds out there to help dig me out.


    I need ideas, suggestions, or possibilities on how I can end the story & I don't care how complete/developed/detailed the ideas are.
    Heck, if your reply ends up the inspiration for what I eventually do, I'll gladly give a "thank-you" shout out to your name if it gets published like I hope! =) (I'll even mail you a signed copy once rich + famous, hehe).



    THE STORY -
    It's about a little hermit crab in the ocean (named Herman). He's always being teased and picked on by the other hermits for being small. When they're juveniles, all their shells match physically. But the next morning is going to be their rite of passage so to speak, where they go onto the beach and pick out their new and forever shell. He's all excited because he sees it as an opportunity to finally impress everyone but his best friend (a sand flea) reminds him to get one that's right for him, not just choose it because others will like it. The next morning they go on an adventure to reach the shells on the beach. Every time he sees an impressive shell (nice shape, color, design,size..etc), something happens before he gets it, like another hermit steals it or a snail lives in it or a seagulls grabs it and stuff like that. He kinda gives up as the rest leave happy with their perfect shells and then finds a really neat one. He realizes that if he's special, his shell should be too, so he slides into it. What he doesn't know is that what he picked is not a shell, but actually a little toy car that someone left in the sand. He heads back to sea feeling great in his new "shell" and............... BLANK: I DON'T KNOW! That's where I'm stuck.


    Like, I don't know if he just goes back & they accept him now bc he's embracing his uniqueness?? (Sounds too uneventful)
    Or like, maybe the seagulls start swooping down & eating them all but he survives bc he's different (since they were targeting shells)??
    Or like, he uses his "car shell" to become a hero somehow by doing somethin the others can't to save the colony??
    Or he races in the crab Olympics and wins bc he's got wheels & becomes popular??
    I don't know....


    PLEASE HELP, THE MORE THE MERRIER!!!
    Thank-you
     
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  2. Woof
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    Woof Contributing Member

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    I'm not great with endings either, but I think you've missed an opportunity here for Herman to interact with human children playing. Perhaps, as he searches for his perfect shell, he wanders too far and crosses paths with some children playing with their toys and some shells and he thinks he can just sneak in when they stop for lunch and take one, but before he has the chance the children return and he has to duck under the nearest thing, the car (does it have wheels still? if it doesn't, would it be easier for him to occupy? would it be even greater for a child if their supposedly broken car suddenly moves and maybe wins a race?). As they play, he tries to sneak off slowly and this means the children catch the car moving itself (so they think) and they dig a track for it, watching it move around. Or maybe he joins an existing race they're having? Either way, Herman cottons on to the game and soon he's having fun, racing around, and has forgotten all about what he's meant to be doing. At this point he could have more adventures before he gets home, or go back after this one with his new and different shell he loves for the experience he has. Maybe the car's a bit battered by the time he goes back, but his friends think it's awesome because he can tell a story for each dent? Either way, his friends welcome him back from an adventure he never would have had if he just took the nearest, shiniest shell and the shy and introverted (?) little Herman finds himself with a lot to say. Lots of jumbled ideas... lots of threads you could follow, but I'd definitely think about putting in that interaction with a child/children.

    And if you ever have it made into a cartoon you could use Herman and the Hermits' Something tells me I'm into something good as title music! :-D
     
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  3. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    how about he saves the other crabs, they are captured but because of his car shell he is tossed to the side where he can release his captured friends but has to leave his car shell
     
  4. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    He returns to the ocean, only to be ridiculed by his peers.
    Herman then hides in a tiny crevice, where the sand flea finds him and tells him that his "imperfect" shell might be useful.
    Herman ignores his friend and returns to the beach, finding the biggest, shiniest shell ever, which has just become vacant.

    Herman then drags his heavy shell back into the sea, where an octopus is attacking the other hermit crabs.
    The others cry out for help, each wrapped in a tentacle, about to be eaten.
    Herman rolls out his secret weapon - the toy car was inside the giant shiny shell the whole time.
    In the car, Herman rolls towards the octopus, just as he's about to eat the other crabs.
    The car becomes lodged in the octopus' beak.
    The mollusk tries to crush the car, but it's too hard, and the beak cracks.

    Herman has saved the day, and everyone loves his indestructible shell on wheels.
    The end.

    (edit) Oh, Lance beat me to it while I was typing.
     
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  5. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    Wow... See, this is EXACTLY why I posted for other people's ideas! These are all creative things that I would have just never ever thought of. Definitely got my mind swirling!

    Hmmm;
    I think I was limiting it in a box too much. Basically everyones suggestions included bringing in new characters and that opens up the story to so many more possibilities, so I agree now that it's definitely the right direction.

    Thanks so much for the feedback so far.... I was beginning to get frustrated with this book when I want to love it.


    If anyone else has any more ideas to add, literally anything is appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    What if you have Herman get picked up by a kid and put in a toy box where he has an adventure trying to get back to the sea?
     
  7. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like this one better than my own suggestion!

    Coming up with a satisfying ending that makes sense in the context of the rest of the story can be tough, but keep at it!
     
  8. No-Name Slob
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    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I like @Lewdog's suggestion. But to tie it in with the theme I think you're going for, maybe give him a unique ability because of his smallness that helps him get back to the ocean.

    Say he's being ridiculed by another hermit crab, and they both get scooped up by the boy who's too excited by the car to notice. Maybe there's an opening in the toy box that's too small for the other crab to escape through, but Herman is able to squeeze through it and save the other crab

    Now Herman and the crab know that even though he's different, his individualism enables him to do things others can't.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What an adorable story. And I love all the optional endings suggested here.
     
  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Make the ending a "choose your own"?
     
  11. bumble bee
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    I thought the story had ended in your original version!

    Herman's problem was that he couldn't choose a shell.
    His problem is solved because he finds the perfect one- and he goes into the sea, happy that he followed the sand flea's advice...

    If it's for the top end of your age group you could add more but for younger children I think that works beautifully.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Two themes are, his new shell can be admired, or it's ridiculed and it saves the day later.

    I agree with @bumble bee, it depends on the age of the readers whether the story has the longer or shorter ending element.
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You really need to decide on the lesson you are trying to teach the children. Are you saying that differences can be useful? Are you saying that differences are something to covet? Are you saying that the people who ridicule you today will be sucking up tomorrow?

    The lesson is going to drive the next chain of events in the story, and you need to have a solid idea of what that is before you can go on.
     
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  14. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    So many good ideas. I wish I was that creative... Im a very logical, scientific person (which is why writing appeals to me ... Just like how tone def ppl envy good piano players).

    I'm really liking the picked up and put in a toy box idea a lot actually!


    And I see ppls points about the age group and how that affects (sp?) How much I can add to what I already have.
    Being an only child with no kids of my own, it's hard to even guess what age it's for so far.

    Definitely going to play around with it some. Thanks for getting me excited to write it again! =)
     
  15. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    When it starts crawling out of the toy box the girl ;) can put him in her aquarium where he meets other hermit crabs.

    Either the girl eventually returns him to the ocean, or he finds friends and a home in the tank of misfit fish. :)
     
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  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    That teaches a very good lesson.
     
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  17. No-Name Slob
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    I agree with this. More female protagonists breaking gender norms FTW!

    Her name can be Hermira instead of Herman. :supercool:
     
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  18. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Hermione.

    :bigconfused:
     
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  19. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    I've been playing around with the thrown in the toy bucket by the toy car's owner idea. I gotta decide whether or not the child can hear Herman speak because that factor really affects the dialog!


    I see what people are saying about the gender. I'm indifferent and wouldn't mind it either way.

    It's easy for us adults so say "great lesson, breaking stereotypical labels!" type of thing, but just want to clarify in all honesty;



    So hypothetically, let's say I do choose to make the toy car owner a young female (hot pink Hot Wheel! hehe~ ), from a small child's point of view, do you think in reality it will maybe like, confuse them because it's not typical? Or make them enjoy it less bc they can't relate to it as well or are too busy focusing on "that's not a girl toy!" or anything like that?

    (Im an only child and have no kids so am not too familiar with how they think.... So very hard for me to imagine the realistic reaction)

    Thanx!
     
  20. ToeKneeBlack
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    I've got two daugters - one likes princesses, ponies and those sorts of things. The other is into sports.

    The girl with the pink car might want to imitate her older brother, while having a toy of her own - but I may be overcomplicating the scenario.
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My experience having raised a boy, they gravitate toward Batman and toy cars. And my friend who raised a girl complained to me her daughter was into Barbies to my friend's dismay (we're both rather liberated ourselves). Socialization plays a role from the earliest of ages and marketers amplify it.

    The strongest evidence for that is the pink phenomena. According to Peggy Orenstein, who researched and wrote Cinderella Ate my Daughter, pink was purely a marketing scheme to sell families twice as many toys by making a boy version and a girl version of the same toy. Before that, pink was not associated with girls and in fact, pink was a fine color to dress a baby boy in a century ago.

    Consider also, girls are not likely to be discouraged from playing with toy cars, only encouraged by the world around them to play with dolls. Boys, on the other hand, are likely to be actively discouraged from playing with dolls.

    So to make your decision even more complex:

    Do you go with the flow because, like my friend found out, kids are independent little critters from the get go?
    Do you fight kids' indoctrination with a girl and a not-pink car?
    Or a girl with a pink car, or a boy with a pink car?
    Is your hermit crab genderless (as in not mentioned) or a boy or girl crab?
    Do you write about a sensitive boy who takes the crab back to the ocean?
    Do you consider the parents' reaction to the book since they may be the one deciding which book to buy or read to the child?
    Will writing the story one way or the other mean your story only appeals to half the kids?

    :)
     
  22. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You misunderstand completely. The great lesson is that while your peers laugh at you for being different, your differences can earn you knew friends. Friends that accept you and like you because you are different.
     
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  23. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    Oh my God, I feel like I went from writing a picture book to a philosophical one haha!
    Man I think I might put s/he for now and sit on it~
     
  24. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Just write to please yourself. :D
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I was trying to be facetious. :p
     

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