Certain Things

By Debbie Nance

Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

Maybe he is right.

My daughter just called to ask a question about property taxes. My
husband, who is the treasurer for our Condo Association, took the
association books into the auditor for an annual review. A friend of
mine is expanding her business and needed info from her new employees
for tax purposes. Obviously these are adults, how does it work for
kids and teens?

Are your characters ever caught up in tax issues?

Maybe your MC is alone because her parents didn’t pay their taxes and
got carted off to jail and died. There you go. Death & Taxes in the
same plot. 🙂

No. Not. Really.

But, what about adult issues? What problems are your characters caught
up in or affected by? What issues affect kids and adults?

I remember a presentation from the 2010 LTUE http://ltue.net/ called
No More Dead Dogs or Moms. I can’t remember much from the speech
except that the presenter was very tired of books having a scene where
the MC’s mom or dog or both died. (At the time, I happened to have a
MG and a YA with just such a scene in each of them.)

All books have to have some conflict or there isn’t much of a plot.
Think Lemony Snickets, where would the story be without all of those
Unfortunate Events?

But Ben Franklin was wrong.

There are more things in life that are certain. Remember the old Tom
Hank’s movie Castaway? When he says he has to keep breathing because
tomorrow the sun will rise? That part made me want to watch the movie
again. It gave me hope.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaA_fSYfmTQ

In our stories and books, we have to include the problems, but what
makes a book great in my opinion is when the author gives us hope.
Lemony Snickets offers the hope that the kid’s parents may yet be
alive. Tom Hanks’ movie reminds us that we have to keep breathing
because we don’t know what the tide will bring in.

What things are certain in your life? In the lives of your characters?
Do you think it is important for your book to offer hope?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Certain Things

  1. Kyra

    Sadly I have a dead mother in one story, a dead dog in another, and a bunch of other dead people in another.
    Good post 🙂

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