Bad Kitty didn’t start out bad. Somebody made her that way. And that somebody was…. Her Author!
—Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble, cover blurb
Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble by Nick Bruel is a light-hearted writing guide for young people. It teaches the basics of story writing, amidst hilarious plot twists. Just as importantly, it reveals juicy tidbits about author Nick Bruel and stars the infamous Bad Kitty.
How does one write a story? First, you need a protagonist or the most important character in the story. Such as Bad Kitty. 🙂 Second, you need a setting or the place where your story takes place. Bruel considers telling this particular story of Bad Kitty in the middle of the ocean, but Bad Kitty does not take lightly to getting wet. Bruel switches the setting to an exotic jungle tale, forcing Bad Kitty to face the dangerous beast of prey—a lion. Bruel also suggests the frozen North and a spooky graveyard. Neither option appeals to Bad Kitty. So Bruel sticks with Bad Kitty’s home. If you were to write a fan fiction story about Bad Kitty, what setting would you use?
Third, you need to have conflict or a problem that the main character will face. To determine the conflict, you might ask questions like: What does your character like? What does your character NOT like? What makes your character happy? What makes your character angry? Bad Kitty is known to like food. In Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble, the obstacle is Bad Kitty needs to eat less food. In other words, she needs to diet. If you were to write a fan fiction story about Bad Kitty, what conflict would you use?
Fourth, you need an antagonist or the character who acts as the obstacle between the protagonist and her goal. Bruel considers introducing a friendly talking turnip named Terry. Bad Kitty does not have a nice response to this character. And so Bruel rethinks the idea. Instead he uses a character familiar to fans: Puppy! Bruer assigns Puppy to keep Bad Kitty away from food. If you were to write a fan fiction story about Bad Kitty, what antagonist would you use?
Fifth, you need plot points or a moment in which a story takes an unexpected turn. Some which happen in Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble include: Bad Kitty passing out when Puppy eats all her food; Bad Kitty needing to recover from shock; Bad Kitty being fed a steaming glass of turnip juice to speed up her recovery; Bad Kitty trying to run away; and Bad Kitty being stopped by an octopus. If you were to write a fan fiction story about Bad Kitty, what plot points would you use?
Sixth, you need an end, which could be open or closed. Bruer decides the conclusion should be that Bad Kitty loves turnips and eats them all the time. This idea turns out to be such a horrible one that Bruer finds himself needing to write an epilogue. If you were to write a fan fiction story about Bad Kitty, what end would you write?
You might think that by my providing the above steps to writing a story that now there’s no need to purchase your own copy of Bad Kitty Drawn to Trouble. But then you’d miss out on learning about other story elements such as foreshadowing, plot, theme, and emotions. There are also other special features such as a chapter about how to draw Bad Kitty, advice from familiar character Uncle Murray, and a glossary of literary terms used. My students and I love it.
My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.
How would you rate this book?