The Lord of the Bean: Creating Green Bean’s World

13 Mar

Last week, I began reading the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  I am very proud of myself for undertaking this daunting epic because of all that’s on my plate right now, including this book project, a very mobile eight month old, and my other responsibilities as a wife, friend, business owner, etc.  I have limited time for leisurely reading, so the fact that I’m still on the prologue does not surprise me in the least.  I must say, what a thorough and captivating prologue Tolkien has provided for his reader.  In about twenty pages he gives a thousand year history of Middle Earth!

So, what exactly does this have to do with my dear Green Bean?  Tolkien is a master at creating worlds for his readers.  I want to reflect on what I can learn from Tolkien and share more about Green Bean’s history in the process.   

Clearly, Tolkien spent a great deal of time developing his world and its inhabitants.  He spent years on this actually, although he makes it look so effortless in his writing–like it is history.  There are so many components to creating a vibrant backdrop to our story–a lesson that Tolkien teaches time and time again.  From “The Fellowship of the Ring” prologue, I learned that there were three original “species” of hobbits.  Each had unique physical characteristics and migration history.  For heavens sake, Tolkien! 

Although Green Bean’s world is no Middle Earth, it still requires thoughtfulness.   Actually, I have two worlds to develop–Green Bean’s real world and her imaginative one.  In developing each story, I must look at how these worlds intersect and, sometimes, collide.  For example, how does Green Bean know what a hoopoe bird is as a young child? In “The Adventures of Green Bean the Brave,” the reader learns that Philippa the Hoopoe is a stuffed animal that Bean loves to play with.  This is a simple example of course, but this illustrates how carefully woven in details make the story for a young, inquisitive reader.

Just think about all the questions a young reader might have about Green Bean.  Where does she go to school?  Does she take the bus?  Is her mom home when she gets off or is mom working?  Does Green Bean have a house or an apartment?  Does she live in a city, suburb or the country? 

In our quest to learn and understand, we all ask questions and seek information.  Our young readers are no different and we want to provide them with the information they seek, while leaving room for their imaginations to run free!  There is so much to say about Green Bean’s world, but I will leave you with this for now.  If you haven’t already, check out Green Bean’s “About” page, where you can find out a bit more about Green Bean’s history.  This is just a sample–there is more to come.  Thank you for reading!

What are the top five things you would want to know about Green Bean?

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