Don’t Let Your Characters Eat the Marshmallow

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE TED talks. I learn so much about life and people from them, and as a writer, I am continually drawing information about how to shape characters and the ways people truly interact.

One of my favorite TED talks is by Joachim de Posada, explaining a study where four-year-olds were given marshmallows and told not to eat them for fifteen minutes. If they succeeded, they’d be given another.

His point was that the students who delayed gratification were more likely to be successful.

This morning, I was working on a scene that has stumped me for months. I suddenly realized the problem–I was letting the characters eat the marshmallow too soon. Delaying gratification for characters is as important as delaying it for ourselves. Readers will continue to sympathize with a character who does not get what they want.

Off to reread my story to find other places I can keep the character from eating the marshmallow.

Hope you have a blessed day!

About monicamynk

I'm a Christian, wife, mother, and high school science teacher, and author of the Cavernous Trilogy and Goddess to Daughter Series.

Posted on March 28, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great analogy!
    Great advice!

  2. Hahaha I had to stop and comment for that hilarious and clever title.
    I also Love TED talks.
    Delaying character’s gratification wow.
    I just watched Better Call Saul and what you said is so true!
    I think this concept will stick because of the marshmallow.

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