SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: ruecole on April 06, 2012, 08:47 PM

Title: Need a little more help...
Post by: ruecole on April 06, 2012, 08:47 PM
Sorry if I'm capitalizing the Research boards, but I need a little more brainstorming help. I need an event that most 11/12 year olds would want to go to. "All my friends are going!" Sort of thing. Oh, and it has to be something that could take place in mid-April in the Pacific Northwest.

And most importantly, it has to be something that takes place on only one date/time. So that if he ended up grounded for two weeks, he'd miss out on it.

Ideas I've had so far:

Travelling amusement park/fair
Concert/show
Party

Uh, that's all I've got so far...

BBers are the best brainstormers out there!  :clap:

Thanks!

Rue
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: hairaplenty on April 07, 2012, 01:22 AM
Our small town did an annual Lip sync contest that turned out to get bigger and more popular every year.  You had to audition, but most got in.  Only one night a year.



                                                                                                        :hairdude
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Kurtis on April 07, 2012, 03:42 AM
Seems like it should emerge naturally from the character -- but for girls, the concert by the latest heart throb a la Justin Beiber; for boys, some kind of sporting event (Seattle Mariners home opener, maybe?)
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Helen on April 07, 2012, 05:35 AM
Possibly a hero that is visiting town....a Boy Scout campout in the snow...a hot air balloon lift off...a contest that the character wants to win....testing for his/her next belt level in Taekwondo...the rare blooming of a flower like the corpse flower (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0605_flowerbloom.html)

I agree with Kurtis that  it will depend on the interests of the character.  :cricket
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Taylor on April 07, 2012, 06:03 AM
Maybe scoring tickets to a huge movie premiere, something on the scale of a Twilight or Hunger Games screening.
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: CaroleB on April 07, 2012, 06:25 AM
A video game-o-rama marathon extravaganza?
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Woods on April 07, 2012, 06:41 AM
A trip to visit a huge and popular cave?

Trip to another country?

Swimming with dolphins or manatees?
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: jojohn on April 07, 2012, 08:49 AM
A school event? Our sixth grade students go on an overnight camping trip as a "graduation" of sorts and it's highly anticipated. A school dance? A big race--in Ohio we have the Flying Pig marathon and a lot of students run the 5K version. It's a big event. We also have the World Choirs games coming up and a lot of people are looking forward to that. Any kind of competition or finals--spelling bee, music competition, debate team, robotics event, basketball team goes to districts . . anything like that can be a "must go" even if the student isn't on the team. Also, tryouts for some events are only one day--it depends on what the student is grounded for and how hard-nosed about the parents are--some parents cave for academic or sport events if the benefit of participation is greater than the reason the kid was grounded. As noted, it will be as important as the character thinks it is.
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: jeffman on April 07, 2012, 10:57 AM
Just to suggest some more variety:

In a suburb of Chicago called LaGrange, in June there is an annual event called the Pet Parade. People walk around the center of town with their dogs and cats and I don't know what else. Celebrities are invited. And it's just the sort of thing an 11/12 year old would have to attend.

http://www.lgpetparade.org/

In the small Utah town where I live now, there is an annual Scandinavian Festival to celebrate much of the town's heritage. There are street booths selling foods and crafts, a parade, those insanely large inflatable play toys (slides and such) that kids pay a dollar to use, a bandstand, and an authentic Scandinavian meal that costs something like $5 a plate. This is early May.

Since you're writing about the Northwest, do you know the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mt. Vernon, Washington? It lasts all April, but a fictional version could easily be centered on one day in particular. http://www.tulipfestival.org/about

In the Maryland town where I grew up, there was an annual flea market one day in the spring. There was some sort of arrangement to use one of the larger parking lots in town, and the thing was full. Lots of white elephants, garage sale stuff, but also new crafty items, and kid activities, like who can drive a nail into a log the fastest -- you can probably think of others. A lot of kids got involved because a lot of sellers were raising funds for private schools and churches, and of course their friends had to come and talk, etc. Oh! the thing was kicked off with a sort of balloon lottery. I wonder if these are too environmentally unfriendly to be legal today??? What happened was, for every ticket you bought, you were assigned a helium balloon with a tag on it. All the balloons were kept together, and at the proper time, launched in a huge bunch. Like, a thousand balloons. The tags had a callback number, and a note asking whoever found one to call in the location. After a week or so had elapsed, the balloon that had traveled the farthest (and been called in) was the winner. In the 70's, I think the prize was something like a 9-inch portable TV. Every kid I knew bought at least one ticket, and all my memories of this go back to 11-12 years old.
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: ruecole on April 07, 2012, 11:21 AM
Awesome responses, everyone! Thanks so much! These are exactly the kinds of ideas I was looking for! :clap:

Now just to decide which works best for my MC!

Thanks!

Rue
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Dionna on April 07, 2012, 02:03 PM
Hi Rue!

Boys in VA love the Monster Truck Show or Jam that travels all over the country. They can't wait to see Gravedigger! It's a real big deal here, and I guess anywhere boys love four-wheelers and mud-bogging.

Dionna
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Kell on April 07, 2012, 02:57 PM
I just learned what Mixed Martial Arts are! Those events are pretty big with boys. Or something like Comic-Con, Wondercon or other con if the boys are more into things like that.
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: ruecole on April 07, 2012, 05:46 PM
More good suggestions!

Thanks everyone!

Rue
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: Liz Straw on April 08, 2012, 05:28 PM
the unveiling of some video game or a video game play-off taking place near-by.  Which would include people dressed up as video game people.  (Watched CSI recently)  Any kind of computer or video game event.

The opening of an arcade in a mall or downtown. 

The grand opening of a Sports Arena that will be open to the public - (Nashville TN Parks opened one and it has an ice hockey rink, pool, gym, etc.)  Free skating is also allowed on hockey rink as well as youth leagues beginning, swim teams, etc. 
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: majanecka on April 11, 2012, 09:37 PM
Rodeo
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: olmue on April 12, 2012, 06:04 AM
Get one of those regional tourist magazines that list the big events for each month. Have fun!
Title: Re: Need a little more help...
Post by: ghostgirl on April 12, 2012, 06:09 AM
I'll throw one more in the ring:  Around here, everyone has Idol fever and Phillip Phillips is our hometown boy. There are lots of plans for the big Top 3 hometown parade/party. The local cafĂ© is raising money for it by selling signs and t-shirts. You bet every teenager and tween will want to be there.

You already have a great list here. This is just one more specific nugget.