Writing Good Friendships

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One of the hit shows this summer was Netflix’s Stranger Things. Set in the 80s, I reminisced about some of my childhood and enjoyed seeing feathered bangs, walkie-talkies, and Eggo waffles. Categorized as a drama/horror/mystery/romance/sci-fi, the show has something for everyone, but the kids are what kept me wanting to keep watching. I later learned the cast was required to watch Goonies, a classic 80s film with great friendships. Here’s a list of some of the relationship traits that I think are also important for anyone writing children’s novels:

WARNING: If you haven’t watched Stranger Things or Goonies, there are spoilers.

  1. A Shared Goal
    • Stranger Things began with four boys sitting around a board game. With their dramatic antics, you knew the boys loved the game, but also valued their friendship as one gave in so another could win. Then when that boy went missing, their goal was to find him.
    • In Goonies, the four younger boys in the film banded together to try to save their homes.
  1. Conflict with “People” in charge
    • In Stranger Things, a secret government organization and a creature from a parallel dimension try to stop them.
    • During their hunt for treasure, the boys in Goonies run into the hideout of the fugitive Fratelli family.
  1. A New “Kid”
    • Stranger Things gets quickly stranger when the boys find a silent, scared girl who says their friend is in the “upside-down.”
    • In Goonies, the neglected and abused Fratelli brother, Sloth, helps the kids escape.
  1. A Test of Loyalty
    • The girl, Eleven, keeps secrets from the boys in Stranger Things, which divides the boys’ loyalty, but Eleven overcomes her fears to help the four be reunited.
    • A key scene in Goonies, is when all the kids and some older teens have the chance to escape from the underground tunnels, but they choose to stick with Micky and save their homes.

There are many more aspects to developing good friendships among kids, but I think any TV show, movie, or book that has these four traits is sure to be a success.

If you’d like to read some books with strong friendships, check these out:

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Holes by Louis Sachar

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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