The Prince & the Pauper is a book that developed as a story in a realtime teaching experience with the Korean mother of a homestay student whom I had recently met. She had returned home and we used phone & email.
It is an example of opportunism and the natural progression from one simple understanding to a greater life experience, and eventually into a full blown commercial product.
The story told is a simple love story, with a prince who while riding happens to see a girl in the forest that he falls in love with. The quintessential, “rich meets poor with Cupid doing his stuff”, sort of thing. It is a Christian allegory, meaning that the King is a ‘type’ of God, the Prince is a ‘type’ of Jesus and the Pauper (the poor girl) is a ‘type’ of us. The Prince’s servant is a ‘type’ of the Holy Spirit – a go-between the Prince (who simply wants to love the girl) and the girl (who has a huge insecurity issues and is terrified of making the big step to accept the Prince’s love).
The story however is immensely readable at a simple emotional level – intensely engaging with each chapter talking about a series of practical events that culminate in a decision point for the girl at the end of each chapter. Will she marry the Prince and live happily ever after, or not? Of course she wants to and does at times say, “Yes!” but then always changes her mind. She runs away, gets into and out of trouble and has a myriad of ups and downs as she deals with her various fears and challenges. The final chapters can be a little traumatic and have plot twists that all have a basis in typical real life emotional challenges too.
Writing to someone in particular is much easier than writing to a large audience. Even one business report written to one business colleague can flow much easier than one written to an entire company or to the Board of Directors or a committee. Whenever writing it is always helpful to select one person and write to them, at least initially, keeping that one person (or category of person) in mind while formulating your ideas.
Political Correctness is a form of peer pressure that encourages people to conform to a pre-conceived value-system. People tiring from this influence love to hear that alternatives exist. They also get a real buzz from seeing them outworked.
The development of the script was completed daily by email as I wrote the story for the mother. Getting her daily feedback encouraged me to continue, even if it meant a serious commitment of time. It was an emotional roller coaster for us both during the writing.
Taking a subject that I either knew or suspected was appropriate to deal with in the recipient’s life (such as a certain insecurity or fear) and then putting it into the story meant that the entire experience was real and meaningful for the recipient.
She could also write her own endings which helped with her learning English.
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