Lemony Snicket’s Bedtime Storytelling Tips

Today’s parenting advice comes to us all courtesy of Daily Candy Kids, a fun daily treat in one’s email inbox, and if you don’t subscribe, you’d probably like it.

Anyway, for those of you who don’t, I wanted to share today’s “candy,” a very useful series of bedtime storytelling tips from the children’s author Lemony Snicket:

1. Ask your child what the title should be. This stalls for time and spreads the blame if the story’s no good.

2. Name the villains after people who wronged you in high school.

3. When you get stuck, remember Raymond Chandler’s advice: “When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.” The bedtime equivalent is a clumsy talking animal holding a tray of cream pies.

4. At the end of the story, all of the characters should be very, very tired.

5. Don’t bring your cocktail, because you might accidentally leave it and wake your child when you sneak back to retrieve it. Alternately, you may forget about it entirely and three days later someone will find a warm martini on your child’s dresser.