Tuesday, April 12, 2005

After having it on my shelf for about 2 years, I finally got around to reading "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen, and thought it was terrific. As a writer, to have a whole book of mostly just one character doing stuff to survive sounds like such a hard sell - how not to be boring! But the boy is so well written, and I was almost disappointed when he was rescued. He learned so much, and made lots of mistakes, and each challenge got bigger and bigger - great example of raising the stakes.
I also read a new book from the library "The Boy Who Spoke Dog" by Clay Morgan. It was quite different, and had two points of view - the shipwrecked boy and the dog, Moxie. To read chapters from the dog's POV was so interesting. I thought he captured dog thoughts really well. Sad ending.
Writing has come to a halt, not for lack of time but lack of impetus right now. After finishing the first draft of the fantasy novel (which isn't due to the publisher for 3 months yet so plenty of time for rewriting and polishing), I feel at a loose end, not yet able to fully focus back on the historical novel. Am fiddling with other stuff in the meantime - a picture book and a historical story.
Spent nearly the whole class yesterday (Writing for Children class) going on and on about characterisation, character needs, what drives the story etc. I could see some of them start to glaze over. But now we have covered it in depth and I am happy that the class is finally taking shape after so many breaks.
Every week I want them all to have read the books I've read so we can talk about them and of course they rarely have! If I ever ran a book club, I'd have everyone reading a book a day!!

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