Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Obeying the God of Storytelling

Always a good idea.

Rita Williams-Garcia, as quoted by her colleague, Elizabeth Partridge, on the Vermont College faculty blog:

Two favorite tidbits: She ran into a problem with a real life event she decided to put in her book at a different time than actually happened. She puzzled out how to explain her choice to us, then said,

  “You have to obey the God of Storytelling before Father Time.”
And another from Rita Williams-Garcia, via Cynthia Leitich Smith's website, on her very wonderful novel ONE CRAZY SUMMER:

The challenge was to write a novel with historical content but to not allow the Black Panthers to hijack the story from the central characters. There was so much research. So many historical comments to make, but I constantly cut away to stay within the heart and perceptions of character. Either I did it myself or my editor would ask me to do it later. 

(My mantra for today. Stay within the heart of the character. Or my editor will ask me to do it.)

Anybody out there with tips for staying within the heart of the story and your characters while struggling with real history?


1 comment:

PragmaticMom said...

Here book was great. I loved hearing about the Black Panters -- you never hear about them in Civil Rights KidLit -- but the story was anchored by the 3 girls and their family issues.

Your book paired with hers are such a great combo to explore Civil Rights Movement for 4th -6th grade. And The Watsons Go to Birmingham too!

3 is not too many, right?!