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And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Writing and Courage: Katherine Paterson

From my own notes upon hearing Katherine Paterson speak to readers, teachers, writers:
It's hard to choose what you are going to write about. Books are years in the making.
(You said it, Katherine!)

And from Writer Magazine:
 ...a book for young readers has to tell a story. This may seem self evident, but the truth is some people ignore it because plotting is very hard work. When I hear myself being introduced as a "great natural storyteller," it is all I can do to keep from leaping to my feet to object. "Great natural storytellers" don't spend countless days hewing a story line out of rock with a straight pin, now do they?

and this:

I will not take a young reader through a story and in the end abandon him. That is, I will not write a book that closes in despair. I cannot, will not, withhold from my young readers the harsh realities of human hunger and suffering and loss, but neither will I neglect to plant that stubborn seed of hope that has enabled our race to outlast wars and famines and the destruction of death.
Katherine Paterson. Creativity Limited, in The Writer, December 1980 
(treasures discovered deep in my own files)

I think I'm onto something here. A theme maybe?
Check out this post by literary agent Peter Knapp, quite beautiful and challenging to us writers. Courage, all! And thanks for sharing, Caroline Starr Rose.



Sue LaNeve said...

So lovely and frightening--the significance of our craft in the lives of young people. Extraordinary quotes by two people I admire. I had the honor of meeting Katherine at Vermont College but I'd only heard about Peter. His essay focus, early speech challenges(mine were thick Ss and lazy Rs), and choice of books made me feel so at home. Posts don't usually make me feel that way. Thanks, A.

PragmaticMom said...

I love the way she thinks. No wonder she connects with tween readers so well! Hope and reality meet just like their young lives.

Carol Baldwin said...

glad to hear I'm not alone in hewing stone with a pin...

Augusta Scattergood said...

I think it's time to re-post this. Never can hear it enough. Especially from the links of Katherine Patterson.

Augusta Scattergood said...

Note to self. Proofread comment before posting. Paterson. And LIKES. Not links...