© Scenes that take reader to an emotional place
© Turn of phrase that is critical
© Slant that is critical
What Moves Patti
A peek inside Patti's heart, which she so openly shared with us, reveals a deep-seated love of literature and what it has done for her. Patti's emotions are confirmed by great literature. Who isn't blown away by the splendid characters in Dickens' Great Expectations, who are wrought with feeling.
Patti believes in the discovery of wisdom in a book. In learning something new. Why write if our work doesn’t contain wisdom? Killer Angels by Ken Sherer is a good book to read with problem kids. Splendid characterization. Action goes right to a battle in the beginning. A book with this kind of power can make kids readers. A book that has a great deal of meaning for her, Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, was the first book from the list that I read when I got home from the workshop. Patti summarized that Chocolate War is about a school with a wicked undercurrent; the power of the book is that it unleashes shock. Reader is left with Jerry's sick feeling that he knew what he had become. That he allowed Archie to influence him enough to lower his standards. Another life-changer is Ursala Gwinan's The Wizard of Earthsea. It helped give Patti permission to see her shadow. A book must go far enough; the example Patti gives is The Nigger of the 'Narcissus': A Tale of the Sea (1897) by Joseph Conrad. Author must go to the well and write from the inside out, not the outside in. Author must be all you are. Author must be transcendent.
Patti's final thoughts to take to heart: Dare to disturb the universe. Don't be a writer who leaves the genuine idea behind.
For past posts in this series, please visit:
Part One: Two Ways to Hook and Keep Your Reader
Part Two: Nouns Need to be Concrete and Appear More than Once
Part Three: Tent Pole Structure
Part Four: Leonard Marcus: Maurice Sendak, Storyteller and Artist
Part Five: Leonard Marcus: Let the Wild Rumpus Start
Part Six: Behind the Scenes with Deborah Heiligman
Part Seven: Deborah Heiligman's Casual Scream
Part Eight: On the Same Page with Betsy Bird
Thanks for reading this series.
Next month: Cluttered Desk Leads Writer Astray
Labels: Highlights Foundation, children's writing workshop