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Posts Tagged ‘Markus Zusak’

Have you ever looked out of a plane window at the ground below, and felt as though you are looking at another world? Or seen satellite images of countries at night, and felt disconnected?  Well, this week’s post is about perception.

Let’s start with an image, shall we?   Here’s one from NASA – this was found at grin.hq.nasa.gov

What do you see?

Not people, not man-made structures, not proof of life.  The first thing I saw was the clouds.  Just underneath, it seemed, was a white block – the ice at the South Pole.  I saw the liquid oceans and the land masses.

Humans, on the other hand, live at street level.  Brushing across the surface, we would be invisible to any aliens busily flying past; we wouldn’t show up to their naked eye – assuming they have eyes, that is…

They’d have to change their point of view to see that life thrives on the planet.  It’s in those clouds, under that ice cap, swimming in the oceans.  It’s scuttling across continents.

Now think about a story you might be writing, right at this moment.  In it is a whole world – people are vast in this world, as visible as a land mass, or the watery 70% of the globe.  But what are you missing, what can’t you see, what is hidden by your perspective? What, if you shift to the right and squint, can you see?  

Whose point of view could you explore?

Whenever you write, you make a decision which viewpoint you use.  Every so often, you should look from another angle to see what you’re missing.

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I promised an update on the 2014 Reading challenge so here it is…

This week I have read two books:

Book 4 – Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie.  Like many people, I know this from the cartoon more than anything, so some elements were quite surprising – Peter’s selfish cruelty, Hook’s torment at his hand (pardon the pun), Wendy’s willful ignorance.  I loved some of the description, but this wasn’t the cosy tale I thought – so it’s a good thing I read it really!  There’s a darkness in it that probably appeals to children still.

Book 5 – The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.  I put this one on the reading group list because I thought it sounded interesting (it’s a war story of sorts, narrated by Death), but I don’t like war books, and I needed a push to read it.  I’m so glad I did; I devoured it like a locust, I was so hungry to know how things turned out for the characters.  It was thoughtful and emotional, but not cloying, and although it was a little metaphor-heavy in places, I suspect that’s because I am aware of these tools.  There were stylistic choices I didn’t particularly care for but as a whole I think it was a very good book

I haven’t given up Moby Dick yet, but I haven’t finished it.  I think the thing that’s keeping me reading in Queequeg, make of that what you will!

Until next time – happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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