Saturday, 9 April 2011

Day 306: My annotated bibliography

On Monday I have to give in 5000 words of my novel, which really isn't that much considering how long a novel is. A small one is 40,000 words and I've written in total about 17,000, so not even half way!

Anyway, I also have to give in an annotated bibliography, which means I have to explain how each book I've read has helped me with my story. Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with everything I've 'learnt', I'm just going to star one thing from Adele Geras' Ithaka. (See Day 265 for more on that.)

In her story Geras tells Homer’s well known tale, The Odyssey from the point of view of those left behind in Ithaka’s palace. Geras’s uses loads of characters’ which means you get a really rounded view of palace life, as well as what each character wants/feels about the situation they're all in. In other words, each character has a little story of their own within the bigger story, which was really realistic.

Think of your family. The chances are most of you have pretty different days (at school, work, collage), even though you all live in the same house. You all have different things you want (a new car, a girlfriend, a cat) so when you all sit around at the dinner table, you're still a family, but also individuals. When you ask your mum/dad a question, they don't always give you the answer you want 'cause they have their own thing going on too. 

Well, this is what I was lacking in my story. In one scene, Holly is having dinner with her Mum and older brother, Tom, but Tom didn't even mention the fact that he was getting suspicious of Holly's behaviour, (she's being all secretive because of the laptop she stole, as you'd probably expect!) By Tom not mentioning it made him two dimensional, like only Holly's situation existed within the family, which is totally unrealistic.

BUT, when I read Ithaka, I saw how each character had their own thing going on and I was like, hang on, my story doesn't have that. It really made me want to write more convincing character. Cool, huh! That's why it's so great to read. The more you read, the more you understand writing. If you want to become a truly brilliant writer, you need to become obsessed with reading. That's how all the greats (like Stephen King and Jacqueline Wilson) got to the top.

Here's a list of some other great reads from my bibliography, just in case you want to read them too. I think I've written about most of them before, so search them out if you want:
Ithaka, Adele Geras
Finding Violet Park, Jenny Valentine
Breathing Underwater, Julia Green
Martyn Pig, Kevin Brooks
13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
Life on the Refrigerator Door, Alice Kuipers
Holes, Louis Sachar
My Name is Mina, David Almond

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