I just completed book two in this series.
B was for Biography
What did I learn from reading this biography?
A couple things:
1. I realized that biographies pack a ton of information into their pages. Multiple people are named, significant time frames are laid out. In fiction, some would say multiple characters, details and events would be too hard to follow, but with biographies this influx of information is expected and appreciated. The biography reader wants all the details. They crave the full story. To leave a person or time period unmentioned, leaves a gap in the history that demands to be filled.
This makes me ask:
2. My particular choice of biography (written on Louisa May Alcott's major influence, her mother) brought up questions on how to share our own stories within our fiction.
I think I do this. I try to do this. Every character in When Chicks Hatch had an inspiration, a real person as it's framework. However, my characters quickly developed their own voice, their own distinct traits that made them unrecognizable as their original inspiration.
Lousia did this extremely well. Her own life and the lives of her characters intersected on the page, but yet remained distinctly their own experience.
This taught me that I can safely pull from my reality, but I must trust the story to pull it where it needs to go. A skillful writer will light up reality in a fresh way, twisting it, shaping it and building an impact that becomes stronger than the original source.
3. I learned that no story that needs to be told can ever stay hidden. Bury your journals in an attic, tuck them away, dig a whole in the earth and drop them in . . . nothing can keep the written word from resurfacing. Be careful little hands what you write!
Get ready for "C" is for Classics. I'm starting the next book soon. I love this genre so it was a trick to find a book I haven't read before. I chose A Room with a View which I've never read before, but (from what I hear) probably should have.
Do you have a favorite classic novel? If so, tell me about it.