Friday, September 20, 2013

Writing about little pieces of human nature

I've been slowly reading out loud through the Chronicle of Narnia series with my daughters at bed time.  We're in the middle of The Silver Chair right now. I haven't read this book since I was a kid, and it's so much fun to read it again as an adult, not only to see what I remember (and what I've forgotten), but also to learn about story structure and writing techniques from a true master. 
There's no greater master of describing the human nature than C.S. Lewis.  
In order to be believable in expressing the "bigger" parts of human nature (pride/humility, greed/giving, trust/fear) I'm discovering how Lewis first lays the groundwork by relating to simpler parts of human nature. 
The Silver Chair transitions into new chapters by beginning with a thought about life such as “it's a very funny thing, the sleepier you are, the longer it takes to get to bed. You keep telling yourself to get up and get ready...”
People are sharing these common little observations all the time (you know, like how Mondays we always seem to be moving a little slower) and I'm trying to be more alert about observing them, and then threading them here and there into my chapters.... they are especially good for transitions. 
Not much else to say today, because you know, it's funny thing about Fridays... they're not nearly as contemplative as Mondays.  So there you go!


8 comments:

  1. I read the Magicians Nephew with my kids a few years ago, and it was a blast, but they've all become such independent readers, I haven't sat down and opened a novel with them recently. I should do that. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. One of my girls is an independent reader now, but when I read to the other three little ones, she can't help but show up to listen too :)

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  2. I've never read any CS Lewis book, even though I'm familiar with the Narnia movies. Maybe I should fix that.
    Have a great week-end.

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    1. Oh please do give the Narnia books a try! They are classic and beautiful and sometimes breathtaking!

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  3. One of my best memories of this is from elementary school. We had a short time when some of us came back from recess before the next class started-- glitch in the scheduling, I suppose. One of the LA teachers would read to us a little each day from the Chronicles of Narnia. I loved listening to that story! Now I own the whole set. :)

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  4. I didn't read the Chronicles of Narnia until I was an adult. I made double dog sure my children experienced them at a young age. We started with a fantastic audio book version of the stories read by peeps like Kenneth Branagh and Michael York from Harper Children's and then the kids read the print versions when they were ready.

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  5. What a gift you're giving your daughters! My sons are SUCH great readers and writers and I'd like to think that I played at least a small part in the fact that I read to them constantly. Plus, the Narnia Chronicles rock!

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  6. There is definitely something to rereading books we read as kids now that we're in adulthood...and writers.

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