So this is my last blog for two weeks as I'm off to volunteering the internet-free grasslands of South Africa. It had better be a good post this week!
I saw the film adaptation of 'Life of Pi' last week. I was a little apprehensive (not least because Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' wasn't my cup of tea), as the book made quite an impression on me when I read it last year. Would the film stand up to the Hollywood test?
Yes, it did. It was just like the book and the CGI was incredible. But this is not a film review - did one of those much too recently. So today, I ask you to consider what 'Life of Pi' teaches us about writing.
Some things can be too unbelievable for print
"'So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can't prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without animals?' Mr. Okamoto: 'That's an interesting question?' Mr. Chiba: 'The story with animals.' Mr. Okamoto: 'Yes. The story with animals is the better story.' Pi Patel: 'Thank you. And so it goes with God.'"
Chapter 99, page 317
Survival stories are often the best
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
How does this relate to writers? Well, there are several ways.
Literal: Do not forget to back up your work. If your laptop dies, you'll be stuck.
Actual writing reflection: Try other things - don't just work on your novel. There are other ways to make money, to write, and to grow your mind and imagination. Also, try new outlets for your writing. So what if one magazine didn't like your creations? Try somewhere new. This is especially pertinent in this economic age where publications are closing all the time.
Sometimes kids get named ridiculous things
Were they conceived in the town they were named after?
Was it the heroine's name in their mum's favourite book?
Did the midwife help in childbirth so much so that the parents named their baby after her?
Let your imagination flourish!
Branding is important
Try using standard images for when you post about your books (e.g. cover photo), try linking your Facebook, Twitter, website with the same header image, and think about your appearance when you do private or public events.
Memoirs can be fascinating
Do you have any autobiographies you would recommend? Or are you working on a similar story just now?
Anything is possible. Hope needs to prevail.
No written word makes it to publishing without courage and endurance from the writer.
"As an aside, story of sole survivor, Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances."
Final paragraph from 'Life of Pi'.
Interlinking religions is fine if you wish to be a Catholic Muslim with a Hindu upbringing
So what do you think? Did the 'Life of Pi' inspire your writing in anyway?