Every once in a while a contrast in styles and approach provides productive food for thought, and this happened to me after going to see the films Saving Mr. Banks and 47 Ronin. I’ve written before how I believe films, and screenwriting in particular, can be helpful in understanding effective storytelling. The contrast in these two films shows why.
Laura Lascarso‘s debut novel, Counting Backwards, is the kind of book that reminds you that lots of writing talent is sitting off in the wings, waiting to be discovered. Lascarso’s prose is suitably succinct for a young adult novel, the dialogue is real, and the plot unfolds smoothly and seamlessly as Lascarso guides Taylor, the lead character, toward an emotional climax that is all but predictable. While some teens might not like the way her story ends, the reflective ones will be provoked, and parents will likely nod their heads at the truth of Taylor’s journey.
- How does violence effect human behavior and psychology?
- How do stories reflect how people behave through fear, shame, power, strength?
- What is the nature of courage and leadership, and how does this bystander culture limit it
- How does bullying, intimidation and oppression, by individuals and in groups, effect human
- How doe adults relate to children, and how is this different from peer relationships, whether child to child, or adult to adult?
- How do young teens deal with the challenges, threats and violence they face on a daily or regular basis?
While volunteering for the Tallahassee Writers Association at Downtown Marketplace, an older woman picked up a copy of my book A Warrior’s Soul. My quick summary emphasizes that the story is about school violence and self defense.