monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

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"Keep Your Hero in Trouble"

I've written a previous blog entry about Pullitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough, one of my writing heroes. 

So imagine how pleased I was to open the July 18 edition of Maclean's Magazine and find Kenneth Whyte's interview with McCullough, who is promoting his new book, The Greater Journey.

That's where I found the quote that I've used in the title of today's blog entry. McCullough says that "Keep your hero in trouble" is "an old writer's adage."

McCullough also quotes loosely from author E.M. Forster who said something like: "If I tell you the king died and then the queen died, that's a sequence of events. If I tell you the king died and the queen died of grief, that's a story." Successful storytelling, McCullough continues, involves "understanding the human equations involved."

As for me, I'm working away at the first draft of my latest YA project. Let's just say that my protagonist Iris is in big trouble (McCullough would approve, I hope). Now I'll see whether Iris can dig her way out of it.

Here's a link to the complete interview with McCullough. Check it out -- and be inspired!

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Monday, 04 December 2023

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