Archive for Crafting

“A New Frame, A New Perspective”

Posted in Crafting with tags on October 25, 2009 by Lizzie


Markus Zusak’s idea for his novel, The Book Thief, intrigues me.  I haven’t read the book (although now there’s a post-it note by my desk reminding me to pick it up the next time I swing by a bookstore), and I really just tripped across the interview accidently.  The story is about young Liesel Meminger, a foster child growing up in Nazi Germany, a landscape most of us are all well familiar with thanks to Night and other gripping Holocaust accounts.  But this one is different: Zusak elicits Death to tell the story.

Zusak’s Death doesn’t wear a hood or carry a blade but gets a kick out of the idea.  And while humans pale at the slightest mention of him, he is just as afraid of them.  What an unusual voice.

In my writing, I often start out with one voice and continue with it until I get tired of the story and trash it.  But what if I skewed the narrative’s perspective just like Zusak did with The Book Thief?  A room often looks so different when you get down on your hands and knees or hang upside down off the bed, so why not do the same thing with writing?  Play with the perspective of a story, and it just may lead to something greater.  And if it doesn’t, no one is the wiser.

Check out the Markus Zusak clip for the story behind his curious choice of narrator.