Mandy Hager in the library at King’s College
Today our visiting writer was Mandy Hager, an award-winning writer of fiction and teacher of creative writing. She spoke enthusiastically about the role and importance of stories before outlining her ideas about story structure. She drew her outline of a novel like a rising hill with various dips before the peak, with the story ending somewhere on the slope down the other side.
She challenged everyone to recall a moment in time when an event, a person or perhaps a journey to a foreign country resulted in a change of thought and experience. Mandy shared one such moment with us, which surprisingly turned out to be watching Planet of the Apes a long time ago. She explained that the topsy-turvy idea of apes being intelligent and humans being oppressed and enslaved was very thought provoking, and had made her consider the way we humans treat animals. This kind of development is what should happen to characters in stories. I would also add, that this is what makes a good book linger in the mind.
We were treated to to some readings of Mandy’s novels including the opening pages of her new book coming soon called Ash. Look out for it in the library.