Lois Lowry's Blog


IN the beginning...

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Thursday, 09 August 2007 in Uncategorized

So here's the thing. I agreed to do the beginning of a story for a section of Weekly Reader called "Weekly Writer"...in which a professional writer starts a story, kids continue it over several months, paragraph by paragraph, and eventually the professioal writer finishes it up. Stephen King has done one. Walter Dean Myers. R.L. Stine. Others. And yesterday I set out to write my "beginning."

I always start a story, or a book, with a little introduction of character(s) and a sense that something is wrong and that something - at this point unkown, perhaps a little mysterious - is going to happen. (That is, after all, why a reader turns the page).

"It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened." That is the "beginning" of THE GIVER, and it does what I just drescribed, in the space of one sentence.

Another begining, this time of GATHERING BLUE:

THere was no reply. She hadn't expected one. Her mother had been dead now for four days...

Different characters, different situation, same process.

So I began to write my story beginning for "Weekly Writer." In fact, I wrote it. Then I read it to myself and thought: Hey. I'm intrigued by this. I don't want anybody else going on with it. This is mine. This may be a book.

So I kept it. If, in the future, you ever hear that I have published a book called UNDER THE BARN...well, that is the one that started out as the opening paragraphs of a story that someone else was supposed to finish.

I wrote a different beginning for "Weekly Writer" and e-mailed it off before I mused too long about it or the same thing might have happened again.

It seems incomplete not to attach a couple of photos, so here are the last of the pink hollyhocks, as well as the last few high-bush blueberries.


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Linda Brandt Monday, 29 November 1999

What is ironic is that not only does the internet "snap and gobble" so quickly, but that it doesn't consume its prey but chews it like a cud and spits it out whenever someone googles the words "giver" and "movie." This thread is over a year old and is still getting comments. It is a testament to your work, Ms. Lowry. Thank you.

Tiana Monday, 29 November 1999

OMFG ur sooo awsome.......im not saying that charcasticaly....I LOVE THE BOOK THE GIVER ITZ AWSOME LIKE YOU

molly may Monday, 29 November 1999

Dear Ms. Lowry,
My English and reading class has been reading The Giver and I wanted to know what exactly inspired you to write a book like that. I'm NOT saying that your novel was bad! If people had thought it bad it would not be going through the movie making process. My teacher thinks the world of The Giver.

Erin Monday, 29 November 1999

I must admit I am happy to hear the movie has been postponed, as I feel The Giver is perhaps the best YA book of all time and unfortunately movies often prevent children from actually reading the book. I read The Giver with my language arts classes every year and every time we end The Giver for the day there is an uproar of "Nooooooooooo" being whined throughout the room. Any book that can capture the attention of middle school kids in such a powerful way is truly a treasure. Thank you!

Lia Monday, 29 November 1999

Miss Lowry, My class and I just finished The Giver. What an amazing book! My assignment is due next week. I am creating a puppet show about what happens after the end of the book. I can't wait until they make a movie out of your creation!

Kristy Elam Monday, 29 November 1999

I just started reading The Giver again today for what is at least the 10th time. As an English teacher, it's beautiful and thought provoking. As a reader, it's just simply one of my favorites. Thanks for writing such an amazing book. I can't wait to see what a movie of this book will look like!

sarah Monday, 29 November 1999

Any idea when the movie will come out. I heard about the potential movie like two years ago and I am still anticipating more. I hope you can make it a series, similar to how you did the books. I'd love to find out wut happens to jonas! Mahalo for your literature.

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