Books Change Lives - Brian Falkner
School Program Story by Maria Parenti-Baldey
‘What’s your dream?’ Falkner asked year 5 students.
Marine biologist, Hollywood actress, lawyer and a room full of nasty criminals made the list. Falkner confessed to the biologist, he didn’t really eat dolphins. Dreams were something you struggled and strived to achieve. It takes years of study to become a marine biologist, lawyer or an author. Falkner reached his dream after 30 years of perseverance, releasing his first book The Flea Thing, about a boy, 12, who had an unusual dream. Students listened as Falkner revealed his story layer-by-layer, until he stopped… . ‘Aaahh,’ chorused year 5.
To distract them, Falkner pulled out his story ideas goggles and cast the first magic words authors used to develop their story. ‘What if?’ All around us were hundreds of ‘cool’ ideas. Even right before us, said Falkner as he eyed the students, then glanced at their teachers and whispered, ‘What if… your teachers aren’t really human?
Falkner's second magic ingredient was ‘Research’ where authors looked-out for story ideas. Often they ‘stumbled across cool stuff they didn’t know before’. Falkner had used ‘research’ to find his next character for his second book, The Real Thing. In short - three scientists with secret Coca Cola formula, kidnapped, boy flown across globe as a taste tester to somehow save formula. Once again storyteller Falkner stopped short leaving students hanging… . ‘Aaaahhh,’ they chorused louder.
The last magic element was ‘Emotion’ where people wanted to read stories that made them feel something. Think about real life incidents when writing, ’Start with something that makes you feel something.’ Falkner shared a powerful emotional experience from 40 years ago, which had students holding their breath and clenching their hands.
To reiterate, Falkner reminded students that ’Books Change Lives’ when least expected and in unpredictable ways. One book that changed Falkner’s life has allowed him to write full-time — the international best seller and movie, ’The Tomorrow Code’ followed by ‘Brain Jack’.
Maria Parenti-Baldey, primary teacher, writer, amateur photographer and blogger. www.bigsisterblogs.comwf
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