But when their friendship ends in tragedy, the only way for John and Lorraine to find peace is to write down their friend's story—the true story of the Pigman.“Headline news…remarkable…Zindel has written a story that will not be denied.” — “Headline news…remarkable…Zindel has written a story that will not be denied.”— Publishers Weekly“An intensely moving story of believably alienated young people.”— School Library Journal“This is a shocker of a book.
Write about those things that make you laugh or cry deeply.
Start your story with a bang a good title, a fascinating opening sentence and paragraph.
I thought, what a wonderful adventure it would be to team those two life models for me into a story in which they met an eccentric, old mentor figure. Pignati was based on an Italian grandfather that I knew. First, I think boys like to read about a male protagonist and I think girls like to read stories in which a young girl is the main character.
I wanted as large an audience as possible for my book.
Before John Green, before Rainbow Rowell, there was a writer named Paul Zindel, and thank heavens for that.
As a result, I survived my teenage years despite having grown up in the dark ages. When high school sophomores John and Lorraine made a prank phone call to an elderly stranger named Angelo Pignati, what starts as a practical joke quickly turns into a friendship that changes all of their lives forever.Or, when a kid tells me about something startling that happened to him or her. I modeled Lorraine after a girl (named Lorraine) who was a student in one of the chemistry classes that I was teaching at Tottenville High School.Or when I find myself in the middle of a breathtaking adventure or romance. I was a student at Wagner College when Edward Albee came over as part of a conference called the New York City Writers Conference. This was at the time when he was known for his one-act plays, such as The Zoo Story. And I knew him during the traumatic and exciting opening of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was a girl who used to cry anytime anything about death, dying, or war was mentioned.Make certain that the hero wants something, that he has a goal, or you will end up with a shopping list and not a story.Make certain that there are surprises and reversals, that there are unexpected things that happen.First, I decided that I wanted the lead character to collect pigs. I realized years later that the reason was that an Italian grandfather named Nunno Frankie became a surrogate father for me, my sister, and his own grandchildren.This is a tale I've told in great detail in The Pigman & Me.So, there's a part of me that's Lorraine, there's a part of me that's John, and there's a part of me that's the Pigman.I think this also gets at what makes for the existence of a writer. They don't really survive unless they are able to adjust, change, and transform into many, many worlds.As a writer we often create our first fiction piece because we've lived it. In a sense my science training really helps me analyze how I did and what I did. My favorite part is the initial inspiration when I first glimpse what the fictional animal might be. I went out to scold him, but he turned out to be one of the most interesting young man I'd ever met.It's the moment when I read a headline that boggles my mind. He told me a lot of the exciting adventures that appeared in The Pigman.