Adam Frost - How to make your facts awesome!
Published on: 24 August 2017 Author: Adam Frost
Because I write both fiction and non-fiction, I'm always hopping between the two 'worlds' of true things and made-up things. It's huge fun. It also means my fiction and non-fiction influence each other.
When I write fiction, I try to make the stories as believable as possible (even if they're about a remote control that can pause and rewind Time). When I write non-fiction, I try to make the facts as UNbelievable as possible (like - did you know that the planet Uranus was originally called George?). So I suppose that's my main piece of advice: write stories that feel like facts and factbooks that feel like stories!
In my factbook 'The Awesome Book of Awesomeness', I tried to find as many incredible facts as possible. Then I used pictures to bring them to life. I love comics and cartoons and find it much easier to see facts than read them. If someone tells me that rabbits have more predators than any other animal, it doesn't really stick in my head. But if someone gives me a picture like this, then suddenly I think: 'No wonder the little critters are so twitchy.'
This picture is by Dan Bramall, the book's awesome illustrator. I particularly like that carnivorous plant.
Or how about these facts? Air stewardess Vesna Vulovic fell over 10,000 metres out of an aeroplane without a parachute and survived. Have a look at the picture below to see how far that really is. Or let's bring you back down to Earth. Do you know how often a sloth has a poo? Once a week. He crawls down from his tree (slowly), has a poo (quickly) and then crawls back up again (slowly). The picture below should help that fact to stick. Not literally stick, of course, that would be REVOLTING.
So if you're thinking about making your own factbook, then start by thinking about your favourite facts. Maybe you like outer space? Perhaps you like dinosaurs? Or do you like SHARKS? It's best to write something you'd like to read yourself. Then think about your favourite pictures - do you like photos, realistic illustrations or funny cartoons? If you can draw the pictures yourself, that's brilliant, but if you can't (I couldn't), then maybe a friend can help?
And if you do like SHARKS (SHARKS always deserve capital letters, don't they?), then let me leave you with this final fact. Did you know that tiger sharks will eat anything? And I mean anything. Take a look at this picture for some examples.
Don't believe me? Good! As I said, I only like facts if they're UNBELIEVABLE!
Bookbuzz is a reading programme from BookTrust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. Participating schools give their students the opportunity to choose their own book to take home and keep from a list of 17 titles.