Sarah Eden interviewed little ol' me for her "I Need Friends Friday" post.
Head over there and see what is up with Hwch ddu gwta, the tail-less black sow. :)
P.S. If you leave a comment one the interview, Sarah will enter you in the October contest!
I'm going there again this year.
National Novel Writing Month.
Writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
Can't be done, you say?
I beg to differ.
And so do all those who wrote feverishly during November, edited their work and published it.
My method the last two years consisted of not thinking, just writing. Turning off the inner critic. Typing without thinking.
My first story was over 50,000. It was about an African village. A young girl was told by the medicine man whom she had to marry. The intended groom was old. The girl's mother helped her run away. She made it to America, learned and grew up, returned to Africa to find her village slowly dying. She gave them a way to live again.
I have no idea where that story came from. Seriously. It wasn't ANYWHERE on my radar. The MC has a very distinctive voice. I haven't written a strong voice in any of my other stories so far. It's my next story to be edited.
Last year I typed without thinking again. The story that evolved was a dystopian story. One day the moon shifted in its orbit, causing tidal waves and earthquakes. A group of teens learned they would find a sort of "Eden" in the "big crack" that runs down the middle of the earth. Many people seek it and many are taking advantage of these people. They are led to a prison instead. The teens must find Eden and figure out how to free all humanity.
Once again, how did that story come out? No idea. I had NEVER read dystopian before.
This year I want to try writing with an outline in mind. I have no idea if it will work.
What about you?
Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo?
If you've written like crazy in November, what was your method? Was it successful?
The audience can identify with him or her.
The hero has to grow through out the story.
The hero is involved in most of the action.
S/He has a character flaw which is sometimes opposite of their strength.
At some point in the story, The hero must make a sacrifice, even their own life.
There is a Mentor in the hero's life.
Teaches the hero.
Gives the hero a gift.
Motivates the hero
Can be a shape shifter-may not be who the appear to be.
I.E. Obi-Wan (taught Luke, gave him a light saber etc)
Along the journey there are Threshold Guardians.
Block the hero's way.
Can be a human or object.
Test the hero-can the hero get through the obstacle? Is he worthy?
Can be working for the good or bad side.
I.E. Fluffy from Harry Potter (literally guarded a door), Stormtroopers, poppy field.
The journey needs a herald.
Shows up about 1/4 of the way through the story.
Issues the hero a challenge
Announces coming changes-"All is not well! The world is changing!"
Gives the hero motivation to go on adventure.
Can be a person or object.
I.E. Buzz Lightyear (Andy is changing), Gandolf (giving ring to Frodo), Harry's first letter from Hogwarts.
Every story needs a shape shifter.
The Shape Shifter:
Not what he/she appears to be.
Revealing their "real" self can create big change in the story.
Can be good or evil.
Can be combined with another character type like a herald who is a shape shifter.
I.E. Anakin who shifts into Darth Vader, Mr. Darcy, Wizard of Oz
And every hero needs a nemesis or shadow.
Tests the hero's true abilities and worthiness.
Forces hero to rise to challenge.
Often beautiful, elegant or good.
I.E. Darth Vader, bigotry, natural disasters, The Joker
What hero would be complete without a trickster or sidekick?
Helps balance out the drama with a little humor.
Brings things into perspective.
I.E. Bugs Bunny, Merry & Pippin
Wednesday: The hero's actual journey
Read any books recently where the people in the hero's journey were evident? Which book? Which characters?
I LOVE Halloween!
My family LOVES Halloween!
So to celebrate how cool we are, the wonderful holiday, I'm giving away a book!
"He had a sensation of being told a secret he knew to be true, but which would be far, far easier--and much safer--to ignore; all the more so since he strongly suspected that acknowledging the truth meant his life would change utterly."
Just tell me in the comments if you have a favorite scary book.
Leave me your email too.
Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting and teaching gifted children, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings provides the resource parents and teachers need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach gifted children how to live with their intensity.
Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students uses real-world examples through case studies and role-plays that show parents and teachers how to interact with gifted children in a way that teaches them how to recognize, monitor, and adjust their behavior. Worksheets, tip sheets, and checklists are included to help parents, teachers, and the students themselves learn to cope with the explosive feelings that often accompany giftedness. Specific strategies for stress management, underperformance in school, perfectionism, and social anxiety make this a must read for anyone wishing to make a positive lasting impact on the lives of gifted children.
This book is great for any parent but especially for those who parent and teach gifted children. It wouldn't hurt all teachers and principals to read this book!
What I loved: Christine starts at the beginning by educating the reader what a gifted child is and why they are more emotional. She goes over the mislabels, myths, diagnosis, etc. that often accompany a gift child's emotions.
Every chapter is short and doesn't read like a college text book. Christine uses understandable terms. At the end of each chapter, she has extra help/ ideas for teachers.
I LOVE case studies and stories. Every chapter has them and really helped me to ingrain what I was reading. She has tips, worksheets and checklists to help. This book was a great help to me. It was well written, concise, understandable.
What I didn't like: Nothing!
Thanks for trusting me with your book, Christine! It was a great read.
I received this book for my unbiased review.
Contrast vs. compliment
Consider how others will percieve
Name characters wisely
Obstacle vs. Asset
Is the name, physical self, external self an obstacle or assest?
What is the stand out feature of your character? Is it good or bad? Does it reflect the internal??
What is the physical flaw of your character? Use it toward conflict, it can be the same as the stand out feature.
Does the flaw reflect the internal? This can be very powerful!
How is the flaw a strength? It can be a strength for others as well.
What is the characters perception of their physical self? Do they use it to their advantage or try and hie it? Do they feel burdened or blessed?
What is your characters special ability? What makes them worthy of their story?
Plot-Plot is the backbone of the story. In fiction plot is the action that grows out of conflict. Conflict-is the obstacle, the problem Initial Conflict-First event that starts the quest, the hook. Only needs one page (sometimes a chapter) to establish. It creates the next cause & effect (conflict) then moves the character to the next conflict. Initial conflict will predict the climax. Exposition-Back story weaves through out the story. Rising Action-Series of at least three conflicts Climax-The most intense part of the story. Everything in the story moves the story to this point and the main character has an Epiphany to the resolution. Needs only one chapter. Resolution-Is the outcome. Needs only one chapter
How many plots do you need?
Secondary plot for main character
Plot for secondary character
Subplot lines in each chapter
All non-fiction needs:
Resolution-reader says "I can do that!"
Writing Gifted Characters…Expanding Past the Stereotypes.
First, I want to thank Taffy for letting me hanging out on her blog today as she hosts a leg of my blog tour.
When we talked about possible ideas for today’s post, we decided to write something about writing smart characters. We’ve all seen them in some of our favorite books – characters that are just plain smart.
Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, “the smartest in her class”.
Anne of Green Gables is another great example.
Both of these characters are smart and somewhat intense in they way they interact with their world. Good examples of giftedness in literature.
But how is this created?
Too often, smart characters are created in stories and fall flat – being overly geeky, or stereotypical in their behavior.
But gifted kids represent more than the over-performing student, the geek, the math nerd, or the kid that always knows all the answers.
Sometimes, the gifted kid is an underachiever, or a drop out.
Sometimes they go to great lengths to hide their intellect from their friends.
More than anything, they are intense – both in terms of how they think about things, and in terms of their behaviors.
So, the next time to set out to write a character and discover that he/she is gifted…stay away from the stereotypes. Reach deeper and discover they ways in which that character is intense – how they interact with the world around them.
Look at the intensity of their emotional reactions to events in the story, how they interact with their friends, how they respond to stress. Focus on these aspects of their personality and you will move far past the common high-achieving stereotypes we often see in literature.
For more information on giftedness and the emotional side of these kids, check out my book – EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS. Written for parents and educators, this book delves into both the behavior that defines emotional intensity, and what to do about it.
Now it’s your turn…who are some of your favorite “smart” characters in novels? Have you written very many smart characters?
I’ll be by later today to answer any questions you may have.
Thanks again, Taffy, for letting my hang out!
Christine is giving away a signed book as well as other cool swag! So comment here, comment on the other blogs on the tour and come back for my review of her book. Here is a link for Christine's tours:
I'm going to post my notes, the ones I wrote in my little composition book, from the League of Utah Writers, henceforth called, LUW.
I went Friday and Saturday; heard good advice; remembered why I like writing; meet awesome people; renewed friendships; ate horseradish sauce and other good food. I believe it was worth my time and money.
I hope to post my notes every Monday so check back and see if you learn anything :)