Monday, July 29, 2019

The Magical Muse by Jennifer Nielsen

To say Jennifer A. Nielsen is amazing is a HUGE understatement. There are so many positive adjectives I can use to describe her! It would take up this whole post. She's an influencer, teacher, writer, friend, listener, centered, true-to-self, best friend anyone would beg to have. She's kind, sweet, funny, smart, insightful, witty...did I say amazing yet?
(I know, I know, fan girl much?)(I truly want to be Jen when I grow up).
When you're with her and talking to her, she is laser-focused on you and you alone. She proved to be the one with sound advice for a friend in need over the weekend.

We learned a lot about being creative!

First, ask yourself:
Where am I creative?

WATER is the #1 element to creativity.
WHY Water?
It supports the body, so the body relaxes and the brain relaxes and creates a cocoon.
The relaxed brain creates DOPAMINE, which creates peace in us.
(I was totally skeptical about this. I mean, when will I get to a waterfall or sit in a hot tub?? The next morning I was thinking about a hole in my plot while I was showering and BAM! The thought came and I solved the problem!).

BLANK page
Staring at a blank page works. Most ideas being with a single spark. Only you can grab it.

COLLECT stupid facts
Did you know there is a DOG MAYOR? And he's won THREE times?

LISTEN to music and pick up on lyrics

ASK what if? What if that happened? Or he said that? Or she did this?

MAKE up back stories to other stories or to strangers you meet. Why does that guy keep looking at pictures of the same girl, over and over again? For the two hour flight?

LOOK for details. Why is he carrying yellow roses?

COME up with more than one plot point...come up with at least 5.
SET limitations on your characters (limitations are the mother of creativity).
PLAN your incubation period. ⇨ WRITE down your questions you have about your plot, character, etc and go about your day. You've given your subconscious brain a task and it will answer your questions.

TRUST your imagination! You're in the right place!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blessed, honored pioneers!

Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), Washday on the Plains, 1938, oil on canvas, 42 x 94 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of the Teichert Family Collection.
This week we celebrate Pioneer Day on July 24, which is Utah’s state holiday. Minerva Teichert produced scenes of her Mormon Pioneer heritage in the living room of her Cokeville, Wyoming ranch home and participated in civic celebrations of Pioneer Day. Washday on the Plains conveys the resolute commitment of the pioneers’ posterity to remember the heroism and dedication of their forebearers in trekking to the Mountain West. Minerva made sure that the vital role of women in this epic was not forgotten. These industrious pioneers embody both strength and beauty in their crisp patchwork fashions.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Put on Your PANTS: Outlining Tips for Pantsers; Polishing Tips for Plotters by Lisa Mangum

The next part of Lisa Mangum's class on pantsing and plotting (continued from last Monday) was B.E.L.T. (see what she did there?)

Your characters belief system
How much pain can they stand?
What is there relationship with God?
⇨ What sacrifice does your character make to achieve their goal?

What unexpected fear does your main character have?
Are they feeling guilt? How do they atone?
What does your main character feel after defeating the villain?? Relief? Sadness? Justification?
What bring your MC closure?

Who does your character call for help?
Where does your character feel safe?
What is your character's reputation in the community?
What kind of legacy do they want to leave behind?
What DO they leave behind?

Unexpected quality in your hero?
Who is your hero's hero?
⇨ Make a list of heroic qualities and use them to measure your hero's success and failure, both internally and externally
Allude to the heroic quality in the beginning and echo it throughout the story

Monday, July 1, 2019

Put on Your PANTS: Outlining Tips for Pantsers; Polishing Tips for Plotters by Lisa Mangum

Lisa Mangum is one of the best teachers and she always has an amazing perspective. I've never heard her teach the same presentation twice. She taught about pantsing and plotting or P.A.N.T.S

When you edit, go through and find out everything you learn about the character. Look for their physical descriptions, their hopes, dreams, flaws, goals, anything internal.
What's missing?

The villain is the hero of his own story. The villain needs to be smart, crafty, etc And the villain needs to know the hero's weaknesses, strengths, etc
⇒ Write a character sketch of the hero from the villains point of view
What poses an inner threat to the hero?
What will the hero lose if he fails?

What makes the hero truly happy?
Use the equation of "Nothing is more important than X. Except for Y."
Like in the Godfather: "Nothing is more important than family. Except for respect."

Put your symbols into action by using the rule of three:
1st time = interesting
2nd time = Pattern
3rd time cements, presents or establishes a problem, solution or theme

The things we do for love!
Stakes matter when the relationships matter.
This is life or death

There was so much more to this breakout. I love Lisa's insights.
I'll add another section from her lesson next week!

A few of my favorite things I'm doing

I'm reading: Fiction: The Light After the War by Anita Abriel  It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban ...