Fill In the Blank


POST CARD FROM THE MUSE

Fill In the Blank

By Nandy Ekle

 

The last couple of weeks I talked about my need for organization in my every day life, but the total lack of structure in my writing life. And I’ve studied and been told and shown what an important tool outlining, planning, and plotting can be for a writer.

Let me just say, whatever your writing habits are, I will never tell you you’re doing it wrong, especially if you can successfully write “The End.” I very firmly believe each writer’s methods are right for them. But I also feel it’s important to have an open mind and trying something new to be sure you have the most effective way for your writing.

Last Friday I ended in the middle of telling about one story I wrote in a completely different way from my normal seat-of-the-pants method. This particular story, I did the plotting and planning, the story boarding and characterization, and the theme and each event. Even though this story is one I love very deeply, I didn’t have as much fun writing it as I normally have. The spontaneity was gone. The surprise was gone. I felt as though I was filling in blanks to a story already written.

But as I mentioned last week, something very interesting happened. The story was successful. I entered it in a contest, and it won second place and it earned the second spot in an anthology (available on Amazon). The other thing that happened was that the main character became one of my all-time favorite characters. And I think the reason that happened is that in my characterization of her, I realized she represents both of my grandmothers rolled into one.

Now, there’s another story I wrote in my normal way. This story, I had a theme and a situation. My character had a paranormal ability, but she didn’t want to reveal her talent, so she made up a story when caught using her gift. This was where I started. As I wrote, events of the story came to life as if I were a reader reading it. For me, this is the “funnest” part of writing. The tale unfolds in my head as if I’m watching a movie. In fact, as I headed into the final scene, I still was not sure who my villain was. As one of my “movie” scenes played, the secret bad guy turned his face to me and winked. This was when I saw the end of my story. To this day, I get cold chills when I remember the scene.

This story has not found a home yet, but that’s one of my resolutions for this year.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

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Fill In the Blank


POST CARD FROM THE MUSE

Fill In the Blank

By Nandy Ekle

 

The last couple of weeks I talked about my need for organization in my every day life, but the total lack of structure in my writing life. And I’ve studied and been told and shown what an important tool outlining, planning, and plotting can be for a writer.

Let me just say, whatever your writing habits are, I will never tell you you’re doing it wrong, especially if you can successfully write “The End.” I very firmly believe each writer’s methods are right for them. But I also feel it’s important to have an open mind and trying something new to be sure you have the most effective way for your writing.

Last Friday I ended in the middle of telling about one story I wrote in a completely different way from my normal seat-of-the-pants method. This particular story, I did the plotting and planning, the story boarding and characterization, and the theme and each event. Even though this story is one I love very deeply, I didn’t have as much fun writing it as I normally have. The spontaneity was gone. The surprise was gone. I felt as though I was filling in blanks to a story already written.

But as I mentioned last week, something very interesting happened. The story was successful. I entered it in a contest, and it won second place and it earned the second spot in an anthology (available on Amazon). The other thing that happened was that the main character became one of my all-time favorite characters. And I think the reason that happened is that in my characterization of her, I realized she represents both of my grandmothers rolled into one.

Now, there’s another story I wrote in my normal way. This story, I had a theme and a situation. My character had a paranormal ability, but she didn’t want to reveal her talent, so she made up a story when caught using her gift. This was where I started. As I wrote, events of the story came to life as if I were a reader reading it. For me, this is the “funnest” part of writing. The tale unfolds in my head as if I’m watching a movie. In fact, as I headed into the final scene, I still was not sure who my villain was. As one of my “movie” scenes played, the secret bad guy turned his face to me and winked. This was when I saw the end of my story. To this day, I get cold chills when I remember the scene.

This story has not found a home yet, but that’s one of my resolutions for this year.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

A NEW YEAR OF WRITING


By Natalie Bright

To start your New Year of writing, I ran across this list of story fundamentals.

  • memorable characters
  • a theme that entertains & enlightens
  • conflict
  • structure – beginning and middle and end
  • point of view
  • plot
  • resolution, great ending, satisfying

During January, WordsmithSix members will meet to work on our goals list for the next year. Hope you have a wonderful and productive 2015!

Natalie Bright

Game Play


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Game Play

By Nandy Ekle

I love most word games. However, it’s hard to find one that keeps my interest very long because, well, as modest as I can be, I’m pretty good at them. I have a huge vocabulary, I’m a good speller, and I can think fast and spontaneously. That’s not to say I’m the champion word gamer, because I’m not. I often go for the most grandiose words and don’t think about score, which means I use a lot of letters of very little value.

But I found something new. Well, not really. It’s a renewing of a very old game. It’s called Bananagram, but it’s nothing more than Scrabble. The version I’ve got is a solo game with the option of finding random players from my contacts list, which I don’t do often because I’m always afraid of bothering other people.

There are four ways to play on my app: Quick Game, which is a short timer and set number of tiles; Pop Atack, where letters drop into a well that grows and I have to use them up before the pile touches the top of the screen; Time Race, which is another short timer, but when you use up the letters more appear for you to use; and then, just plain Practice where they give you a set number of letters and no timer and when you touch the letter the diagram shows you everywhere it can be played.

With my semi-obsessive personality, I’ve played, usually the Time Race, with every second of free time I can find. And while it’s a challenge because the time is so short, I’ve invented a new rule. Each game will have a theme. Every word I make now has to be related to the other words in the diagram.

Now. I wonder how many stories that will create?

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Where do I start?


 Where do I start?

This is a common question by those who want to write a book. With all the many instructions and how-to’s out there, let me suggest three simple Ideas.

Develop a THEME for your book.

First, develop a theme for your story. Theme is different than subject in that it expresses a purpose or intent of the subject. For example, your subject might be a run-away girl, but your theme might be, “There’s no place like home.” The theme is what ties your plot and characters together.

Develop the PLOT

Develop the Plot or the action of your story. The plot is not equivalent to conflict, but is a series of dilemmas or encounters, which may include conflict, that helps your main character to evolve through their needs and motivations.

Create CHARACTERS

These are the people who reveal your theme. They connect with the reader by their traits and inner qualities described by the writer in a believable way. By matching their characteristics with the theme and running them through the plot, they must change in some recognizable way.

These three intertwined together will form a satisfying story. So let’s get started!

Rory C. Keel

Where do I start?


 Where do I start?

This is a common question by those who want to write a book. With all the many instructions and how-to’s out there, let me suggest three simple Ideas.

Develop a THEME for your book.

First, develop a theme for your story. Theme is different than subject in that it expresses a purpose or intent of the subject. For example, your subject might be a run-away girl, but your theme might be, “There’s no place like home.” The theme is what ties your plot and characters together.

Develop the PLOT

Develop the Plot or the action of your story. The plot is not equivalent to conflict, but is a series of dilemmas or encounters, which may include conflict, that helps your main character to evolve through their needs and motivations.

Create CHARACTERS

These are the people who reveal your theme. They connect with the reader by their traits and inner qualities described by the writer in a believable way. By matching their characteristics with the theme and running them through the plot, they must change in some recognizable way.

These three intertwined together will form a satisfying story. So let’s get started!

Rory C. Keel