Saturday Summation – 14 March 2015

Bits and pieces of things that caught my eye not only for my own interest, but enough to want to share with you, too…

This past week has me in the crosshairs of delving seriously into edits for Book 3 and germinating ideas for Book 4 – thus, the stuff I held onto in my reading lists this week were items that I needed to speak to me in both validating and encouraging ways. It’s all Writing Stuff:

“Have fun. Be joyful. Be experimental.” Authors Michele Young-Stone and Heidi Durrow basically interview each other in this post about writing that second (or third, or fourth) novel. Nothing can be like that first one, and nor should we try to make it be like that one. Check out their back-and-forth as they are in different stages and offer validation and suggestions that I know I appreciated, so you might, too.

How often can you guess the “big reveal” in a novel? The twist? If we do our jobs right, hopefully authors are stringing you along successfully and then surprising you. Author Laura Drake offers some suggestions on how to do this effectively – and one of the most important ones, I think, is making sure the protagonist will be equally surprised by the end as the reader.

Agent Rachel Kent writes about an author she works with that deliberately maps out characters according to personality profiles in an effort to ensure she doesn’t keep creating similar characters. I mention it here because one of the big ones that I’ve seen creeping up a lot lately is the Myers-Briggs – which I think is an interesting way to go in that reading some profiles might give me ideas to ensure that I create new and dynamic characters. To be honest, though, all the letters? They don’t mean that much to me anymore.

Agent Sharon Pelletier shares a lesson she learned from a writer during a college workshop about the very basics of creating an effective and compelling story. Summed up in their words: “Your story needs two pieces: 1. The Thing 2. The Other Thing.” Pelletier gives good, concrete examples in the post, but the gist is this: you might have a basic concept – a common theme – but then you add “the other thing” that shifts it and makes it your unique story. We all tell the same stories over and over again, right? And yet we aim to tell them differently.

Send me encouraging vibes in the next few weeks! As excited as I am to get Book 3 out to my beta readers, I am equally (or more so) nervous to do it successfully. Will this kind of thing ever change? From what I’ve gleaned from others – no. Ah, well.

Song of the Week

This month, among other things, is “I Love To Read” month for many k-12 schools in honer of Dr. Seuss’ birthday. A school that I work with put on a musical last week that adapted some of the Seussical the Musical songs and stories. Here is the “All the Thinks You Can Think” overture (not from my school, though):



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