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Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Role of Conflict in Fiction



The role of conflict in fiction is to hold the reader's attention when two opposing forces clash or disagree in their created "World". Conflict is a major element in the presentation of interesting fiction. Conflict is a quarrel or struggle, according to the dictionary. The same concept applies to fiction.
  • When two characters have differing opinions conflict arises.
  • It spirals out of control each time the characters cross paths.
  • There isn't an easy answer.
Simple Conflicts Can Be Spun into Fiction

A person's alarm clock didn't ring-out which causes conflict in everyday life. The idea of being late for work or school can elevate stress levels, push you to rush while driving. You are focused on getting to a specific place and not on driving which leads to accidents. A character in that situation may react as follows.
  • A character may speed up to avoid another reckless character.
  • Take down a license plate number and try to locate the driver.
  • Start a possible revenge campaign.
Creating Character Conflicts

The role of conflict in fiction is to make the conflict more interesting than in real life. Sure, pluck some ideas from real life but stir-in chaos too for successful fiction. Let's take a look at my character Reeva. Reeva met Bill indirectly when the two stood in a grocery store line listening a customer's love-life. The characters weren't familiar with each other.
  • Reeva shook her head but looked forward.
  • Bill coughed and muttered a few words.
  • Reeva didn't acknowledge him.
 A Character's Ego

The idea of Reeva not turning around to remark about Bill's words or say anything was un-heard of to him. Everyone liked Bill who cheated and lied his way into lives. Besides, he wasn't above doing anything to get his way. In that moment, Bill decided to stalk Reeva.  

  • Bill followed Reeva home from the store.
  • The smile on his face was from ear to ear.
  • Bill started going to Reeva's apartment building just to stare.
Conflict  

The stalking of Reeva has Bill thinking that he has a relationship with her. He has gone beyond staring at her. He knows what time she gets up for work as well as when she returns home. Bill has gone into Reeva's apartment to touch her belongings.

  • Reeva noticed clothes in her closet were re-arranged. 
  • Dishes left in the sink washed.
  • She'd awaken to a turned off alarm clock.
 Reeva's Plight

Reeva has told family and friends about what has been happening. She was advised to change her door locks, move and/or call the police. She doubts the police will believe her, and she has no proof. Reeva isn't sleeping well. On this particular night, a noise pulls her to full consciousness.
  • Reeva jumps to her feet.
  • She grabs one of the 5" heels.
  • She moves toward where the noise originated. 
The Noise

Bill had been sneaking into Reeva's apartment for about 2 months without being caught. He has watched her sleep, even stolen through her personal belongings. Still, the 30-year-old couldn't find the courage to address Reeva or introduce himself.  
  • Reeva finds everything in its place.
  • She manages to go back to sleep.
  • She wakes up late and takes the day off.
Reeva Goes to the Store 
 
Reeva washes clothes in the apartment's laundry room. She dusts and cleans. She tires of sitting home and goes out to the store. Or, she just wants to get away from the apartment. She grabs her hand-bag and leaves. Bill has moved into the apartment under Reeva's, knows where she shops and follows her.   

  • She sees Bill at the Less-Everything Store.
  • He pretends to look at an item.
  • Reeva runs in and out of different stores.
Bill Makes His Move 

Bill shows-up at the last store Reeva visits. She recognizes him but isn't sure from where. Reeva backs up as though she's uncomfortable. She grabs her few bags with items and departs. She looked behind her several times. 
  • Bill catches up with Reeva and tries to start a conversation with her.
  • Reeva speaks and moves away from Bill.
  • Reeva wants nothing to do with him.
Moved Furniture

 A few days passed without major incident. Reeva took a nap to get up earlier than usual to bake cookies for the party at work. Bill walks in as she's in the kitchen. Reeva runs to her bedroom with Bill following. He reaches for her. She falls, lands on her shoes and wraps her fingers around a five-inch heel.  
  • He drags her to him as she screams.
  • She tries to wiggle free, kicks.
  • Bill pulls Reeva up with her hair.

The Struggle Continues

Reeva asks what he wants, why and how did he get into her apartment. Bill kicks her and she moans. She slowly raises the high heel shoe and stabs him in the eye. Bill pushes Reeva and she falls to the floor. He howlers as he snatches the shoe from his eye.     
  • He steps on Reeva's body as he palms one eye.
  • Reeva rolls around the floor.
  • Bill stumbles as Reeva stands.
Conclusion 

Bill is dazed, throwing words of ill-repute at Reeva. He searches for the door. Reeva heads for the bedroom to get her cell phone. She dials nine-one-one. She hears a big boom as she talking to the nine-one-one operator. She looks-up to see Bill charging at her.   
  • She drops the cell phone.
  • Reeva hops up and begins throwing bottles of cologne and fingernail polish.   
  • Bill in an effort to avoid them bumps into the wall, head first and falls-over.
The role of conflict in fiction requires a resolution too. It may not be a happy ending, but there must be a resolution. The resolution should come from the characters involved with he disagreement. In other words, it wouldn't be fair to readers or ring true if a neighbor just walking by ran into Reeva's apartment to save her.     













Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fictional Characters



Fictional characters are products of a writer's imagination. The characters are mixed into a make believe setting for entertainment or learning. The character isn't a real person in the sense that he/she really lives, but some fictional characters can seem like actual people. Take a look at how fictional characters become memorable.  
  • Fictional characters must be believable and interesting.
  • Writers must know their characters to tell attention grabbing stories.
  • A major character's trait or quality is the "stuff" that brings him/her to life.  
 The focus of this post is on major characters, because they move the story forward. The choices of main characters are very important. Why? The choices of main characters move secondary characters to action, gossip or more problems. The profile of my character begins. The character hacks into any business computer system at random intervals, in hopes of not being caught.   
  • The character stole his/her way into employment.
  • He/she gained access to the computer system and stole money.
  • This fictional character lived a life-style far beyond his/her means.
A character's profile holds all the information about him/her. The name, his/her mannerisms, flaws and attributes. As with people, my fictional character gets greedy and goes too far. You, too, jot down any feature or trait that you want to dress-up the character with.   
  • What will the character's eye color be?
  • Will he/she have a limp? 
  • The strengths, ambitions or weaknesses of the character?
The above character that stole into his employer's computer system have the weaknesses of hacking and thinking he/she's smarter than most people. This character is always trying to dig information out of people, especially secrets.   
  •  The character looks for information to accounts.
  •  The character tends to brag about how easy it's to steal credit card information.   
  • Social security numbers are a favorite of this character too.
Look-over your character profiles. Is more needed to make a character well rounded? You have too much information which isn't show-casing the character. It's information that can be uttered by his/her actions or secondary characters?
  • Character profiles are sprinkled in.
  • Memorable characters display a certain flaw or trait.
  • Fictional characters grab attention when the flaw or trait is believable.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Make Time for Writing




Make time for writing is next to impossible when you're multi-tasking from sun-up to sun-down. Still, you have a deadline, want to get back into writing or just have the writing need. Writers, passionate or not, stumble through their schedules to pick-out a writing time. Let's look at ways to make time for writing.

Write Where You Are

Slice away a few minutes to jot down a writing idea when you're in the car, boat or on a coat.  The goal is to write down enough of an idea to later spin-out a writing project. Capture a clear idea while in the moment, because time will erase away specifics.   

  • Close your surroundings out and write.
  • Become one with the writing idea and you'll need less time with it.
  • Hear and see only the writing idea, if only for several minutes.
Sift Through Your Life

 Make time for writing can be stopped by too much socializing, for example. Sift through your life to find out what else is distracting you from writing. Remove activities that are hampering you from reaching your writing goals.
  • Cut-back on the time(s) that you socialize.
  • Fill your time with writing related tools to help you succeed.
  • Grow into writing by experimenting with it.
Own Your Writing Goal

It's not enough to tell yourself that you want to write, or mumble it to the World. Look at the words: "I'm a writer." Say them out-loud. Practice saying them. Own your writing goal with actions. How? There are ways to own your writing goals.
  • Writing on a regular basis is a writer's action.
  • Make time for writing when family and friends have other plans for you. 
  • Develop your voice by writing.
Learn to Say No

The above title can't be written or said enough. It's a must to comprehend and do.  Why? You'll be dragged to some place, this event or the other activity. It's stressful and tiring. The results are your goal(s) of writing is left-out. You can learn to say no. Try the following.
  • I have other plans.
  • I'm just too tired.
  • Writing is waiting for me.
Make time for writing is a choice as with anything else in life. It, often, requires removing obstacles out of your life which is preventing success. A goal  is worth-while and demands determination. Practice using the word no. You can be polite when using the word. Practice, practice and practice some more. 




















 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fiction



What's Fiction?

Fiction is invented, the imagination churned it into existence or was created from an individual's view of a world. Characters are sprinkled into a setting to love, live or solve a problem. It's the actual participation in fiction related writing, short stories, novels, television, stage and screen plays.

Short Stories

A short story has one problem to address, but more problems and issues are weaved through longer fiction. It depends on the length of the fiction as to how many problems and issues are stirred-in. Or, work with as many problems and issues that you're comfortable handling.

Keep a Journal

It's a good idea to make friends with journals. A journal is where you store writing ideas, and fragments of writing ideas. They can be retrieved as you need them. They are the stuff of writing projects yet to be, and an excellent remedy for writer's block.

A Possible Journal Entry 

October 3, 2014

Store Visit
--walked into XYZ Store
--a young male worker unpacking items
--threw boxes around
--banged, stomped, rolled his eyes
--very rude

A writing idea and a character, Brandy Young, description was based on the above journal entry. You'll see how it unfolds. You, too, bring a character to life. It isn't hard. Gather pieces of traits you've liked and/or disliked from various people. Perhaps, people you know, celebrities or those from your past.

Think about a character's description before you start profiling your character. How will your character look? What gender? Will he/she live in the city, country or suburbs? Will he/she be able to speak? Ask other questions to bring your character to life.

Character Profile
Meet Brandy Young who is 15-years-old. She dislikes her job, authority and is an aggressive person who lives in urban America. She applied too late for a Summer job. So, Brandy's mother asked a friend to hire her at the XYZ store where the friend is a manager. 

Brandy is normally disliked, talkative and the leader of most situations. The five-foot Brandy is always in disagreement with someone, except her friend. Connie agrees with Brandy on just about everything. The two have been friends since grade school.

Know Your Characters

You have to know your characters in order to tell their story well. Write as much as possible about a character. You don't have to use all of the information, but use the profiles as reference guides. It depends on the fiction's length as to how much of a profile is shared.

Let Characters Show-case Themselves

Let characters show-case themselves through dialogue, or other characters can drop rumors about this or that fictional person. The fictional family through actions gives insight to characters too. What is said or not said indicates information about characters.

Fiction Factors

Fiction has a beginning, middle and it concludes. Start in the middle of a problem or issue. Let readers witness the struggle.

"Here she comes, Brandy." Connie pointed across the street.

Brandy and Connie ran across Broad Street.

"What up wit ya talkin' 'bout me, Sandra?" Brandy pushed her.

"I didn't say nothin' 'bout you." Sandra's eyes filled with tears.

"You callin' Connie a liar too?" Brandy curled her fingers into a fist.  

You get an idea. Brandy isn't one to talk issues out.

At this point, the middle approaches.  

Obstacles

The following is an obstacle for Brandy.

"Why are ya messin' with my sista?" A female with hair several shades of purple said.

"Don't touch me." Brandy walked away.

Sandra's sister followed Brandy, but Brandy ran. Brandy zoomed home, jumped in and out of stores on the way. Sandra's sister lost her. Brandy jumped up the steps of her house and slammed the door behind her.

Brandy was restless after she ate dinner. She kept getting up, couldn't stay seated. She sneaked out of the house as darkness descended, left the front door unlocked. She made her way to Broad Street. She stopped short of going up Sandra's porch.

"There she is!" Sandra walked down her porch.

Brandy punched her in the face and ran.  Again, Sandra's sister trotted behind her. Brandy rushed in front of cars, almost was hit once and Sandra's sister gave up.

The next evening Sandra, her mother and sister rang Brandy's doorbell.

"May I help ya?" Mrs. Young asked.

"I'm lookin' for Brandy's mom." Mrs. Ivan said.

"That's me." Mrs. Young stepped back into the door.

 Ya're daughter beat-up my sista, and I'm gonna get her." Sandra's sister headed into the Young's house.

"No, I came 'round here to find out why ya're daughter is fightin' wit mine." Mrs. Ivan explained.

"I don't like what this woman said." Mrs Young pointed at Sandra's sister. "She's too old to hit a child and I'm calling the cops."

"No, no cops." The Ivan family left.

In the next week or two, Sandra saw Brandy at the mall. She approached Brandy.  

"I said one thin' 'bout ya, and I'm sorry."

"Ya bought people to my house, got me in trouble."

"Was tryin' to talk to ya, don't want my sista in it."

"Too late." Brandy walked away.

Days passed without Brandy and Sandra encountering each other. 

Brandy's mother managed to drag out of her what was going on. She demanded that Brandy apologize. Mrs. Young went to her bedroom.

Brandy left and ended up at Sandra's house.

Sandra's sister saw Brandy and grabbed her by the shirt. Brandy wiggled free, pushed her to the ground and kicked her. Sandra's sister jumped up but Brandy took-off running. Brandy didn't stop running until she was home.

Brandy told her mother what had happened. She left out the part about how hard she kicked Sandra's sister in the side with her designer sneakers. Mrs Young told her that they'd go back tomorrow evening.

Let's Pause

A Character's Quest

A character must try, at least, three times before succeeding. It shouldn't be easy for a character to solve his/her problem. A character is changed after a problem is solved. The reader wants to see how a problem or issue is resolved. Also, it gives the reader more insight to the characters. The strengths and fears are exposed.

The most intense moment happens and then the turning point.

The Story Continues

Connie rang Brandy's doorbell. Only, Sandra's sister was behind her. Sandra's sister pushed Connie through the door when Brandy opened it. Brandy landed against the wall, unharmed.

"I was wrong, and will apologize to Sandra," Brandy confessed.

"Not dat easy, brat," Sandra's sister reached for Brandy's throat.

Brandy jumped back. Sandra's sister stumbled but didn't fall. Sandra's sister punched Brandy in the face while Brandy slapped her head against the wall. Sandra's sister staggered.

"Get out of my house!" Brandy yelled.

"I dialed nine-one-one," Connie threatened.

"It ain't over." Sandra's sister stumbled out of the door.

"Why ya bring her here?" Brandy splashed down on the couch as she rubbed her jaw.

"Didn't know she was behind me." Connie sat across from Brandy.

"She crazy." Brandy went to the kitchen to get ice for her jaw.

The two girls watched television. Connie decided to go home.

Mrs. Young arrived home from work. Brandy gave her account of what happened.

"I'm callin' cops."

"Mabe, it's betta if we go 'round dere like ya planned."

Mrs. Young agreed. 

They had tuna fish sandwiches and ice tea for dinner.

Before long, they retired to their bedrooms.

Saturday rolled around. It was about noon when the two left to go to Sandra's house. It didn't take long to get there.

Sandra's sister answered the door. She grabbed Brandy around the throat before a word was exchanged. Brandy started punching any spot. It took both mothers and a man to peel her hands from around Brandy's throat.

Mrs. Young pulled out her smart phone.

"No cops," Mrs. Ivan pleaded.

"This woman tried to kill my daughter." Mrs. Young consoled Brandy.

"I'm all 'ight," Brandy said. She coughed. "I came to apologize."

"I'm sorry too." Sandra's eyes filled with tears.

Everyone looked at Sandra's sister.

"I ain't done nothin' to apologize for." Sandra's sister disappeared into the house.     

"If I see or hear that woman anywhere near my child, I'm callin' da cops," Mrs. Young made clear.

Mrs. Young and Brandy headed home.

"I'm not sure Sandra's sister will leave me 'lone." Brandy told her mother as they entered their house.

"Don't go near 'em, and she seem to be scare of da cops. Call 'em on her."

"Not going near 'em."

They heard someone's feet beating against the ground. They turned around to see Sandra's sister charging them. She slowed down, and stepped up to Brandy.

"Can we drop dis"? Brandy asked.

"Nope." Sandra's sister replied.

"What's wrong..." Mrs. Young started to say.

"Shut up!" Sandra's sister shouted.

Mrs. Young pushed Sandra's sister away from her daughter. The two women pushed, shoved and fists flew. Brandy jumped on Sandra's sister's back which forced her head to bang on the ground. Sandra's sirster plopped down on the ground and didn't move.

Mrs. Young grabbed Brandy's hand and went home.

Brandy and her mother never spoke of the incident, but Brandy's bullying ways disappeared as did Sandra's sister.

The end is where all the loose threads are explained. In other words, every story line that you introduced must be explained and settled.
























Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Game to Stop Writer's Block





I'm told writer's block happens when you're on a dead-line, need a chapter start, searching for the right words for a poem, a specific article just has to be written but words refuse to appear or creativity falls asleep. Panic can set in, if you let it. Stop. Take a deep breath. Relax. Allow Game to Stop Writer's Block assist you.

I'm cured of writer's block, and I'm having difficulty remembering it. Wait. Writer's block seeped in during the time I was writing my first novel, Grave Street House. I learned to play writing games to stop it. Is it possible for me to get it, now? I have to say, no. Over the years, I've stumbled into writing games to stir-up my creativity. The writing games were developed out of necessity.

"You're joking, right?" You scoffed.

No, I'm not joking. I'd find a word, object, person or animal to ignite a writing ideaThe game to writing is applied to fiction and non-fiction. You can be given anything to write about, and this technique will cure writer's block. Test it. 

Game to Stop Writer's Block can help you write a news article, essay, poem or any writing assignment. It will push writer's block to the curb, and keep it there. The technique is easy and fun to use. Also, you have the flexibility to tailor it to your specific needs. Don't be afraid to experiment with it.

Game to Stop Writer's Block begins with you looking around the room you're in. Pick the first object, person or animal that your eyes first see. Select what your eyes land on, first. I've come-up with variations, but decided to share the following version.

My eyes landed on the radio. The first letter of radio is spun into five other R words. My words are Ralph, random, road, roll, and rat. The words are off the top of my head. This is the fun part of Game to Stop Writer's Block.

Take a look.

Ralph eyed a female the moment he dragged in. He moved toward her direction, and turned away. He found a seat in the back of the bar, ordered Vodka and returned to his seat. He glanced at the woman, ordered another drink and walked up to her.

"Millie, that you? Ralph, from high school." He pointed at himself.

"Right." She stared forward. "Let's get on the road, leave this bar."

"I have to get home to my wife, just had a hard day at work."

"Too bad." She smirked. "We coulda had a roll while on the road. Get it?"

"Nah, gotta get home, wife worries.

"You don't do random?"

"Need a ride?" He offered.

"All 'ight."

"They left the bar.

"You don't 'member?"

"Huh? Ralph sighed.

Suddenly, she blasted him with foul names as they reached his car.

"Ralph, you were the rat who killed...

How would you continue it?

Say the following sentence six times, fast and with no pauses.

Ralph rolled randomly 'round the road.

Try creating a poem with your letter. My letter is R. Add other words beginning with R.

My poem.

*Ralph ranted 
roses go away
runny nose
nasal cavities will pay*

Play the game to writing if you need a chapter start, to break the hold of writer's block in the middle of an article or to create a new idea. Also, the object your eyes land on can be researched. Game to Stop Writer's Block allows flexibility and opens options.

The Game to Stop Writer's Block is easy to use. You'll change it to fit your writing needs. Experiment with it. Leave me a comment about how it helped you. Did you find a new version? Or, it didn't help you? The writing game is the cure for writer's block. It requires you to sit down and write.





Sunday, August 31, 2014

Places Characters Come From






Places characters come from are the people you know, memories and strangers who step into our paths and we weave it all through creative flow to form interesting fictional characters. The life you lead, places explored and your unique experiences stirred together are the mixture for memorable characters. They are the places characters live and wait to be discovered.

Let's take a closer look.

People You Know
Places characters come from appears in the person who brings laughter to everyone, even in times of sadness. He/she finds a thread of humor to slice away some of the tension in the room. Or, the person who can piece together a dinner or impromptu gathering with what is already in the kitchen. How about the individual who recalls people, places and preferences with only a bit of information. A character in one of my mysteries, for example, has an arthritic knee. She limps and have been seen rubbing it. I noticed it in a family member. The condition took hold of the body, and had a toll on simple activities that others take for granted.
  • Many writers take traits and qualities from friends or family.
  • You know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • The key is to pluck away enough information for a starting point.
  • Work with the flaw or trait that stands out
  • The person who is called a character by family is a good choice.
  • How about the person who is first to volunteer, no matter what.
Memories
Memories are the happy and sad accounts of your life. A life lived captures too many moments to remember. There are ways to let memories live when some have been forgotten. A picture, video or journal will bring back memories lost due to time.
  • Memories provide for many possible writing ideas.
  • It's an endless source for creating characters.
  • Recall the picture of a lady that no one knows?
  • The video of a get-together when everyone wore green.
  • A pet's pose.
  • Journal entry about the creepy (fill in the blank) ____________?
Strangers
Begin by selecting an incident, time, from memory. An incident from your first job is worth exploring. Select from an odd incident at the store, mall or at home. Focus on the stranger's behavior. The mentioned paths lends itself to creating characters.
  • The stranger that gave you an ice-cold stare can twist down paths.
  • The character could be a stalker.
  • A character is paid to scare someone? Who?
  • It started at 12 midnight.
  • The wind hollered at the same time each night.
  • Day quickly melted into night when the door shook.
A writer peeling away exact traits and qualities stands a chance of hurting feelings. The possibility of facing a law-suit detailing the theft of another writer's work taps you on the back when your creative flow strays. Therefore, characters should be the "stuff" of a writer's creative flow. Allow your style to awaken and shine. Finally, fictional characters come from various places, and sprinkling in people you know, memory or strangers you've seen can create exciting fiction.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Where to Start Writing


Free Writing

Where to start writing ushers in a day of wasted energy when a writing idea is needed but an angle, rhyme or reason eludes you. It is not the time to panic, leave that state for a real emergency. Sit. Take a deep breath. Decide if you are going to write fiction or non-fiction. Jot down a word, sentence, paragraph, related to the fiction or non-fiction writing idea. The words, sentences, paragraphs, are referred to as writing prompts.

  • A writing prompt eases you into writing.
  • It can be worded specifically for you.
  • The writing prompt could be a hint or words from your past.
Where to start writing ignites with free writing, especially when you are not sure of the path to take. It is possible to have many writing ideas waiting for exposure, but how to share them needs working out. One way to work with a writing idea is through free writing. Free writing is scribbling down this, that or any idea until one excites your creative flow.
  • Free writing perks up your creative flow.
  • It gives you a gentle hand of encouragement.
  • The best angle to write from surfaces.
Where to start writing may require you to ask questions. Do I need a change from what I have been writing? A possible change to a new genre spins out new motivations and goals. Write down areas of writing you would like to experiment with. The key is to have a real interest in an area of writing. It wastes time and energy to type up areas of writing that you have a casual attraction to. What is the cause of my inability to write? Do I want to write?
  • Essays are options.
  • Blogging on a topic?
  • Reviews?
The platform that you will use to present writing projects shapes its tone and content. Read the platform's guidelines. Determine if it is the medium to display your writing projects. Or, you want a new platform? The platform itself has the ability to suggest ideas for writing. Look at the published content. Allow your creative flow to run free, and give direction to a new writing project.
  • Sprinkle your spin on the writing idea that first grabs your attention.
  • The article must be your work.
  • Take the writing idea to a place you have never been.
It is not necessary to attempt a writing project or platform that causes stress. A new writing project or platform should be thought about. Take a moment to get comfortable with a new writing platform. Experiment to determine which platform fits you and your writing the best.  
  • Practice free writing for motivation.
  • Explore.
  • Search the new writing platform for your niche.
Where to start writing is smooth when you have available writing ideas waiting. You may not have a writing idea for a specific topic, but search for various angles from your published writing projects. Dig through writing ideas that you did not use.
  • Always use a writing idea many times.
  • Re-work writing ideas that you lost interest in.
  • Keep a notebook or file of writing ideas.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How to Write a Dramatic Scene

  

A dramatic scene is four paragraphs, two pages or ten pages but explode onto the page in vivid images. It must have a reason to exist, purpose. A dramatic scene is well thought-out.  A successful dramatic scene happens when opposing forces are in the same space. The opposing forces believe in their position, cause. They resist change and have convincing arguments. Plenty of emotion is stirred into the situation. The encounter of opposing forces gives information, seeks information, informs, convinces, compels, or logic prevails. The final action delivers a winner, loser or quitter.
A sequel follows. The sequel explains how the opposing forces feel, their state of mind which leads to the next scene. Visualize a scene before writing it. Ask questions during the visualizing process. How will opposing forces react to factor A? C? What's at stake? What's the state of mind? How can  you best present a interesting scene?
See the scene from beginning to end in your mind. Act it out, if necessary. Experiment to determine what works best. Don't be afraid to re-write a so-so scene into a scene that spells-out a vivid picture of intent.
Take a look at an example from my book, "Grave Street House," published in 2007. The main character, Amanda, is having another conversation with her cousin, Lena, about dare taking. The story is told from Amanda's point-of-view.
"I didn't mean to spy, but you have another dare going? Let's talk about it."
"Dare is to ask out an older man, nothin' else to talk 'bout."
"Do you and the caller play games like that often?" I sighed.
"Jealous? I bring the only excitement to ya're borin' existence?"
"I'm just trying to help you, Lena."
"Who asked ya?" She snapped. "Ya can't even help ya'reself."
"You're not going to upset me. Don't you feel bad for what happened to Mrs. Rosetti? That alone should make you not want to do another dare."
"If ya hadn't tripped over Mrs. Rosetti's orthopedic shoes she'd never woke-up. It ain't my fault her heart is bad. Last time I wanna hear 'bout that dare. We got one last dare for old time sake. Place of my choice."
"You didn't hear a word I said. No, I don't think so."
"Amanda!"
"We're both nineteen." I tried to plant doubt. "Don't you think we're too old for childish games?"
"Feel better? Now, the dare: The person that spends two hours in Grave Street House is winner of all time.".
"You nuts? Let me tell you the story of the Kane family. Before you came to live with us nice Mr. Kane lived there, his wife and five-year-old daughter. He stayed to himself, and worked at the factory where Mother retired from. Mrs. Kane was only seen outside shopping or going somewhere in the car with him. She never sat on the porch or walked outside to chat." I took a deep breath and said, "One Halloween night he stabbed her fifty times and killed himself. Their daughter slept through the whole thing."
"But what does that got to do with our dare?"
"You've seen how anyone going in the House is either carried out or changed forever."
"We'll be together."
"I better leave for work."
I couldn't muster up the energy to confront Lena again.
In conclusion, a successful dramatic scene involves opposing forces occupying the same space, in conflict and emotionally charged.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Story Premise




Create a Story Premise

A story premise is quick and to the point. It explains the story in one sentence. The premise gives you, your story, direction. You know which path to take, confusion is side-stepped and story over-lapping disappears. A map is formed when a story premise comes alive. Avoid the confusion of stumbling into wrong turns, and ending-up on similar streets. Stick to the map, premise, and finish writing the story faster.

Every word written after the premise develops your story. Remove any word that stalls or stops the premise from moving forward. A story begins after the premise is created. The premise must be proved by your story. Look-over the following premises.
1. Aggressive behavior leads to bullying and ruined lives.
2. Too much ambition ends in cheating, exposure and destruction.
3. Good or bad, you receive back what you send out.
4. Stealing starts lying, drama and chaos.
It isn't necessary to create a story premise that's researched or soul searched for months. You have lived, experienced or seen various premises in action. Premises take the following shapes.
1. Aggressive behavior can be enterprising.
2. Ambition takes effort.
3. Karma, good or bad, returns.
4. Stealing leads to other crimes.
Premise, too, sprinkles in characters, conflicts and resolutions. Let's look closer at a premise. 
Aggressive behavior leads to bullying and ruined lives, for example. A character is bullied by another employee at the work-place. The character that bullies thinks he/she can display any type behavior, because management used several of his/her ideas. The character that's being bullied is new to this department, and brings better ideas.

The bully keeps reminding everyone of his/her used ideas. The bullying continues. Management receives complaints, but not from the bullied character. At this point, the bully is upset. He/she has a negative write-up. He/she invites co-workers to a bar after work. One or two people drag-in to this informal party.
The resolution starts as the bully refuses to stop his/her negative behavior. The bully taunts everyone he/she thinks reported him/her to management. The bully is moved to a different department. His/her behavior becomes worse, and termination follows.
In conclusion, a story premise is a one sentence explanation that stirs-in characters, conflicts and resolutions.

Monday, July 14, 2014

10 Ways to Ignite Creative Flow

A writer's creative flow or writer's block stops producing at inconvenient times. There's no warning. Writers are left staring at a blank computer screen, playing paper basketball with the nearest wastebasket or finger tapping a tune out.

I've discovered, from years of writing, ways to ignite creative flow and stop writer's block. The following lists 10 ways to ignite your creative flow.

1. What to write? You're working on a writing project, and creative flow decided to nap. Stop fretting. Take a deep breath.

What would fit well into the writing project? Is there an aspect that you haven't considered? Or, a different angle works better? Allow creative flow to weigh in and then start the writing process.

2. Pick an event that happened during the last 24 hours. The event grabbed your attention and continued to nag at your creative flow. The moment it happens, begin jotting down notes. Figure-out how to share it. Is the better view through fiction, non-fiction or poetry?

3. A gathering of any kind is a storage of possible writing ideas to nudge creative flow, and push writer's block to the curb. A family group togetherness or holiday offers many writing ideas.

Have you listened to toddlers agreeing on a movie to watch?

"No, don't wanna watch it." Toddler number 1 cried.

"I wanna." Toddler 2 said.

"Nooo." Toddler 3 screamed.

Several non-fiction articles could be written before the family get-together starts.

4. The experience of a life time piece. It's the experience that had a profound influence on you.

One of the profound experiences in my life: I was unjustly fired from a job. It was the focus of my book, Grave Street House, and articles.

The point is to get information from life and write about it.

5. Write a piece that's different from what you normally do. A poem, for example.

6. Make-up a sentence to shape writing ideas.

The rain driven snow pounded all night.

You get any ideas from the statement? Make-up some of your own.

7. Ghost-writers address writing needs.

What form would your answer take to stir-up creative flow or stop writer's block?

8. Pick your ideal place to be. How would your essay start? A travel writing article?

9. Grab the book you thought was poorly written. Your book?

10. Write about your favorite time of the year. Why is it your favorite? Could you sell the article?

The ten ways to stimulate creative flow and stop writer's block is a writer's tool, but shape-it to fit your needs.


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Buzz on Writing Prompts

 



The buzz on writing prompts begins with words that motivate, inspire, nudge even, your creative flow. A writing prompt could hold encouraging words for anyone, at any time in life. Writing prompts are words, sentences and paragraphs that hold a special meaning to the reader. The specific meaning moves a person to act. Look at the following writing prompts.

     1. The wind danced against my window.
     2. Make better choices.
     3. A scent, memory or toy from an earlier time.

The buzz on writing prompts acts as a much needed "starting place," http://www.pw.org/writing-prompts-exercises, according to Poets & Writers. Naturally, writing prompts are the cure for writer's block by keeping your creative flow ignited with writing ideas. The more you write, the path or place you want to go becomes clearer.
 
     1. Make notes of the writing ideas that avail themselves. 
     2. Select the writing idea of most interest.
     3. Take breaks as you write.

I am going to work with the first writing prompt: The wind danced against my window.

I was snatched out of a troubling sleep as the wind danced against my window. There was something out of place in my bedroom, but I didn't know what or why. The dim light from my digital clock read 2:47 a. m. I tried to relax when someone or something moved in my closet. 
 
     1. What should be the next line?
     2. Have fun with it.
     3. Pass the post on.

The buzz on writing prompts is about words selected by you to enrich your writing life. Let's go through a writing prompts' gathering session. Sit. Relax. The session should last, at least, two hours. Jot down words that make you laugh, push you to question or have a special meaning to you.

     1. Is the word yo-yo funny?
     2. Make better choices, question it?
     3. What word(s) are you drawn to?

Writing prompts inspire titles, poems, writing ideas and can take you to new writing heights. Write down every word you can think of, titles and quotes too. Keep a computer file, notebook, of writing prompts.

     1. Scan through it for a poem, title or writing idea when the mood stirs you.
     2. A writing prompt can bring understanding to a situation.
     3. They have the ability to move you in a new direction.

The buzz on writing prompts is to paste them up in frequented areas like a desk, chair, wall, purse or wallet. The writing prompt attaches to a mirror. A possible writing prompt: Today, I will work toward my goal. You do not have a goal? Think about where or what you want to be doing in three months, six months. Set a goal. 

     1. Work toward your goal each day.
     2. Use writing prompts to keep you moving.
     3. Believe in yourself.
     

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Writing Goals

 Be Specific
 
 Writing goals should be given careful thought before attempting. Take a seat. Jot down all the goals you will achieve. Pick one to work toward and bring to life. Realize one goal, and slowly walk toward the next one on the list.
  • List goals like blogger or novelist.
  • Rank them in order of importance.
  • Number one to be reached first.
A goal must be important. The specific goal should be worked on each day, or schedule time for a specific goal.
  • Two hours before the day begins.
  • Perhaps, a time set by you.
  • You could need more than a few hours to work on your goal.
Some goals are involved and have to be sliced into pieces. A goal could necessitate that research be done in order to start. Decide how best to proceed.
  • First, select the institution to attend.
  • Your life-style calls for online courses.
  • Smaller slices will lead to reached goals too.
Writing goals stirs in the possibilities of obstacles showing up. It's not the time to panic. Stop. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Begin scribbling down ways to combat obstacles. Or, return tomorrow with ideas of slipping around obstacles.
  • Socialize less?
  • Surround yourself with people that have similar interests.
  • Depart from people with negative criticisms.
It's important to push away distractions that confuse or nudge behavior away from writing goals. There are too many people, places or habits that rubs out goal achieving efforts. A person who, for one reason and any reason, finds fault with your writing goals move away from. A mall, park or house everybody talks about pulls your attention to it, today. The habit of doing, wasting time, online is extra inviting. This is the moment determination must kick in.
  • Focus on the goal.
  • Think of reasons it's a goal.
  • Look at what you've done so far.
Beware of certain behavior. If you prefer to do anything but work toward a goal, stop. It means, somewhere in a crevice of the mind, the goal lost its appeal. The conclusion is that it's not attainable.
  • Don't waste anymore time with it.
  • Throw it out.
  • Look at the list of goals and pick the next one.
Spend more time with a goal that's rolling toward completion. Give yourself a deadline.
  • Two weeks.
  • Three months.
  • Two years.
Writing goals should become part of life. Motivation for goals can come from what you're trying to achieve, just keep doing. Reward yourself when there's a successful step forward. Paste up words of motivation on a mirror, slip of paper with "You Can Do It" in a wallet or "Keep Going" taped to the desk works well. Motivational words encourage. You may know some. The following are a few more.
  • "Believe."
  • Reach Higher."
  • "You Must, First, Believe In Your Talent."
Writing goals can be realized when narrowed down, realistic and sliced into manageable pieces.



























http://voices.yahoo.com/writing-goals-12665710.html

Monday, April 21, 2014

Make Better Choices

Life Patterns


The three words make better choices are true for most people in some aspect of their lives. Life patterns, way of doing for years, aren't easily changed but you can do it.
  • Set a goal.
  • Pick the life pattern of most concern.
  • This is after taking inventory of you.
  • Better choices can begin. 
Life patterns are changed one step at a time.
  • Ease into better choices.
  • Each day work on your better choice.
  • A new you is difficult all at once.
  • Stop behavior contrary to goals.
It took years to get comfortable or tolerate a life pattern.
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • Courage.
  • Don't panic over a slip.
  • Come-back stronger tomorrow.
How to tackle the life pattern, for example, of not being able to say "no?"
  • I'll have to get back to you.
  • I can't today, maybe some other time.
  • We'll discuss it later.
  • When all else fails, "no."


The original post is at: http://voices.yahoo.com/make-better-choices-12610970.html

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From Notes to Novelist

Write Your Novel.

I went from notes to novelist by commenting, in a diary of sorts, about being "retired" from a job. Yes, it took time, but you can do it too.
  • Select a topic.
  • Be passionate about it.
  • Stir-in research, if needed.
  • Start writing. 
Writing is therapeutic.
  • Vent.
  • Describe your feelings.
  • What happened?
  • Come to terms with it.
Sometimes, welling up emotion stops you.
  • Take a break.
  • Come-back in a day or three.
  • Make notes.
  • Dig deep for strength.
Tell your story.
  • No one can tell it as well as you.
  • Begin chapter one with the problem.
  • Show the conflict and suspense.
  • Move forward from chapter one with action.
Write every-day.

Original post at: http://voices.yahoo.com/from-notes-novelist-12605578.html.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Components Of Attention Grabbing Plots

Good Plots

Have a question? Agree, disagree, with me? Leave me your opinion.

 Plot is the problem in a work of fiction, and how a writer sifts through a "fiction world" to resolve it. 

Good plots are woven through action, suspense and conflict.  

Action between opposing characters can be intense, and it's one way for characters to learn about the other's position. 

•A good plot grabs attention. 
•People keep reading.  
•A character's plight moves the story forward.  
•The incident has a chain reaction.  
•A shake up in "fiction world" for some. 

 Suspense happens each time a character almost succeeds, stumbling blocks are thrown in the main character's path. 

•Characters probe for answers to a murder. 
•Someone sprinkles false clues around "fiction world." 
•Frustrated, but determination pulls the character along. 
•The same character makes a desperate move. 
•Suspense builds as to what will happen. 

 Conflict means a clash while differences surface. 

•At this point, the two opposing forces meet. 
•Betrayal and bitter words are exchanged.  
•Each knows the other's position.  
•One wins or loses this particular round. 

 Opposing parties prepare to out-do each other to the end.

Original post at: http://voices.yahoo.com/components-attention-grabbing-plot-12596089.html.

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About Me

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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.


She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.


She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.


Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.


Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter: http://twitter.com/marcellaglenn.



Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
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Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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