Author Archives: Erika Beebe

Why Theme Matters #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #Amwriting

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Herman Melvin Quote on theme

When writing, speaking, or listening to a podcast of something you love, isn’t there usually a bottom line? Isn’t there a point you want to make or hear? This is theme. Theme is the backbone of storytelling. I never realized the importance of interlacing key theme in thoughts and dialogue until I met my editor, and boy, did she really show me how to make it shine.

 

So how do you make theme shine as you write? The first thought I’d like to point out comes from the website “well-storied” by Kristen Kieffer. She states: “However, a story’s most important thematic statement is often that which lives at the heart of its characters’ experiences.”

 

So how do you get to the heart? Kieffer mentions the difference in theme and a thematic statement. Examples of literacy themes might be: coming of age, prejudice, discrimination, courage and heroism. From what I understand, thematic statements are more about the character your showing to the world.

 

Questions Kieffer asks when writing a specific statement are:

  1. “Who are your characters when the story begins?”
  2. “What conflicts will they experience?”
  3. “Who do they become when the story ends?”

 

An example of a theme in lord of the rings might be war and power, immortality at any price, even forgiveness. Taking it deeper, I can’t help but think of how many times Gollum could have been killed and yet he wasn’t. How the Elven princess gave her own immortality away so freely for love. How grander power means more hunger for more power and causes the loss of heart, of soul. So maybe a thematic statement might explore the price of immortality on the loss of the soul and the only way to remain rooted in soul is to give the power back. In any case, check out the article for all sorts of great examples. Happy Hop Day 🙂

Dream then Write #IWSG #amwriting #lostinthought

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month: Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey! 

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***

Don't doubt your dreams

 

Writing is a dream.

Have you ever seen a photograph or read an article or listened to song and instantly, pictured a world in your mind?

That’s how I write. First, I dream. I create a world and a problem. I drop a character into this new world who doesn’t seem to fit. The voice often comes to me first as I free write. Before I know it, I see the face, the family, the dilemma, and I keep flushing the rest of the world out.

This month’s question asks: “Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don’t write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be.” Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn’t planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

To answer the question, I’ve written stories both ways. The one I’m currently working on is an answer to a challenge and a genre I’d never choose on my own. It seems to work though, because I’m in love with so many of the characters who’ve resulted from my free write times.

What about you? Where do you start when you write something new? Have you ever birthed a book out of a challenge?

One last thought:

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

— Anne Frank

Write From Creative Places #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts this month: PaJenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Rumi

One of my very favorite creative writing assignments back in college challenged me to come up with a free write creative piece. The class was assigned to think nothing, to take a walk, and let the world lead our string of thoughts. We were to piece them together and form a complete short story grounded in nature.

I couldn’t remember the last time I let nature take my mind for a walk. Elementary school at least. Back then as a young girl who loved nature, I spent most of my time walking through the woods, climbing trees and letting the wind and the world lead me instead of a carefully planned out course.

Today, I’m thinking about our minds as powerful forces in both defeat and victory. I’m thinking about how many times I faced both directions on the path to write and how many times I’ve found myself doubting whether I could ever turn out a full novel or not.

Today, I’m also cheering for you to find that field of grass and to become lost on that windy sidewalk in the woods with only the breeze tugging at your shirtsleeves, and you trusting that pull.

Today, I feeling more hope than doubt. Today, now more than ever, I’m hoping you feel that hope too.

Happy IWSG day. And never forget:

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Make Every Word Count #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #amwriting

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

WInston Churchill Quote

 

This month, I have to be brief. Daylight hours have slipped through my paint stained fingers. I’ve been doing so many projects around my home. I wish I had more time. I don’t.

Today, I’m thinking about writing tight action scenes, a skill I’ve recently become comfortable doing. The important thing as you write action is to write, then cut. Read, and cut some more. I found a great article to get my thoughts rolling by Write it Side Ways and feel free to visit it for more details.

What are the tips I’ve learned?

There are three I can think of:

1. Pick strong verbs.

2. Write quickly, pointedly.

3. Imagine the stress, the out of breath state your character(s) might be in, and make the dialogue or internal reflections brief to reflect this realist situation.

An example using all three points from my favorite book, A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (page 60):

It takes me another second for the pain to register. Blood is in my mouth. His hand draws back to hit me again.

I jab my arm down against his back. He jerks a little and his hand falls.

I stabbed him. I stabbed him.

Part of me wants to burst into tears.

A darker part of me wants to celebrate.

A personal example in the moment, using all three, and not quite as sharp.

Cautiously, I step through a darkened doorway. My heart hammers so loud, the pound of it echoes in my ears. I don’t see her. She’s here. I feel it in my blood. I can’t explain it. A sister knows a sister.

“Fight me!” Her scream echoes through the warehouse. Overhead, the metal ducts rattle with the fire in her voice. I shirk forward—turn.

A shadow shifts side to side. I hold my breath, waiting. My eyes adjust to the dark. It’s a bag. My shoulders release. A stupid boxing bag.

“Come on then.” I ready my hands, knowing she’s back there, somewhere. “Come get me if you want me.”

Happy Writing!