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Breathe. Chin up. Begin Again. #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]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends with me, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

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

***

I needed an extra push to start writing again.

I recently received editor feedback on my second draft of my work in progress. The nine-page letter sent me on a roller coast of ups and down, smiles and frowns. My shoulders sank an inch with each of the seven main points I realized I still needed to change and consider.

I’m coping. I’m smiling again.  Seven points isn’t all that bad, right?

If your lost and floating someplace away from your words like I am, I’ve found some inspiring writing thoughts to get us both grounded again:

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult

“Yes,” I can’t help thinking to myself, even though I’m still glaring at the computer monitor.

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
— William Carlos Williams

I’m lifting my rib cage a little higher and a one-sided smile tugs at my mouth. Of course I’ll write and revise. I have no other choice.

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

I’m rolling my shoulders back. My mind begins to race with possibility.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
— Richard Bach

I’m lifting my chin, and now I might be popping my knuckles and wiggling my fingers super excited, eager to begin one of the seven points at a time.

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”
― Lisa See

Wow! Just wow!

Okay. I’m convinced. I have four whole days of vacation ahead of me.

I’m ready.

How about you?

Minor Forces of Change #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.

Thank you Raimey!

***

How often have you said, “They’ll never change.”

Maybe you met someone in grade school, your friendship waned, you became friends again, only to fight and separate for like the fifteen-hundredth time.

Maybe you have a parent who you could never make understand what you were saying. Maybe they’ve said back, “I’m too old to change.”

Maybe a teacher you met got stuck in an educational pattern afraid of new curriculum or props. In any case, what’s true in our worlds may also be true in writing.

This week, I’m focusing on a writing question on character arc and minor characters. Are arcs necessary for characters beyond the protagonist?

Personally, I don’t tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make minor characters change. If they do change because my MC does, then great. If not, *scratching my head* I’m not really sure if the need is there to the same depth as the protagonist.

To address my question, I cruised some of my writing sources and found a great chapter on the topic by K.M. Weiland in Creating Character ARCS: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development.

At the very back of the book I found exactly what I hoped to find:

“…Every prominent minor character should have an arc. Just not a full arc.”

So what qualifies as a minor arc?

According to Weiland and her screenwriting resources, minor arcs should include:

  • Goals
  • Motive
  • Reaction to goals
  • Lastly, are these goals fulfilled in the end?

As far as I can tell, these minor arc qualifiers seem real to life.

Weiland later states, “Your protagonist’s arc is the story (and if it’s not, then he’s not the protagonist). All other arcs must be subordinate to that arc. (254-255)

From what I gathered in reading the chapter on minor character arcs, the basis of your decision should be theme. All minor character arcs should be tied to a goal, a conflict, and a resolution relevant to the same themes as the main character.

Happy Hop Day 🙂

Facing First Person Demons #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]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

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

***

First person narrative is my favorite story to read. Especially when done well. And by doing well, I mean while I’m reading, I feel myself lying, crying, making mistakes and biting my nails with wrong choices right along with the character.

This month’s IWSG Question asks: of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Young Adult Literature seems to resonate best with this style. Even if the character is a young character, the strifes and struggles are all too human. No matter the world the book builds, Young Adult draws me in. I relate.

And that’s a great story.

A few months ago, I wrote a post on artificial intelligence bots used in marketing. I explored one, and interacted on Facebook with the Bot. It found me a book. I admit, I didn’t buy in, but now I’m reading it. I’m loving it. It’s first person and brilliantly done.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu.

Heard of it?

I highly recommend the read if you like magical worlds, misfits and lots of human struggle.

Happy IWSG Day everyone. My insecurity this month? Polishing up edits. I made it through a second draft, but I keep rereading before the editor gets it. I keep finding more and more places to tighten sentences and describe scenes. How do you know if it’s good enough?

I don’t know. I guess you just have to trust.

A last thought for the day is one by Helen Keller:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

The Lie We Love To Read #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.

Thank you Raimey!

***

 

Would you agree that most people are creatures of habit?

If you agree, and maybe you’re one of them, do you believe people have a difficult time adjusting to change?

According to K.M. Weiland in Creating Character Arcs, characters like people wish for change, swear they’ll do it either to themselves or for someone else, but all in all, they fight tooth and nail against change. Unless something major happens to them, hence the plot.

Today, I’m reflecting on the character arc and the reason behind change: the lie we hold as truth so tightly we can’t see or allow ourselves to believe in any other way.

Unless something major happens and we do change.

Really change.

And hopefully for the better.

The thing that keeps us from change is the what Weiland points out is “The Lie.”

And what is a lie?

Something in your character’s life is lacking, “some reason that makes the change necessary … He is harboring some deeply held misconception about either himself, the world, or probably both. This misconception is going to prove a direct obstacle to his ability to fulfill his plot goal.” (Weiland)

Let’s take one of my favorite movies: Star Trek.

Young Kirk starts off stealing a corvette, completely alone, and defies the local police by driving it straight off a cliff. He survives. The car does not. He could have died. But he has something to prove: rebellion, independence, and affirming his deeply healthy ego in how right and awesome he is.

According to K.M. Weiland, a character arc for positive change is made up of The Want, The Need, and The Lie.

This Lie “plays out in your character’s life, and your story, through the conflict between the Thing He Needs (the Truth) and the Thing He Wants (the perceived cure for the symptoms of the Lie). Chapter Two.

The Kirk Want = He lives for himself, his own rules/kingdom, and no one will get hurt because no one else is let into his world.

The Kirk Need = Earn honest respect in Leadership by putting others first, like his dad.

The Kirk Lie= Being right and doing it better than anyone else makes you the best at whatever cost.

So how do you find the lie?

Weiland has a great list of questions to consider and I’ll just mention my two favorite:

 

  • What misconception does your protagonist have about himself or the world?

 

  • When the story opens, is the Lie making his life miserable? If so, how?

 

 

There are so many other great questions to consider. Need more examples? The book is filled with them. I also ordered the Character Arcs Workbook as a secondary resource. So far I’m loving them both so much.

Happy Hop Day 🙂