Words Change Hearts and Inspire Greatness #IWSG #GOODVIBES #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: Lee Lowery, Juneta Key, Yvonne Ventresca, and T. Powell Coltrin! 

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

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The meaning of words strung together to communicate meaning has changed through my experiences.

As a child, I struggled to read. I struggled to communicate my complicated thoughts clearly so others understood what I meant for them to hear. In high school, I thought if I knew complicated words, I’d master the art of reading. I studied words in a seminars class. I’d write out lists of vocabulary terms, synonyms, antonyms, and all the definitions. The problem later came to be, I couldn’t figure out how to incorporate these new complex words into my own speaking. Until I discovered Shakespeare. I fell in love with his speech.

This month’s IWSG Question asked: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

Words and meanings have changed. They continue to change as I work to simplify more with less. Later in my career centered world, I discovered the power of the spoken word—finally. Someone actually believed in my presentation skills enough to hire me as a public speaker. I spoke every day in presentations to managers for three years.

Now when I think of the power of the word and language, one movie, one vision flashes through my mind. In this single vision I see this man’s emotionally distraught face with giant eyes, bulging veins in the neck and a wide-open mouth as he helplessly screams “FREEDOM!”

You’ve got it. Braveheart. Mel Gibson has always been one heck of an actor in my book. Moved, I couldn’t help but feel my own heart sink and soar on a roller coaster of hope and sorrow. This is a GIPHY MP4. The actual seen in my head is too heart wrenching to share.

My mind shifts again. When was the last time someone told you something great about you? If it’s been longer than you can think, I hope you can say something great about yourself, right now.

Use your words to inspire. To give hope. Everyone deserves a shot at his or her dreams.

Smile. Scream. Fight for Your Dreams #IWSG #AmWriting #JoyTrain

[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: J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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When I was little, I remember this awesome birthday party at my best friend’s house. Sunset distorted long shadows along the grass, along the sides of the brick duplexes, and the car I hid behind, as I waited quietly, heart pounding ferociously. We were playing a game of hide and seek. With glow sticks. I was the last girl standing. I remember running down the long street, passing shiny cars and trying not to look back. I remember every single girl at that party chasing me.

I screamed.

I smiled.

I still screamed until my legs gave out.

This month’s IWSG question asks: If you could use a wish to help you write just one scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

I’m sort of writing a scene just like it in my book, only my characters are on a wild goose chase at the mercy of a homeless old man who doesn’t give information away for free. Lessons are always taught.

If I had one wish to make this scene perfect, I’d blink myself to the location. A real star trek moment. I’ve been to the real location. It’s been awhile though. I’d like to go again if only for a  weekend, but flights aren’t cheap, hotel stays aren’t free and it’s my busy time of year at work.

What’s a girl to do?

Thank goodness I have google maps. Thank goodness I have YouTube. I’ll hopefully get down to Texas this fall.

I’ve got my fingers crossed.

What about you?

What’s you one fast dream that could make one moment today, this week go just right?

Character Transformation Through Emotion #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!

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When faced with a major turning point in your life, what did you do? How did you respond? How long did it take you to come to terms with this event?

I think we’re all afraid of failure at some level.

Our characters in our books are the same. They feel. They react. They make bad choices and are forced to face fear. Fear causes change. Fear makes our characters break and grow.

This break also draws the reader in, coaxing us to read on, gripping the pages with worry as we wonder whether our characters will be okay. We want to know how they will respond, and hopefully they will come out in the end on top.

Deep into my second draft of my working manuscript, I’m analyzing emotion in scenes. I’m trying to decide how my character feels at the beginning of the chapter. I’m tracking the shift in emotion when faced with shock of an event or discovery. I’m also using tips to determine if the emotion is changing as the plot thickens and if the character is in fact growing the way she should.

A great article in writer’s digest by author David Corbett on emotion verses feeling really made me think.

He said, “People don’t turn to stories to experience what you, the writer, have experienced—or even what your characters have. They read to have their own experience. Our job is to create a series of effects to facilitate and enhance that experience.”

So how do we do this?

I recently purchased two books on writing for emotion by K. M. Weiland. I’ll let you know next month what I learn.

In the meantime, I’ll share some tips from two online resources. One by author David Corbett, a guest writer for Writer’s Digest, and the second article comes from author Hannah Heath.

The Anchor Technique

As you write an emotional scene, have some writing prompt for the emotion important to your character. Maybe a picture that elicits a certain feeling in you as you think about the issue or action this character is about to face or is facing as you write. I love this suggestion! Thank you author Hannah Heath. Songs work too.

Dialogue Mirrors Emotion

In the heart of great emotional conflict, dialogue doesn’t have to make sense. Distress, worry, or grief doesn’t tend to be logical. Dialogue probably won’t by long and verbose or perfect either.

Character Emotion at the Beginning, Middle and End

Where does your character stand as you start the scene? What happens as the event unfolds? Analyze the intensity. Measure it against earlier reactions. Is it stronger depending on length of the journey? Is it worse? Better? How or Why?

Corbett states: “Evaluate the feeling. Is it right or wrong to feel this way? Proper or shameful? What would a more refined, stronger, wiser person feel?”

Lastly, Emotional Impact on Identity

Corbett states, “What does this feeling say about the character or the state of her life? Has she grown or regressed? Does she recognize the feeling as universal, or does it render her painfully alone?”

Brilliant thoughts? I thought so. To visit more of his tips, visit the link to Writer’s Digest.

Creepy Villains, Strong Superheroes and Deceptive Music Boxes #IWSG #amwriting #Musicboxes

[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:  Fundy Blue, Beverly Stowe McClure, Erika Beebe, myself, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Check out our IWSG homepage.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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Do you have an all time favorite hero? What about a villain?

What was it about this character that moved you?

When I read the IWSG question of the month in the newsletter, immediately I thought of Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Creepy to the core from his crackled painted face, his dark eyes that held no light, and that scarred exaggerated smile.

He moved fast too, ending a pointed statement and adding fear as he shoved a bomb in a poor banker’s mouth. I cringed. I cringed a lot during the movie.

Even when I watched it for the second time.

Many posts ago, I talked about the importance of heroes and villains and how good heroes need great villains to create spine tingling tension. Not only tension, but believable tension. The audience wants to relate, to feel compelled to something whether it is the cause or a character.

I’m driven by character, whether good or bad.

To answer this month’s question, when I write, I mostly write for the hero. I do have a working manuscript in progress where I volley between both. I’m not quite  sure how this version will turn out. I’m not sure if I can dig deep into the heart of the villain to justify the greatness the character deserves. Time will tell.

Villains bring out the worst and  the best in heroes. Jack Gleeson states: “Both villains and heroes need to have a steadfast belief in themselves.”

What makes the Joker so creepy?

The Joker simply doesn’t care; he is an agent of chaos and loves destruction. “He simply wants to watch the world burn.” ~The writing cooperative

Questions: Who drives your books, villains or heroes? Do you think heroes can also have a sad dark side? Why do you pick the character you do?

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Music Boxes

Speaking of great characters with great stories to tell, check out Music Boxes, by my writing friend Tonja Drecker.

The book jacket grabbed me at once:

“I only desire your talent…”

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay’s biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights.

When she meets Madame Destinée, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can’t believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform in the school’s exclusive midnight shows, ones sure to make her a star. But something’s not right…
One by one, the other dancers disappear. Each time they do, a music box with a figurine just like the missing ballerina joins Madame Destinée’s growing collection. If Lindsey doesn’t discover the truth about the dance school, she might end up a tiny figurine herself.

Where to Find the Book

About the Author

Tonja Drecker is a writer, blogger, children’s book reviewer and freelance translator. After spending years in Germany exploring forgotten castles, she currently resides in the Ozarks with her family of six. When she’s not tending her chickens and cows, she’s discovering new adventures, nibbling chocolate and sipping a cup of tea.

 

Links to Connect with Tonja

And A Really Great Video

Thank you for visiting today. Have a great rest of your week 🙂