Monday, September 17, 2012

a long time a'comin'

picture found HERE
[this is how I've looked the past two weeks, reading two novels and four short stories a week...:)]

Good morning! It seems I've let another long lapse of time collect between posts. Blerg. Sorry about that! Just when I think I have a handle on time management...

No worries! I've appreciated all of your wonderful comments! Thank you, thank you for continuing to read my babblings. The comments regarding my villain rant were wonderful. I got a good chuckle from most of them and they all gave me a good smile. I discovered I'm not alone in loving a good villain! I apologize for not commenting individually; please accept a collective "THANK YOU" instead.

Enough sob stories, on with the post!

- The writer's Facebook page at my university posted a link to the Writer's Guild Foundation "Scribble to Screen" exhibit. I have yet to peruse the entire exhibit, but from what I've seen, it is an amazing romp through the creative, handwritten minds of those who have given us some of the most iconic stories and movie moments. It really is worth taking a peek at (especially the Han/Leia conversation from The Empire Strikes Back).

- The October issue of The Writer Magazine has some wonderful inspiration articles. In"On finding stories that need to be told", author and teacher John Dufresne tells us that place is paramount to good writing. "Place," he says, "is character and character is destiny, and every story should only be able to happen in one specific place". I'm not sure if I agree that every story should ONLY happen in one place, but I understand what he's saying: even if you have multiple plot lines going, each story will have its most important development in one specific place. Agree or Disagree?

Dufresne also says:

"A book should offer hope. It should lift up the reader. It should give the reader a reason to live - should he need one. Life is not easy for any of us, and the pain of loneliness is often unbearable. The writer is saying, among other things, 'You are not alone'." 

I just submitted an article that touches on this subject of the author/reader connection and the need for the author to be real, raw and available. No one likes a perfect protagonist; a seemingly perfect writer, untouched by the world is just as disenchanting. My one war cry for this week: Don't be afraid to let your skeletons out of the closet. Invite them in for tea, see what they have to teach you. Release them upon your characters and see what happens. Exposing your own struggles and challenges, triumphs and victories (especially those that are hard won) create a bond between reader and writer. Even if the reader never understands that your characters' tales are loosely based on your own, they will see something of themselves in your words. Give your readers something to hold on to, relate to, and they will cheer you on!

Any other personal battle cries being discovered? How do you feel about letting your skeletons out to play with your characters? Would you rather relate to a scarred character/author or do you prefer the omniscient narrator of old? Personally, I think they both have a role to play in literature. Perhaps that's another topic for another post!

Happy week.


  1. I think people relate better when the writer pours something of himself into a book.

  2. I don't think a writer can help putting something of themselves into whatever they are writing.

  3. Yay for a good battlecry! I love that idea. Good luck with your writing!

  4. Alex - I agree! It's hard to get into a book that seems as if it was created for an assignment or, worse, just to fulfill a contract!

    MBJ/D - It's been long debated that writers, intentional or not, always put something autobiographical into their works. You have to! Writing is such a soul-searching activity. I don't believe it's possible to write and NOT tell something about yourself through the story.

    Meredith - Yes! A good battlecry is needed most days :) Thanks a bunch! I hope you're well and your writing is going well!

  5. i def agree that the more personal touch you put on it the better....met nicolas sparks a couple years ago and he was telling me how all his stories are from personal experiences fictionalized...

  6. I can't even write a story unless I'm connected to it emotionally. I write from my heart, and I hope it shows!

  7. p.s. I'm currently reading "The Power of Six" by Pittacus Lore (young adult novel) and Dale Ahlquist's "G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense.

  8. Brian: That's cool that you got to meet Nicolas Sparks. I agree with you - if you can put a personal spin on something, no matter how small, the story takes on a quality that people can relate to!

    Emily: I'm with you! If I'm not somewhere in the story, either in experience or character trait, I can't write the tale! And it doesn't matter how fantastic the story is; there is always a part of me in everything I write!

    Annie: I haven't heard of either of those, though my husband has a couple of Chesterton's books around here. "The Power of Six" sounds interesting by title alone!


Well, hello! I'm so glad you made it. Come inside and sit by the hearth. I'll take your coat and hat. The kettle is singing and there's cake and candles and good conversation. Settle in and make yourself at home. Don't mind the wolfhounds; they're friendly if you give them a bit of lemon curd.