Tag Archives: writing

Word of the Day

Hello everyone!

I love words!  Word choice is crucial to my enjoyment of a song, movie, or book.  The perfect words and references make the experience rapturous while poorly chosen ones make it painful.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to build a story using one or more words as your foundation.

  1. Go to merriamwebster.com and write a story using the word of the day.  The word of the day can be used in your story or be the theme of your story.
  2. For something even more challenging, go to merriamwebster.com 5-7 days in a row and use all 5-7 words in your story.  Make sure there’s a plot!

revising 1*Remember, this is a writing exercise.  If you like the story and the words don’t work, cut them during the revision phase.  (Considering I’ve never edited something just once, I should probably say “phases.”)

Happy writing!

Katie

Advertisements

Daily Disasters Make Fantastic Fiction

Hello everyone!

What is comedy besides a light-hearted portrayal of errors, deception, and miscommunications?

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to take something bad that happened to you and use it as the basis for your comedic story.

Mess 4Remember, a story needs a plot.  What was your protagonist trying to accomplish when this misfortune befell him/her?  How did your protagonist adapt his/her plans?  Feel free to add on multiple mishaps and disasters.

Also, remember that comedies usually end well, or at least ironically; otherwise, it’s just tragic to have someone be that unlucky.

Happy writing!

Katie

Supporting Characters

Hello everyone!

When writing a book, it is easy to focus on the protagonist.  After all, he/she is the person the audience should know, and hopefully relate to, the best.  But what about the other characters?  How prevalent, knowable, and relatable should they be?

For my novel “The Four Crystals,” I divided my book’s cast into four groups: protagonist, antagonist, supporting character, and minor character.

My Group Definitions:

  • protagonist: main character or the character whose viewpoint I am using to tell the story
  • antagonist: villain
  • supporting character: a character whose removal from the book would alter the storyline and/or the plot’s outcome
  • minor character: a character whose removal from the book would not alter the storyline and/or the plot’s outcome because another character could fulfill that function in the story

Since my background is in theater, I subdivided my minor characters into two groups:

  • extras: human background/scenery
  • featured extras: they stand out from the  rest of the extras by having one or more lines, being named, and/or appearing more than once

crowd 4I believe it is important to develop a supporting character as much as I do my protagonist.  My featured extras (messenger, loudmouth in a crowd, etc.) should be recognizable, but if they do not need a backstory to complete their task, they don’t get one.  My extras (villagers, soldiers, etc.) are scenery; they’re lucky if they get noticed by the protagonist.

The following articles offer advice on how to create memorable supporting characters.  I hope they help you to create a memorable supporting cast!

“How to Write Effective Supporting Characters” by Hallie Ephron – She uses the mystery genre to explain how each supporting character needs to have a defined role or purpose in the protagonist’s life as well as a distinct personality.  The article also touches on the difference between supporting and minor characters.

“10 Secrets to Creating Unforgettable Supporting Characters” by Charlie Jane Anders – He gives some tips that apply to developing supporting characters, some that are geared towards designing minor characters, and some that work for creating both supporting and minor characters.

Happy writing!

Katie

 

Have a Holly, Jolly St. Patrick’s Day!

Santa 3Hello everyone and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create a comedic or tragic holiday mix-up.

St. Patrick's Day 6What would happen if Santa Claus slept through Christmas and tried to deliver the gifts on New Year’s Eve instead?  Do the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns have it in for one another?  Your imagination is your only limitation.Tooth Fairy 2

Whatever you do, you must include at least two holidays and/or holiday characters in your story.

Happy writing!

Katie

How to Succeed at Writing: Working through Frustration

Hello everyone and happy Presidents’ Day!

While working towards my 2018 goal of editing my novel The Four Crystals from beginning to end, I hit a snag in completing my weekly goal.  Apparently chapters 3-5 heard me say I was going to edit one chapter a week and conspired to detain me longer than that.  If they weren’t essential to the plot, I’d show them who was boss and cut them.

thNeedless to say, feeling stuck is very frustrating.  It’s made me question why I torture myself with writing when there are other things I enjoy that require less effort.  When I get depressed with my own writing journey, I find inspiration from reading about what established writers do.

Below are a few articles which recently helped me.  I hope they also inspire you to keep writing.

In case you don’t have time to read them, here’s a quick summary: 1. Find a writing space, 2. create a writing routine, and 3. make yourself do it.  (They say it much more elegantly than I just did.)

“Mark Ellis – A Writer’s Life” by Mark Ellis

“10 Habits of Highly Effective Writers” by Robert Blake Whitehill

“Ten Ways To Succeed at Writing Without Really Trying” by Ruthy Logan Herne

Happy writing!

Katie

Speedy Ideas

Hello everyone!

“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is?  The opportunity to play.” – Mike Singletary

When I get in a writing slump, I find writing prompts to be helpful in getting the creative juices flowing.  I also use writing prompts to challenge myself or as a fun activity to do with friends who also enjoy creative writing.

Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to write a short story that contains all of the words in the featured image.

Scrabble - Speed

An alternate version of the writing challenge is to play your own game of Speed Scrabble and use the words you created to write a short story.

You can add to the fun by getting a group of people together, all using the featured image or playing a round of Speed Scrabble together, and then taking 30 minutes to write a short story. 

Happy writing and go Eagles!

Katie