Lesson 3: Discussion

by Nancy

Questions or thoughts about Lesson 3? Post them here, and help other writers by answering their questions.

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Comments for Lesson 3: Discussion

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Feb 07, 2011
Tips
by: Indiana

Tips are just great! Using them as a selection guide in my book now! Thanks

Jan 27, 2011
@ Becky
by:

I'm sorry that you didn't get Lesson 2. From looking at the Salon comments, it looks like a number of Lesson 2 e-mails went missing. If you are still missing this lesson, could you please e-mail us using the website contact form? We will then resend it to you.

Thanks,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Jan 14, 2011
Wing free
by: Becky

Since I did not get lesson two, I created my own character. He is from a story that I began several years ago. It is set in Greece in the ancient times. I think this will help with lining out the sequence of events.

Jan 13, 2011
shape of a story
by: Linda

i'm afraid i was a bit confused with what to do. i didn't think i should repeat the former story about caro only to add more struggles to the story. so i decided to simply not write another story but submit the list of answers with slight additions that might affect the story as was told in lesson 2. this is because the attention is on the problems caro faced and the life-changing decisions she made.

Dec 27, 2010
Lesson 3
by: J. Eve

wow this took some time to come up with a conflict for a nine year old, so many different ideas to write about, but finally some thing that communicated a message.

Dec 22, 2010
@ William
by:

Hi William,

Thanks for your interesting comment. I love your painting analogy.

When you ask about using the character questions as a lead-in, do you mean using the character questionnaire in the scene you are writing? If so, my suggestion is:

1) In the first draft, use whatever process works best for you. If you find it helpful to include questions and answers from your character questionnaire, then no problem. This draft is for your eyes only (or to share with this group if you want).

2) As you are revising your first draft into a story, I would think of the character questionnaire as background information for you, the author, to help you imagine the characters and understand their thoughts, motivations, and likely reactions. In this draft, you do not necessarily have to tell the reader everything from the questionnaire. Instead, you can show the characters in action (filling in background information *when necessary*).

The reader will get an idea of each character through the character's words and actions (and the character's thoughts, if you choose to show these). Think of how we get to know a character in a movie. Normally, it is not through information provided in a voiceover or a text on the screen. It is through the actor's facial expressions and behavior, through the objects in the character's rooms, through the way the character reacts in different situations and the way other characters react to him/her, etc. In fiction, you can present characters in the same way, and you also have the option to show a character's thoughts, which is not possible in a movie.

In order to study a role, one technique used by actors is to invent detailed biographies of their characters. Although these biographies never appear on the screen, they help the actors get inside their characters' minds. The character questionnaire you filled out in Lesson 2 can serve a similar function for you as an author.

Returning to your painting analogy, it is true that painters will start by blocking in color and shapes, and then build up to details. But the viewer of a painting doesn't see first the background, then the figure. He or she sees the whole picture at once. Don't be afraid to start the story right in the middle of the action, providing just enough clues to help the reader stay oriented. Then the reader can get to know the characters better as the story develops.

I hope this is helpful.

All the best,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Dec 16, 2010
Ending up with a story going no where
by: William B.

This was a great lesson and at just the right time! I have two different stories in the works.

So far my process is like starting a painting. I try to get a initial color on the canvas as the backdrop. The color for me is to introduce a discriptive location, time frames in a specific year or season and maybe a month as well. Then I begin to introduce the characters. Timing is dependent on what happens next.

Lesson #3 has given me a place to start to develop the events, issues, timing, and questions that my characters can ask.

I have one question. Is it acceptable to use the character's questions as a lead in for what type of person , age, and issues they may have.

Great Lesson and timing for me.

Thanks, William B

Oct 09, 2010
Missed writing
by: Molly

I really missed writing. i habebeen pretty sick.

Aug 31, 2010
@ N. Kotkin
by:

Thanks for the feedback. It's good to know that there's interest in a children's writing course.

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Aug 27, 2010
Children's Writing
by: N Kotkin

Nancy F - You might want to check out the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, an international organization with local chapters.
The web site: www.scbwi.org

I'm very interested in the Children's writing site you mentioned. Can you share it?

Nancy @ Creative Writing Now (so many Nancys!) - I'm definitely interested in a children's writing course if you offer one.

Aug 19, 2010
@ Nancy F.
by:

Hi Nancy F.,

In the future, we may offer a special course on writing children's books. So if you decide to leave the Essentials of Fiction course, be sure to sign up for our newsletter or check back on our main courses page in the future to be notified of new courses.

In the meantime, I'm glad you've found another site that is giving you the specific help you need right now.

All the best,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Aug 17, 2010
Nancy F here is an idea
by: Joseph F Mazzaferro

Try childrens magazines as a potential market for your stories.

Presently my genre of writing his horror stories check in comments lessons four and five you will see my latest writing project.

J,F,M.

Aug 17, 2010
Thanks Joe M
by: Nancy F

I have a library of children's books from golden books up to the easy readers that my grandaughter reads. I get my ideas from regular happenings in the family. Writing juvanile fiction is hard. Ideas are expressed in short sentences made up of three to five letter words. Of course one could write longer, more complicated sentences but then beginning reader couldn't read it with any sence of what's happening in the story. They would be struggling over pronunciation. I did find another site, similar to this one that deals specifically with juvanile fiction. I'm getting more input from that site. Thanks for the suggestion.

Aug 17, 2010
I am not an expert on the subject but
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

I HOPE THIS HELPS


My Grandson was given an assignment over summer vacation to read so many books or storys while on summer vacation. His mother works for the college system as a performing arts co-ordinater so it has become grandma's and grandpa's job to make sure he reads them (for his age group) he gets to make the sellection.

One of the books has a selection of short stories.
In selecting what to write about is there some process you use?

Find out from kids what kinda stuff they in joy reading then stick to the cookie cutter style of writing.

J.F.M.

Aug 16, 2010
Maybe...
by: Nancy F

I'm thinking that this forum is not what I can use to help me write juvenile fiction. Most everyone is writing a novel. My whole story may only be 3000 words. And as for plot and character development - my plot is way simpler than what a novel would need and my characters may be defined by pictures as well as words. My story may only be 60 pages not 260 pages. Anybody have any suggestions for me before I resign this class?

Aug 14, 2010
Hi Angelo, just got my computer back.
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

In my latest writing project my main character
by: Joseph F. Mazzaferro

is not a person, its a place.

WITHOUT the use of my computer, I have already writen eight pages.

Title Incubus house, Salem Massachettes.

(In my attempt at show I wrote this about the house).

"The House was located high on a hill, one side over looking a cliff with a share drop into the white caps that appeared as the water pounded the rocks below". "The other side over looked an old cemetary on the grounds".

(I have already given the owner of the house a strange nabor and the House a Strange history as the new owner discovers).

One of the former occupants of the house was a serial killer who claimed to have no memories of the acts he was accused of.

He claimed some dark thing took over him, he could see things as a dream.

He chalked them up as night mares and bad dreams.

When he woke up with blood on his hands he knew the truth.

In his anguish he left a note in his own blood, he commited suicide.

J.F.M.

Aug 03, 2010
@ Martha
by:

Hi Martha,

I'm so glad you found this explanation helpful!

If you're thinking of writing sci-fi/ fantasy, the most important thing you can do is to read lots of it to develop a strong sense of genre's traditions and conventions. Maybe you already have been doing this.

There are some tips on science fiction and fantasy on Creative Writing Now. Here are the links:

http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-science-fiction.html

http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-fantasy.html

You might find some useful information on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America website at http://www.sfwa.org/

Thanks for commenting,

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Aug 03, 2010
@ Angelo
by:

Hi, Angelo

Thanks for sharing your plot outline. That's wonderful that it has inspired you to develop it into a plan for a novel!

Nancy (Creative Writing Now)

Aug 02, 2010
I just submited Lesson 3...
by: Martha

I liked the analogy of thinking in terms of Plot A to Plot B as I struggled with conflict development on this lesson. I see this as a great organizational tool to outline a story concept and segment its content and detail.

>>> I think my real future challenge will be to develop something completely out of my imagination (along a fantasy or sci fi venue) and developing a storyline around it.

Jul 31, 2010
re post
by: angelo

Is N. Kotkin and I the only people still here?
by: Angelo

I'm wondering where everyone is. We started off with a few people but no one is submitting anything for lesson 3.

Jul 31, 2010
I still here been pushing myself JFM
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

Subject to revision J.F.M.
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

I now can sleep tonight. Finished the story changed the title and completed an ending for the story.

Title; Genie in a bottle-Nick Murdock Private Eye.

Added a twist of lemon to the ending.

9 pages
1801 words
8.058 characters (no space)
9.958 characters (with space)
135 paragraphs
350 lines

Subject to polishing it.

J.F.M.

-------


X Close Editor

Jul 30, 2010
Rating
Submitted by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

Title


Comment
I now can sleep tonight. Finished the story changed the title and completed an ending for the story.

Title; Genie in a bottle-Nick Murdock Private Eye.

Added a twist of lemon to the ending.

9 pages
1801 words
8.058 characters (no space)
9.958 characters (with space)
135 paragraphs
350 lines

Subject to polishing it.

J.F.M.

Cancel Delete Delete & Ban

Updating Comments page...


Jul 30, 2010
lost sleep
by: J.F.M.

The flow of ideas come to me between night and R.E.M. time thats when the muse pays me a visit.

Been posting in a different area GOLDS added plot to my story with a tist of lemmon.

Jul 31, 2010
Is N. Kotkin and I the only people still here?
by: Angelo

I'm wondering where everyone is. We started off with a few people but no one is submitting anything for lesson 3.

Jul 30, 2010
Introduction to my story plot
by: Angelo

In lesson 2 I created David Murray; a homeless person suffering from depression and alcoholism, he has lost his family and friends due to his problems, and the final straw comes when he takes to stealing to support his alcoholism.
My intention at the time was to only create this scene for the lesson and then never used again. But I have used this scene as the beginning of a future novel and in the sharing of our work in lesson 3 I have created a plot. I hope you see some promise.

Jul 21, 2010
Thank you Angelo
by: Joseph F.Mazzaferro

And very nice to meet you.

Jul 21, 2010
to help to remove confusion
by: Angelo (alias Joe)

Dear All,
I read that Joseph M is confused due to ing Joe as my name. My apologies Joseph and no doubt many others in the group are confused also. So to remove the confusion I will use my real name of Angelo. I hope this helps to remove the confusion for everyone.

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