From Brenda Bensch:
1. Yesterday I had lunch at the Olive Garden in Valley Fair Mall with 6 of my former debate students from Cyprus HS. They are now in, or quickly approaching, their 30’s. We’d done this two or three times before, but not in the last five years. It was good to see them, hear about their triumphs (there were many), their challenges (also, quite a few), and how they’re all doing now.
If you could invite 6 old friends to join you for lunch, who would they be? How far back do you go? How had you impacted their lives? How had they impacted yours? (On Facebook today I commented on how “loud” we all were. One of them answered that I’d taught them “to project”! Guilty.)
Write about an imaginary lunch with your former friends.
Write about your MC’s invitation to lunch. Who would s/he invite? What were the concomitant impacts of all on each other?
2. I looked up Top Romance Novels of all times and got titles like Pride and Prejudice, Outlander and Jane Eyre. But what are some terrific young adult romances? Perfect Chemistry, Anna and the French Kiss, and Beautiful Disaster were top books when I looked in that category. As I searched through the titles, I felt a little disheartened. Many seemed one dimensional. I did see Fault in Our Stars. And lots of books by Utah authors (always a good thing). But many of the books weren’t what I would want to spend my time with. And I love a good romance.
So I looked up this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_novel
And saw these words: The romance novel or romantic novel is a literary genre.
After twisting things around in my head, I thought–‘We can write well-written love stories. Stories that aren’t only romance but life and good things and hard things and fun things, too. Where people change and the outcome is for better or worse.’
You know. Like Louise Plummer in some of her amazing young adult novels–which have romance in them for sure. But real life told well.
From Me and Ann Dee
3. So Ann Dee sent me a whole bunch of stuff that we should include in our romance stories.
For today– Write an opening scene with your main character. Start the story on the day something new happens. Not something huge–necessarily. But something is different. In This is What I Did: Logan is kicked in the balls at scouts. In The Chosen One, Kyra knows their is a family meeting that evening. Neither are huge events.
The new thing doesn’t have to be a life changer.
In this scene, let us learn a little of place, a lot about the character, and a little about who she is on the inside. Let us see her dealing with the new thing that has happened today. Take as much time as you need. Don’t go back and change anything.
Put this with your other three exercises.
Tonight when you go to bed, think about your new character, this new situation, what she wants and see if anything pops into your head. Make sure you have paper and pencil next to the table.