#1: From Cheryl Van Eck
I just finished a novel this week that ended with the main character not needing to make any significant sacrifices. It was a perfect fairy tale ending. And quite honestly, it ruined the entire storyline for me.
In life, we are forced to make sacrifices every day, both big and small. We can relate to the concept. If we’re going to relate to the character, we need to be able to share that core trait with them.
Even in actual fairy tales, the good ones anyway, the happily ever after is earned. They lose family, friends, lovers…and don’t even get me started on Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl. That book gets me crying every time.
The point is, the ending can be happy if there were real sacrifices along the way. Sometimes you’re going to have to kill Sirius in order to kiss Ginny. Tragedy reveals strength more than joy ever can. Let your characters be strong.
#2 From Brenda Bensch
To this day, even while no longer actively teaching, my year begins late August and goes through May. Summer, which is over now, “doesn’t count”. So today, gearing up for the new “year” of writing, I’m thinking “time” and “schedule.” I’m used to working from bell to bell during a school day. Why not structure my writing day the same way, but using timers or something similar (something that sounds like a school bell would be good for me).
I recently read some good advice: set aside a particular time of day (or night) that you can manage EVERY day — without its adding to stress in your life. Set up a realistic schedule, being sure you can write when you are relatively refreshed. (Your subconscious mind is most accessible at such a time.) Regular Writing Time is crucial. So is utilizing it rigorously. Try to pick a time which is available all days of the week – including weekends. Even if it’s only half an hour, think what you could do by the end of a year: 182.5 hours of writing. I can usually write 750 words in 22-32 minutes, so I’ll call it a half hour. That yields 136,875 words/year at a steady half-hour per day. My rate per page (around 263 words per double-spaced page) yields a good 520 pages. For YA, that’s two books. I can do that ! ! !
How about you?
#3 From Carol
We are on for Olive Garden September 11 at 7 pm. This is the OG we went to last time, in Provo.
And then, have you seen this? I thought it was hilarious!