Author Archives: CLW

Same Ol’, Same Ol’

#47

In thirty minutes write everything that could happen in your novel.

Stretch into outer space.

Bend toward the center of the earth.

Less than 30 % of what you write today can be a repeat of this exercise.

So,

have fun!

 

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Making True Change–For Good

Change, though I mostly hate it, is good.

Especially if we change who we are into someone better. You just quit smoking? Excellent change! You’ve read a self-help book and now love who you are, even a little bit more than yesterday? Keep going, you’re on the right track! You’re picking up your wet towels so the roaches can’t rest under them? Woot woot! BIG change!

Change is good in our books, too.

I once read a novel that was supposed to be The Next Big Thing. The main character wanted something, and she went out and got it.

The problem was what she wanted. It wasn’t something we shoot for if we want to be happy people. And that’s okay. All characters don’t have to be like me. But this girl, she never really changed going after her weird goal or when she got what she wanted. She was static. Stagnate. Boring.

BORING!

The book flopped because there was no character growth. No moral struggle. No putting herself at risk and overcoming because of her choices.

#46

How does your character change?

Why?

Is this significant? Is it enough?

Did you character get there in a way where she was stretching and growing and becoming new somehow?

Was she at odds with herself, morally, to make these changes?

 

 

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One Pound of Gold Hidden Where?

If you were going to hide gold, where would you put it?

I have to admit, I love gold.

A lot.

And our writing, when done well, is as shiny as gold.

That’s my goal: to write as well as possible.

#45

Your writing prompt today is reading.

Read this great article, and maybe even buy the book.

http://www.openculture.com/2015/05/10-writing-tips-from-legendary-writing-teacher-william-zinsser.html

I love William Zinsser. I’ve never read this book, but I know I would love what he says here, as I believe these ten hints are genius.

PS Check out the links below the article for more things to read before you write today.

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Filed under CLW, Exercises, Life, writing process

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers, 2017, and a Chance to Win a Googillion Dollars!

Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers is just around the corner. I can’t believe it. And we already have dates, and faculty, for next year. What? I know!

So

What would YOU do with a googillion dollars?

I would get allergy medicine that didn’t cause Alzheimer’s or dementia and the pills would really work.

#44

What is your main character’s secret desire? How does this work with the story and the major dramatic question?

Look closer. What is the real secret desire? Does everything in the novel point to this want? Will your character be better or worse if he achieves his goal?

How will you change after writing this book?

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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, giveaways, Plot, writing process

Four Out of Five Dentists . . .

#42

If you could change one thing about your novel, what would it be?

Why?

 

#43

If you could change one thing about you as a writer, what would it be?

Why?

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Organization for the Weak-kneed

I woke up at about two in the a.m. last night.

Lay in bed and realized that my whole life is chaotic and I am always behind. Always.

This isn’t new.

I used to sign my name Carolwhoissofarbehindshecanseeherownbutt.

How do I get caught up? Organized? How do I get rid of things? Make time for what I love to do, like read and write and take walks and cook and eat and spend time with my girls and go to lunch with friends and learn to do watercolor work and and and?

It’s no secret (unless you’ve never heard me say this, and then it’s still not a secret) that I believe we make time for what we love.

But what if we’re tired?

Sad?

Hurting?

Lonely?

Overwhelmed?

Lost?

Afraid?

Worried?

Feeling like a failure?

Missing dear friends?

Upset about things from the past?

Hmmm. I could go on and on.

Getting organized in your writing may or may not be easy.

Here’re a few things I found on the InterWeb to help.

http://writersrelief.com/blog/2012/03/organize-your-writing/

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/organize-your-story-ideas

and finally

http://lifehacker.com/how-scrivener-helped-me-organize-all-my-writing-1599446028

#41

Write three goals on how you are gonna get organized.

Send them to me.

 

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Save on Phone Plans: 25%

I’ve lost my phone.

This worries me as I have an appointment with two friends. What if I’m late?

I fought against getting this phone. But year before last when people were messaging all over Waterford trying to find me, and the last time my agent had to listen to Carolina’s weird answering machine, I realized it was time to get a phone of my own.

Where is that darn thing?

#40

What has your main character lost?

How important is it to her?

Does this loss play a necessary part in your story?

Look through your novel. IF this loss is important, in needs to be present. It can’t be forgotten.

When Rick Walton was ill, he was always on my mind. Always. He’s still on my mind quite a lot.

Loss can be anything. Anyone. Keep it age-appropriate, and remember loss for a young child is as important as for an older person, even if the object isn’t as huge as a lost cell phone. 😉

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Filed under Character, CLW, Exercises, Family, Revision, Voice, writing process