Tag Archives: journaling

Three Things Thursday

Brenda Bensch

Hip, Hip, Hooray ! ! ! My 2016 WRITER’S MARKET DELUXE EDITION just arrived.
OK. Well, it was here when we picked up our newspaper this a.m. It must have come while we were out last night seeing an absolutely hilarious version of Hairspray at a small, LIVE theater in Ogden: The Ziegfeld. For such a TINY stage (it’s an old movie theater) and GOOD, but recorded, music — you should SEE what they do with what they’ve GOT! ALWAYS fantastic dancing, singing, staging, costumes, etc. And the professional credits of many of the performers is astounding: people who’ve performed at various colleges like the U of U, Weber, BYU, etc.; others in small professional theaters, many from Utah’s Hale Theaters, Wasatch Theatre, Utah Rep. They’ve also appeared in various elementary, junior high, high school productions. We’ve seen some who were even CURRENT students in junior high and elementary schools.
Others have done commercial work, or have been on television. Many have college degrees and/or MFA’s. Some have been on stages in NY, LA, San Francisco, Dallas, St. Louis, or have even performed at the Kennedy Center and/or the White House.
Why am I telling a bunch of writers this? You want to learn to write dialogue? Listen to what works in a well-rehearsed play where every word counts and must add to the story portrayed. Look at the length of time it takes to get from one place to another on even a small stage — do you have things happening too closely together, taking more time than is realistic? Note body positions as actors interact with each other, romantically, or physically fighting, or walking, running, skipping, dancing from one place to another. What is PHYSICALLY not possible that you’ve written into a scene? Go to a well-produced play or musical. There’s a lot to learn.


Cheryl Van Eck

I’ve been thinking that I need to start journaling again.
It’s one of those things that I love when I do it, but I have trouble getting back into the habit once it’s broken.

I think the reason I like it so much is that I have a terrible memory. Everything in my past either turns rosy or black…for instance, I can’t remember a single good thing about middle school, but I also can’t remember a single bad thing about my first year of college. I know my life was somewhat balanced at both times, but without journals I can’t remember any of it.

When I do go back and look at old journals, I find it incredible how much I’ve changed. I still feel like I’m 16 sometimes…until I look at what I was actually like at 16. I mean, really, did I ever think about anything besides boys?? I feel like I could have cured cancer by now if I’d redistributed just half of my brain power.
Anyway, now that I’m writing YA, those journals are invaluable. My teenage logic, hopes, dreams, and actions can create valuable insights to my characters.
Do you journal? Why or why not?


Kyra Leigh!

Things are changing and I’m back to this blog.

I have been working my ass of to just stay above water, but I think I have finally found my groove. I’m cooking again, I’m working out, and most importantly . . . I’m back to writing.
I’ve also been reading a lot

This is just a quick note to let the few followers we have know I’ve got a plan. A grasp on my blog posts and on writing.

I just gotta get it done.
Let’s write!


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Three Things Thursday

1. Write a dream sequence from your MC POV, the bad guy’s POV, and one from your POV. Can you keep any of these exercises? Do you learn anything at all about your characters? About yourself? Is Ryan Reynolds hanging out in any of the dreams?


2. Ann Edwards Cannon once (that I heard) gave a talk about all kinds of journaling. Am I right about that Ann? I can’t remember. It was so long ago. But I remember I loved the talk. Anyway, Ann spoke about keeping a dream journal. You know, for when you first wake up. And you write furiously all the dreams you have had that night?


Night before last, for me:

Two men really love me. A blond and a dark-headed guy. When the lawyer approaches (he favors Wolverine without the sharp blades), I find out three men love me.

Later, the house dream. I’m lost. The moon. Cheri and I are on the moon. Lost. Houses. Wandering the streets. It’s dark.

Later, a man kills 4 people with an axe, wounds 47 more. I try to comfort a boy who’s lost a family member. He’s wearing girl’s turquoise-colored pants. He’s crying while sitting in a 1950’s chair.


Anyway, here’s this:



Seems complicated but may work for some of you.

Here’s what I would have said, “Keep some scraps of paper by your bed. And a pencil.” (Not a pen in case you write on your face in the middle of the night. Weirder things have been know to happen. Once I slept with my youngest. She had ‘Mom’ on her arm, printed in green marker. She wrote it there. Not me. In the morning I woke up with ‘Wow’ on my neck.)


What it all boils down to is this: Ann Edwards Cannon is right. Everyone should keep a dream journal.


3. Mark Spitz is mentioned in my latest book. Set in the Seventies.

Some people thought he was dreamy.

Whatever–we each have our dreamy fellows. Or girls. (Is there a man reader writer out there? Hello?)

Who are your dreamies?

Are they in your book?

They should be.

So write them in. You decide how. Have fun.




Filed under Exercises, Point of View, three thing thursday, Writers Block, writing process