Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I have been slowly picking away at the first edit of my novel. (Editing is such a daunting task.)  Today, I was working on the first chapter.  (No pressure!  First chapter!)  Setting the stage is so important for a story.  It's like the thesis of an essay.  What you say in the beginning dictates what the rest of the novel is going to be about.  Lots of times, it points to the path that your protagonist is going to have to conquer in the story.

You see, story is a lot like this diagram (very crudely drawn with Microsoft Paint) that my professor always drew in class or in crayon on the back of my manuscripts:
The black line is the trajectory of a character's life.  The yellow line is impact from an outside source.  The impact causes the trajectory of the character's life to change to some degree, however big or small.  In order to tell a story, you must first explain what the original trajectory of a character's life would have been.  Otherwise, the reader cannot understand the magnitude/importance/degree to which the character's life was shifted.  Story is explaining the "before", showing the outside source impacting the life, and showing the results/affects the consequently occur.

Thus my predicament with my first chapter.  It is so crucial to the rest of the story.  No pressure!

Monday, April 2, 2012

What's on your fridge?

I came up with this idea last night and thought it would be worth a try.  What could it hurt?  My professor in college, Ron Carlson, was lecturing on scene and talked about how the items in someone's room or car or home or purse demonstrate character.  You don't just want to put any sort of random detail in your description of a room.  You want the descriptions to reflect on the character or situation. 

One of his examples was what is on people's fridges at home.  Is your fridge clean or is it a home for a family of magnets? 

As a way to collaborate with each other, I thought it would be a fun experiment for everyone to post a list of what is on their fridge at home!  We could use the ideas for inspiration for characters in our own writing.  Free gleaning!  And it might just be interesting to see what comes out in that list.  So, either post your list as a comment on this post or post it onto your blog and post a link in the comment section!  A way to share...from one writer to another.

On My Fridge, I have...

1. a letter from an Italian restaurant with a coupon
2. a recipe for steak with garlic butter
3. a 2 year old photo of my 8-year-old cousin
4. an old Christmas card from 2010
5. a giant green Christmas stocking (the kind you get from the 99 cent store!)
6. a grocery shopping list
7. a turtle magnet that I got in Hawaii on my honeymoon
8. a whole bunch of empty clips
9. a free credit card magnet

I hope you participate, glean, and enjoy!