I’ve finally discovered a way of dumping this inner perfectionist for at least part of the journey. I learned through trial and error that the keyboard, domain of the delete key, precursor to print, was where my perfectionist tended to take control. Pencil and paper was where my heart led the way. Which is why I began to “channel” my characters through freewriting. Like poetry, freewrites are a way I ditch my inner critic and make the switch from common sense to felt sense, from thoughts to emotions.
The sidewriting exercise I rely on most is really simple. I write a messy, gossipy version of my story (or scene or conflict). I handwrite it, like it’s a note I might pass in class, and I allow myself plenty of gossipy digressions. . . . I’ve developed a kind of outlining process I love, but sometimes I really crave the structure of gossip, the way it’s built on cause and effect.
I always start with character. For me, that’s the spark that makes me want to write. Who is this person in my head? What are they grappling with? What do they need to figure out (about themselves and/or life in general)? To answer these questions, I write scenes about them and sometimes in their voice.
The more characters there are, the harder it is for the reader to connect with the important ones. As authors, we want to make sure every character serves a purpose.
“I’ve learned that the most important thing is to keep writing about what I love, what’s important to me, what I’m curious about. I’ve learned to put a piece of myself in every story. And I’ve learned that being vulnerable in my writing means that it will resonate with others.”
Sometimes in planning a story, you might find that the character’s desire is a little too abstract, or that their desire isn’t really something they can affect. There is a solution: a controlling belief.
Weisfeld envisioned a book series and a brand that encouraged and taught girls to be entrepreneurs through engaging, adventurous stories.
Durham has made his job as a writer easier by having a strong turn near the midpoint of the book. He has something to build toward in the first half of Act 2 and something to move from in the second half.
These are compassionate stories that encourage readers to awaken their own inner activist. And they also model ways for kids to engage in deep conversations about topics that can be hard to talk about.
craft review by Sarah S. Davis In Part 1, we saw how Kisner shapes Brynn’s political awakening through internal conflict. Read on to find out how Kisner creates stakes that push Brynn toward change. Even Losers Have Something to Lose So what could possibly change her mind and push Brynn towards risking not just a […]