Blog Posts

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 15:  The Character Out Of Time – Part B

NOTE:  We’re continuing from where we left off last week.  🙂 6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 15:  The Character Out Of Time How do you get people to read about characters in unfamiliar worlds?  You provide emotional insight into the world and individuals involved. Historical characters require grounding in the well-known peculiarities of the age.  Characters in the future require a range of attributes, from fascination and wonder to hopelessness and despair.  Contemporary characters need twists, something that kicks them out of the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Throughout, Swain gives us three tricks of the trade for us to use while bringing our characters to brilliant life. Homework:  Read Chapter 15 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your […]

Back to the Future - Cropped

The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 15:  The Character Out Of Time – Part A

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 15:  The Character Out Of Time How do you get people to read about characters in unfamiliar worlds?  You provide emotional insight into the world and individuals involved. Historical characters require grounding in the well-known peculiarities of the age.  Characters in the future require a range of attributes, from fascination and wonder to hopelessness and despair.  Contemporary characters need twists, something that kicks them out of the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Throughout, Swain gives us three tricks of the trade for us to use while bringing our characters to brilliant life. Homework:  Read Chapter 15 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at a rapid pace and reach high quality […]

Massive Home Theater System

Dinner and a Movie Night – REDECORATING (it’s my excuse, not a movie title)

REDECORATING – Great excuse for another Dinner and a Movie Night!  Or is it the other way around?  No new furniture, but the carpets have been freshly cleaning, the living room has been completely rearranged, and I have my sound system wired the way it should be — for full surround sound! 5:30 pm:  Arrive 6:00 pm:  Eat!  Spaghetti Bolognesa — seems to be the group’s favorite, but if you’d like to BBQ, we can do that, too.  Let me know at our May 11 meeting.  🙂 We need volunteers for the following items: Salad Garlic bread Vegetable dish; Something cooked is preferred over a vegetable tray.  Could be green beans casserole, potatoes au gratin, etc. Dessert 7:00:  The Movie Begins! 10:00:  The movie should have ended by now…

Damon Garn

The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 14:  Variations on a Theme

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 14:  Variations on a Theme How do you treat characters in the various lengths, media, and genres?  You design your people to fit your market. From stories short in length to long, markets romance and mystery to science fiction, western, horror and adventure, the same rule applies as it does to all forms of communication:  Consider your audience.  It’s not that you’re locked in to the expectations of your audience.  You’re free to vastly exceed those expectations, as have masters like Tolstoy, Lee, Fitzgerald, Márquez, Forster, Wells, Cervantes, Morrison, Woolf, Achebe, Brontë, Walker, and yes, Tolkien, Heinlein, and Lucas.  Even they, however, considered their audiences, and delivered masterpieces that managed “to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses … bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) The gorgeous book cover is of […]

dialogue

The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 13: The Things They Say

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 13:  The Things They Say How do you write good dialogue?  You pay as much attention to feelings as to words. Dialogue not only breaks up the white space, it also entices the reader into the story, to learn about those who are speaking such interesting words! Homework:  Read Chapter 13 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at a rapid pace and reach high quality in the shortest possible time.  Variations resulting from uneven groups include two and four members in a critique group. Please review this link for details. See you there!

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 12 – How do you describe a character effectively?

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 12 – How do you describe a character effectively?   Significant specifics lead readers to feel the way you want them to feel.  Sometimes those involve outward appearances, whether of the character themselves, what they’re wearing, what they drive, their line of work, neighborhood, or home.  Other times, those specifics involve internal sources manifesting themselves by outward behaviors, choices, perspectives. As writers, we need to remember that our readers read to feel.  They want us to connect with them on an emotional level! Homework:  Read Chapter 12 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at a rapid pace and reach high quality in the shortest possible time.  Variations resulting from […]

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NO MEETING TONIGHT: Pikes Peak Writers Conference

Due to many of our members being interested in attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, we will meet again next week, Friday May 4th. See you then!

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 11 – The Light Touch

I apologize for the late posting:  I thought I’d already posted this and the remainder of Swain’s chapters.  My bad!  See you tonight. 6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 11 – The Light Touch – How Do You Make a Character Amusing? Humor is a difficult task for most of us.  Even so, we certainly understand humor.  We laugh, don’t we?  In fact, we may understand more about humor than we realize, for if we can make ourselves laugh, we can sure make others find amusement and surprise in our stories. Tonight we’ll investigate Swain’s tips for how to trigger reader assumptions with surprise. Homework:  Read Chapter 10 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative critiques of our work.  By both giving and receiving two critiques each week, the quality of your writing will improve at […]

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 10 – The Role of Roles

Update:  As we have eight more chapters to go and I’d like to finish Swain’s Creating Characters before the end of May, please read Chapter 9’s Wild Cards on your own before Friday.  We’ll spending the first 15-20 minutes beginning at 6 pm covering “what goes into building an offbeat character” before moving on to Chapter 10. 6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 10 – The Role of Roles – How Do You Treat a Hero? We would all like to create the perfect hero, one that’s enjoyable to write and memorable to our fans forever!  However, we writers sometimes forget that we’re writing stories, works of fiction, novels, even — all of which must encompass much more than our heroes.  We also forget that a hero can be completely different than what we’re used to seeing. A hero can be many things, but in all their […]

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 9

UPDATE from Steve:  Neither I, Scotty, Jim, nor Erik will be able to be there tonight and lead the meeting.  Between that and at least one of the weather stations calling from 2″-4″ of snow this evening, I thought it best to cancel tonight’s meeting.  Please read, think on, ponder, mull over, and digest Chapter 9 on your own.  Pass the salt, please. 🙂 We will all be back next Friday, and with better weather, so see you then.  In the meantime, have a great night off! – Steve                         6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 9 Bring a cup of joe, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… It’s time to return to Swain and continue where we left off in December! Homework:  Read Chapter 9 before arriving. […]