Tag: characterization

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The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 16:  The Dynamics of Disbelief

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters – Ch 16:  The Dynamics of Disbelief How do you cope when readers don’t believe in your characters and stories?  You plug the gaps where belief leaks out. When an editor says, “There’s something wrong with your characters,” it’s a huge blow.  You feel like you might have to rewrite your entire book!  Either that, or ditch it and move on to the next project. All is not lost, however, particularly if you have Swain’s checklist of Seven Major Categories where the bulk of most flaws fall.  By knowing what to look for and how to fix it, you can largely repair even significant errors in your current novel while avoiding these pitfalls in your future works. Join us as we cover this most important chapter! Homework:  Read Chapter 16 before arriving. 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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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:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 8b – Start the Inner Journey – Part II

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 8b – Start the Inner Journey – Part II Bring a cup of joe, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Tonight we’ll continue learning why Gru is despicable, a villain who makes children cry!  We’ll see how something unexpected, possibly unimaginable, entered his life and sent him on a journey he never would have predicted. We’ll learn how to launch our hero on their compelling inner journey.  Homework:  Read Chapter 8 before arriving. Side Trails:  We may also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are: – The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by Andrew McAleer – […]

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The Craft: Swain’s Creating Characters, Ch 5

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 5:   Grab a cup of Agia Sophia’s world class coffee, maybe a food from their menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones. Tonight we’ll be cracking open Chapter 5 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People. Join us this evening as we learn more about Dwight Swain’s masterful techniques. Rabid Trails:  I may also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are: The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by Andrew McAleer Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg 7:30 – 9:00:  Tre Critique Tre Critique is  three-member team approach to more dynamic and informative […]

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The Craft:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 5 – Introduce Your Main Character

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  The First 50 Pages (Gerke) – Ch 5 – Introduce Your Main Character Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Swain’s Creating Characters, reviewing how important it is to craft our characters’ labels as they’re introduced. Tonight, we’ll be learning how to introduce our main character. Homework:  Print a single page (one side only) of your own main character’s introduction.  We will use this during our discussion. Side Trails:  We will also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are: – The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by […]

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The Craft: Swain’s Creating Characters, Ch 3 – Labels, Labels

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 3:  Labels, Labels Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we enjoyed Dinner and a Movie! Tonight we’ll be cracking open Chapter 3 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  We’ll be answering the question as to “Why do you label a character,” and showing how to provide your reader with clues as to how he or she can recognize your story people. Rabid Trails:  I may also be reading short excerpts from two others books, but there’s no need for you to purchase them, as we’re only covering about 2% of either of them each week.  However, in case you’re wondering, they are: The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists:  Insider Secrets from Top Writers by […]

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The Craft: Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 2

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Swain’s Creating Characters, Chapter 2:  Searching Out Your Characters Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Chapter 3 of Gerke’s First 50 Pages, where once again, we revisited key elements of Mastering the Craft. Tonight we’ll be cracking open Chapter 2 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  “Building a character begins with deciding which character to build.”  One can’t template a character and expect good things.  Although knowing the character archetypes described by Vogler in “The Writer’s Journey” can be very helpful, your character must feel right and sit well with you.  You’re looking for a character “who both fits your story’s requirements and excites you.”  “Finding a character means personifying — that is, giving human form […]

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The Craft: Motivation Reaction Units

6:00 – 7:30:  The Craft:  Motivation Reaction Units Grab a cup of joe, maybe a plate from Agia Sophia’s enjoyable menu, sit back, and relax. Catch up with old friends. Make some new ones.  Then… Last Friday we covered Chapter 1 of Dwight V. Swain’s Creating Characters:  How to Build Story People.  If you have not yet purchased it, please follow the link to the left and do so.  It’s only about $8 used, and $17 new.  The Kindle version is Tonight, Scotty will be covering Motivation-Reaction Units, a vital component of bringing vibrant characters to life.Motivation-Reaction Units, or MRUs, are a basic small-scale structure of fiction, on the level of sentences or paragraphs. They’re the micro-structure of the scene. You are already using MRUs, even if you never knew what they were called. They are everywhere in fiction. They help pace dialog and action, and are especially good with high-action, such as a fight scene. […]