Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

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Why do we Write?

July 2, 2014

Why do you write?

For me, I write because I can’t not write. I realize that’s a cheat of an answer, but it’s true.

I’ve been writing in some form or another my entire life. When I was little, I wrote down my dreams and did creative writing prompts at school. As I moved into my teens, I wrote sappy poetry. I was, of course, the only girl in the world who was having boyfriend troubles and who’s family was driving me crazy. It was fine poetry. In my early twenties I began to write stories but didn’t do much with them. Twenties were a bit of a blur. I wrote professionally in my thirties, and after my kids arrived, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Soul Sunday: a Family’s Guide to Finding Faith and Teaching Tolerance, won seven national awards, and I continued to write articles and essays. However, once I found my voice in fiction, I’d come home. Now, it’s what I do.

In addition to writing professionally, I write for myself. My journal is a kind of therapy. There have been times that I couldn’t write—my brain too deep in a void to find words. Other times were too busy for journal writing. But both of these reasons are excuses. We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves, if we use writing to help clear our heads. The void can be filled with words. Writers should never be too busy to write, even if it’s only a few minutes to capture fleeting thoughts.

I finally know why I write, and so I do. Everyday.

Ask yourself why you write and then ask yourself why you stop. Write anyway.

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Why do We Write?

July 2, 2013

Why do you write?

For me, I write because I can’t not write. I realize that’s a cheat of an answer, but it’s true. I’ve been writing in some form or another my entire life.

When I was little, I wrote down my dreams and did creative writing prompts at school. As I moved into my teens, I wrote sappy poetry. I was, of course, the only girl in the world who was having boyfriend troubles and who’s family was driving me crazy. It was fine poetry. In my early twenties I began to write stories but didn’t do much with them. Twenties were a bit of a blur. I wrote professionally in my thirties, and after my kids arrived, I began writing in earnest. My first book, Soul Sunday: a Family’s Guide to Finding Faith and Teaching Tolerance, won seven national awards, and I continued to write articles and essays. However, once I found my voice in fiction, I’d come home. Now, it’s what I do.

In addition to writing professionally, I write for myself. My journal is a kind of therapy. There have been times that I couldn’t write—my brain too deep in a void to find words. Other times were too busy for journal writing.

But both of these reasons are excuses.

We should never be too busy to take care of ourselves, if we use writing to help clear our heads. The void can be filled with words. Writers should never be too busy to write, even if it’s only a few minutes to capture fleeting thoughts. I finally know why I write, and so I do. Everyday.

Ask yourself why you write and then ask yourself why you stop.

Write anyway.

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Lovin’ Lamar

May 5, 2013

Lots of writers choose picturesque settings for their novels. Tropical beaches, quaint French villages, or exciting cities set the stage so that authors can take trips, gathering research.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Rather than choosing say, Tahiti, I set my latest manuscript in Lamar, Colorado: home of a high school nicknamed ‘the savages’ as well as the Cow Palace hotel, a trucker’s paradise. Truth, not fiction.

Like any diligent writer, I did my research on-line, but decided I needed to take the trek and live it first-hand. While visiting Eastern Colorado, I stayed at the Cow Palace for one night, while doing research. While it wasn’t the Bahamas, they did have a kidney-shaped pool complete with plastic palm trees. Woot! Their breakfast special consisted of six pieces of sausage, six pieces of bacon, two eggs, and two biscuits and gravy. I didn’t starve. When I checked in, I asked for a quiet room on the second floor of the motel. A scruffy eighteen-year-old stared at me as if I’d arrived from OZ. For a minute, I thought he might say it was haunted. Instead, he told me they didn’t put people on the second floor because there was no elevator and that a set of stairs required exercise. Even if I’d been writing a book about obesity, I don’t think I would have thought of that nugget. Truth is odder than fiction.

Lamar was everything I remembered from a brief encounter years ago. It did not disappoint. And while I am slightly sorry I didn’t choose a tropical island to set my story, Lamar offered rich ambiance.  Sometimes a story set in a unique place can offer an abundance of interesting characters and new sensory awareness. What?  Tahiti doesn’t smell like chlorine and manure? Nope. You can only find that, in Lamar.

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Character Sketch 103

November 30, 2012

Tips to Know your Character

-Download a character sketch

-Interview your character

-Create questions/details not included in your character sketch and answer them (what’s their favorite ice-cream, what did they have for breakfast)

-Write a letter to your character

-Pretend you are the character and write your resume

-Pretend you are the character and write a letter to your mom

-Pretend you are the character and write a letter to your girlfriend/boyfriend

-If your character could invent something, what would it be?

-Who would your character want to meet (one living and one dead person)

-Jot details that you know but the reader might not

 

Make your character unique!

 

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Character Sketch 102

November 18, 2012

Last blog I provided a character sketch to help you develop your characters. This time, I’m putting a different spin on it. Besides the basics, like what a person is wearing or where they live, most character sketches ask questions about what a character likes, wants, and hopes. In this character sketch, think dark. What would your character never do? Then, think about what would happen if they did it. Right there, you have yourself a scene full of emotion and tension.

Here’s a start…

Where would your character refuse to live?

What would your character never eat?

What would they never wear?

What political party would they not support?

What magazine would they not pick up at the airport?

What kind of doctor would they refuse to see?

What ride at an amusement park would they not get on?

How would they react if they did any of these things? Ready, set, write!

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Character Sketch 101

November 8, 2012

From time to time, I blog about character development. I believe it is so crucial to writing, that I’m devoting the next three blogs to help create interesting characters.

Details about a character are important. Sometimes, authors get stuck. It can be a challenge developing details that don’t have to do with clothing and hair color. Character sketches provide questions to help writers think deeply about their darlings.

Below is one of my character sketches, but don’t limit yourself. Google a few more options and really think about what makes your characters tick. Remember, not all of it needs to be added to your work. As long as you know your character inside and out, that’s all that matters.

Character Sketch 

Carrie Brown-Wolf

carrie@carriebrownwolf.com

Name:

Age:

Gender:

Siblings:

Parents:

Children:

Pets:

Married? To Whom?

Ethnicity?

Religion?

Where do they live?

Favorite:

-color

-ice-cream

-breakfast

-person

-animal

-number

-state

-sport

-flavor of toothpaste

-soup

-ride at an amusement park

-candy

-room

What makes them sad?

What can make them angry?

What emotion do they almost never show? Why?

What scares them?