Brainstorming the Wound in Your Character’s Backstory – Helping Writers Become Authors

https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/brainstorming-wound/amp/

Hi friends.

Found this little gem tonight while doing a little twittering. It’s right up my alley this type of blog. Or should I be writing- this type of blog is right up my alley.

The grammar police know what’s best.

Here is a snippet from the blog to wet your appetite if you are interested in social aspects of your characters or your family and friends (kidding).

Brainstorming the Wound in Your Character’s Backstory

Helping Writers Become Authors

Becca Puglisi

1 month ago

I’ve spent the better part of the last year digging into the topic of character wounds or “Ghosts.” If this topic sounds familiar, it might be because Angela Ackerman and I (among others) have been yammering about it to anyone who will listen. The wound is a fascinating and vital piece of your characters’ pasts, which has lasting, formative effects on who they will be at the start of your story.

As such, it’s super important to figure out which wounds are crippling your characters so you’ll know how to write them realistically and consistently. Whether you’re building characters from the ground up or they come to you fully formed and you just have to figure out their backstory, it’s imperative to identify this important event from their pasts.

What Is an Emotional Wound?

Simply put, a wound is a negative past experience or series of experiences that causes extensive emotional pain. It could be a devastating moment (a life-threatening accident), repeated traumatic episodes (living with an abusive caregiver), or an ongoing damaging situation (growing up in poverty).

However it manifests, this excruciating event births powerful fears that begin to drive the character’s behavior and choices. New personality traits develop as a way of protecting the character from re-experiencing that trauma or the emotions associated with it.

As you can see, wounds have long-lasting effects that are, sadly, true to life. When we take the time to discover what this event is for our characters and how it might impact them, they instantly become more realistic and compelling to readers.

How Do You Discover Your Character’s Wound?

#writing #avoiding-writing # grammar-police # The-Fortune-Seekers-Dan-and-Charlotte #Glennis-Browne-author

What’s been happening in my life today?

1. Listened to a webinar on how to increase my mailing list.

Result– Some great ideas to work on. Seems like I must take many little steps and follow certain procedures.

2. Discovered one foot is swelling after standing at the laptop writing all day. Researched Dr Google to discover reasons. Ended up wearing a compression stocking and keeping the leg raised with a cushion or three.

Result– it’s going down.

3. Joined authors on a writers group who are concentrating on obtaining likes on their author pages.

Result– in 24 hours I’ve added 100, bought two books that appealed that I am dying to read and will post reviews on their behalf. Authors need reviews!

and

Before I get to read them, I will finish another Australian Novel- it’s holding my attention which is good.

4. Completed first edit on three chapters of my second of the series historical fiction novel in The Fortune Seekers Series.

Result– pleased about this, but I should have sat as well as stood, and also taken more breaks, which may have prevented the swollen foot and ankle.

Finally, I am genuinely interested in hearing about your day. Either comment below or meet me on my FB author page. As a loyal follower I’d enjoy getting to know you.

See links below for options.

Try the links to my Author Page and User Name

Facebook.com/GlennisBrowneWriter

fb.me/GlennisBrowneWriter

My author face book page

http://www.facebook.com/GlennisBrowneWriter

Or message me-

m.me/GlennisBrowneWriter

Goodnight.

(Post script- I promise you I will see my Dr if it hasn’t returned to normal by morning.)

Finding good story ideas in your genre

Hi friends and followers,

With Christmas around the corner, I imagine you are experiencing the same challenges that I am – lack of enough hours in the day to achieve everything. Like me, you may have too many items on your daily to do list.

Despite telling myself I will write a certain number of words each day, I am way behind. For some reason writing has become the last task of the day at the moment.

Tonight I am telling myself, ‘Tomorrow I will start the day at the laptop.’

Does this sound familiar?

Perhaps it’s because it is the December festive season?

If so, maybe we are being too hard on ourselves?

For me, I think this is so . . .

. . . So, I open my mailbox, and read my weekly NowNovel blog.

I hope you find Brigette’s blog informative.

Glennis

Finding good story ideas in your genre

Finding good story ideas in your genre is easier when you read broadly and know your genre well. Read tips for finding and developing an idea that will appeal to other fans of your genre:

1. Read widely and know your market

2. List genre clichés you want to avoid

3. Brainstorm the 5 W’s

4. Test your ideas on others who also love your genre

5. Think about the kinds of  story ideas that make bestsellers

6. Add elements you wish your genre featured more

7. Free-write options and choose the best story idea

To read Bridget’s full blog , click on her link below.

Today we’re looking at the idea-finding process. What are the hallmarks of good story ideas? How do famous authors reinvent tropes and make them their own? Read answers to these questions and more. Please share if you find the tips useful.

Finding good story ideas in your genre

Finding good story ideas in your genre is easier when you read broadly and know your genre well. Read tips for finding and developing an idea that will appeal to other fans of your genre: … (click to continue)

Keep writing!

Bridget

P.S. Remember to share new ideas or any longer extracts you’d like constructive feedback on at Now Novel.

#genre #good story ideas #famous authors #tips #know your market #The Fortune Seekers #genre Historical Fiction

Glennis Browne – author

I have so many historical stories just waiting to be written. After decades of historical family tree research many more over time will be shared with you.

What interests me, and hopefully you as well, is obtaining the answers to the big questions we would like to ask our families, if they were still with us. Such as why ordinary people went to such extremes as emigrating to the other side of the world in the 1800s.
Or why they walked away from societies religions and legal systems. Entering unknown countries and experiencing extraordinary circumstances in their new lives.

You’ll find here, my first book – The Fortune Seekers, which became available late in July 2016. Being published by Xlibris.com.au. And also on all ebook sites such as Amazon.com, kindle and Barnes and Noble.

I will announce the release date of the second in the series as soon as it is available. I am planning to complete it by mid 2018. The story is developing, the story line portrays the lives of the women during this time in history when women didn’t have rights. Not having the right to vote, they were the property of their husbands, and at a time when birth control was unavailable, a woman lived a hard wearying life.

My newsletter is published monthly and appears on my website. I’d love it if you would like to join my followers, and register for a monthly newsletter. I invite you to be part of my launch team.
There will be a pop-up on my website soon. I promise not to spam. There will be special offers, and tantalizing excerpts from my upcoming works when you sign up.
You can also check out my blog for writing tips, tricks, and other updates on glenniswritingabc.com
My author Facebook pages are where videos, photos and updates also are seen on a day to day basis.

I’m so happy you stopped by. Stay for a while.

Is My Writing “Dense”? What Does This Mean if it is, and What Can I Do About It?

Hello friends and authors,

Responses to a story can be varied, just as opinions about anything bring a range of opinions. From readers of my writings, one comment I haven’t yet received is “dense”.

Mary Carroll Moore, experienced author and writing coach explains what “dense” writing actually means. Suggesting ways to evaluate and make suitable changes.

Feedback Says My Writing Is “Dense”–What Does This Mean and What Can I Do About It?

A student in my online classes is writing a futuristic thriller about memory loss.  I’ve enjoyed reading her chapters in class and so have her classmates.  But recently she emailed me about some feedback she’d received that she didn’t understand.  She said she couldn’t find much information about online, so she was hoping I could help her with what to do with the comments.

Readers have told her that her writing can be dense and hard to get into.  As a thriller writer–and someone who is very comfortable with action scenes–this confused her.  “For my book to be accessible I want to make it as quick and easy to read as possible,” she told me.   “I’ve tried to make it fast paced because that grabs people’s attention.”

She’s also tried to minimize description because, she says, “when it’s done poorly it slows people down,” and I agree.

So why do some readers say that her writing is dense?

Dense, by the way, doesn’t mean stupid, slow, not getting it, or any of the other slurs we might have used (or still use).  In writing lingo, it refers to writing that feels thick to the reader, difficult to absorb.  Dense writing can appear in a couple of ways.

1.  When a piece of writing uses a lot of big words or complicated terms–think legal language or tax forms–it can read “dense” to us.  It takes work to figure out what the writer is trying to communicate.  I once read an article about what happens in the brain when we repeatedly encounter words we don’t know or writing that feels too complex to easily understand or makes us work too hard.  The brain literally turns off.  It stops absorbing meaning, or even trying to.  This can even occur when we’re reading and a word pops up that we don’t know.  Our brains just say, “Nope,” and begin right then to disconnect from the emotional impact of the writing.  Imagine a whole paragraph like this, or a page or two.  Not a pretty sight.  This is dense language.  Language, or word choice, that feels unnecessarily complex.

One of my students years ago was a published poet.  He was trying his first novel.  He brought his love for words, especially complicated, poetic words, into his fiction.  At first it was interesting.  Then he began getting feedback from the class (and me) to ease up on the love of language.  Stop trying to make everything beautiful and intense and interesting, and make sure the words he chose actually served the story.

He backed off a bit from the poetry, chose simpler words and structure, and the story blossomed.  Once the story was intact and working, he could go back in and add his poetry.  It was a big wake-up call for him and changed his writing.

Another way dense writing appears is too packed with events or information in too small a space.  One editor I know calls this rat-ta-tat-tat writing.  This happens, then this happens, then this happens with nary a pause for a breath.  If you write like this, and my student who posed the initial question for this blog article might, your goal is to keep things moving fast.  But realize that readers need time to actually “see” what’s happening and “feel” the character’s reaction.

They need what’s called beats.  Beats are the small pauses between events or dialogue lines that allow us to absorb the meaning.  Beats are a big part of screenwriting, and novelists and memoirists are learning to use them too.  When I add beats, I can do it intuitively, for the most part–although we are all most blind to our own writing.  But if I can’t, I grab a favorite published book and read a page aloud to get a feel for where those pauses, those beats, occur.  Then I read a page of my own writing and see if I can sense where the pauses should occur.

Nonstop action isn’t all that fun to read, truthfully.  After a while, it’s just rat-ta-tat-tat.  And who needs that.

2.  Dense can also have to do with the visual appearance of paragraphs and sentences on the page.  Dense prose means too little white space.  Novelist Alexander Chee has a great technique for seeing this:  print out a chapter and placing the pages end to end, then squint to see the balance of text and white space.

If you see pages with thick chunks of text, see if you can break them up.  Conversely, if there are lots of one-line paragraphs, consider adding beats to create some density.

It all comes down to a perfect balance.

I love hearing from readers!  If you have a question about writing or book structure, email me at mary[at]marycarrollmoore.com and I’ll happily respond in a blog post.  (To read any posts you missed, visit my award-winning website.)

I hope you found Mary’s article interesting. Her experience shared through her weekly blogs has become one of the many foundation stones on which I depend to improve the craft of my personal writing.

I have always listened to or read the comments given to me by my readers and friends. Then discussed the opinions with experienced writing coaches to gage whether the suggestions are applicable to modern writing styles these days. And applicable to me.

I repeatedly comment to my husband that everyday I learn more than I knew the day before. There is still such a lot to be learnt in this journey of writing. Perhaps this is why the energy to write remains at a high level.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the preparations for the Christmas holiday season .

Glennis

#critiques #writing coach #motivation #the craft of writing # The Fortune Seekers #dense writing #book structure #writing beats