Gooooooooood Morning, Seekerville!!!!!!!
So nice to see you all here this mornin'!
We're talkin' story development today, there are TWO GIFT BASKETS to give away, including copies of my new 4-STAR novel:
a September Love Inspired release
And baskets are a lovely thing
to get in the mail, aren't they???
You remember the whole mustard seed thing, right?
to get in the mail, aren't they???
|There's this one..... Notice I tucked Glynna's new book in there. ;)|
From the tiny seed,
the great tree groweth?
Story building works the same way. A tiny seed can be planted almost anywhere. From anything. Like the fields that had good seed fall on bad ground, some story lines develop better than others. But it’s in this development that branches grow.
And then we prune. Artful pruning, the blessing of any horticulturist. (Had to throw ONE BIG WORD in here for Mary Connealy's sake, she's so stinkin' smart, a total Miss Smarty Pants. Oh my stars.)
So let’s say we’ve got the story seed growing. Maybe several. Now we need to choose.
|Ever felt like this when you're planning a story??? ;)|
STORY IDEA: He’s a white knight type sheriff, a man of great principle, well-regarded in his hamlet of Shadowville. She’s the suspected terrorist, the femme fatale, the one thing that can bring him down. And everyone knows it but him.
(Like a bad-boy hero who turns to good, the femme fatale needs to have a REASON to be a danger to the hero either physically, mentally or emotionally. Just being a crazy woman DOES NOT DO IT. Ask any man. They apply that to us UNIVERSALLY... men are such... men.)
Of course in some cases...
That's perfectly fine, LOL!
So we’ve planted a seed. But this SEED sprang from somewhere (I love George Lucas, don’t you???) so this story could have a prequel.
And that would be a Young Adult novel, where this tragedy-bound young woman is pushed out of the inner circles, left on her own, reviled, ignored, mis-treated:
|Novel by Gene Stratton Porter|
She’s the ultimate success story. Prom Queen. Beguiling. Sweet-beyond-sweet. A town princess who must leave her cozy nest because of some strange or compelling circumstance. Let’s say she’s adopted… And she realizes her mother/father never knew about her, thought her dead. So she’s compelled to search them out, but this takes her to a strange, new place where she’s ill-received. Suspected. Her past is brought into question. Her future is shaky at best because she’s ‘one of THEM’… Whoever THEY are...
But THAT SEED HAD TO COME FROM SOMEWHERE, RIGHT????
And that’s the children’s story, the prequel version done for 4th-6th graders, where a young girl is tucked into a town and no one wants to accept her. Think Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day”, the story of the little girl who saw the sun when she lived on Earth, and no one in her Venus classroom believed her. So from this seed you can organically grow a tween-type book that shows the whys and hows of this girl’s life, her neediness, her resolve, her strange history, her shaky future. And because it’s for kids, you should think Hatchet… Holes… Bridge to Terabithia… The Great Gilly Hopkins…
|Pine nuts/seeds from pine cones....|
All seeds do. Do not ask which came first.
I don't know.
Think DEEP because we remember deep books from that era. We shrug off the inane ones. Now you’ve got a tween basis for a story. A strong story.
But let’s move back up the ladder to the adult version. Because that’s how EASY it is to story-build in a creative mind. Work backwards… Move forwards.
|Moving forward on an unmarked road isn't always EASY, but it can be satisfying...|
Imagine. Envision. Predict. Foresee and foreshadow.
RESULT: Automatic depth.
And even if you NEVER WRITE THOSE TWEEN OR YA NOVELS, you now have a depth of story to work from. A deep, simmering cauldron of information to pull from, because now you know the woman’s history, her thoughts, her mode, her reasoning. You can deepen her character in ANY DIRECTION YOU CHOOSE because you know her.
I don’t do actual biographies for characters, but I let my mind delve into what happened TO them, to reveal things about them. “The past steps on the heels of the present, whether you like it or not, Jacob.” (Sarah, Plain and Tall)
This is a universal truth even when our characters work to bury the past. That in itself affects their present and future. They cannot get away from it.
I keep a cache of great YA novels, including The Yearling, Katherine Patterson’s books, The Pearl, Anne of Green Gables, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc. These books are great inspiration for character development, they are HUGE and well-written. Re-reading strong YA books helps me remember what it was about the emotional development of the story that compelled me to keep them on my shelf. Because isn’t that an author’s greatest honor? Right up there with making people cry? To have his or her book tucked on a “keeper” shelf?
After it’s been passed around to all friends and family, of course, thereby building readership! :)
Toss out a snippet of your character development today. No long passages this time, just some bare bones. I find that brainstorming plants seeds of today that might become tomorrow’s ideas. I love new ideas. I love telling stories.
|I love me some cookies while I'm reading... writing... walking... breathing... Sigh... ;)|
|Coffee. From my Keurig or a shop, I don't care. I live on coffee. Love the stuff.|
And here's a look at basket #2, featuring Mended Hearts and Winnie Griggs' newest release.
We just love Winnie Griggs in Seekerville!
I just love the heck out of what I do and still have trouble believing someone is PAYING ME to do it.