Often your words gave me similar impressions that embedded in my mind and made it crackle. I like crackling. You also made me better understand the additional peril for the immigrants when they tried to sound more English to avoid being attacked by them.
Then, what do you know about the character you are focusing on for this exercise: his or her place in history or life? Do they have a position of influence? Are they bound by their place in the culture of the community where the action occurs? Or have they been influenced by the events that impinged on life before the story opens?
First of all, if you don’t know your audience, you cannot very well market your book or story or article. So let’s talk about genre or markets.
I have a coach, and she really helped me finish my book by requiring me to turn in weekly goals - like I will write four days this week for a least 90 minutes a session. That worked for me...
“We need to be thinking seriously about moving,” floated into the air like static on the phone during a storm. Does that help you understand how I felt about the idea? I confess my first thought was, “I hate moving.” My second thought was, “It is sooooo much work.” Don’t leave now. It is going to get better.
I never envied your clothes, homemade and thin of fabric. I never envied your dented car nor your life on a farm small farm, the barely scrape-by kind of farm. I never envied you until,
o. Don’t be afraid of the Bible. Or any other book with new ideas or words. Read closely, with discernment. Look the words up. See how those words are used and what they mean. Don’t be afraid of what you might find out. Be freed to discover the truth of God’s love story.
It crunched. Yes, it crunched, like a thing with a shell, really, I could imagine like a baby octopus with little bony tentacles. Well, I could not swallow it like it was, so I had to chew it up somehow. So very gingerly, with my napkin very close to my mouth, I chewed it up fast. There is no other way to describe it – fast. And almost as fast, I swallowed it.
How has your protagonist or hero changed since the beginning of the book? Think through who that character was at the beginning of the story, consider the journey and the challenges, and the impact on him or her. This is subtle or may be dramatic, but if there are no changes to the characters, the story is really a linking of scenes in which pretty boring people get up in the morning, do stuff, and go to bed at night, no different.
“LEAVING IRELAND” BY CAROL BRENNAN KING, READING & DISCUSSION One of many things that would show up if you googled my name - a good sort of thing to show an agent or editor or publisher - talking today about name recognition online By Carol Brennan King Personal Essay Writing and Why! To get a…Read more Creative and Memoir Writing June 22, 2022
Like any good piece of writing, your review needs to hook the reader or get their attention. You might begin with a question or a statement about the author or the subject matter. But give it a little zip.
5 Steps to Writing an Article Carol Brennan King June 8, 2022 Notes from our writing class Last week we put our toes into the water of writing an article. We stepped back and did an overview of the process, but today we stepped right in knee deep. First, remember that we are talking about…Read more Creative and Memoir Writing:
After nearly three months, I am back at my desk! By Carol Brennan King June 1, 2022 As I thought about what facet of writing we should consider this summer term, it came to me that we have talked about our platform. But we really haven’t done much in class to build one. When I…Read more Let’s Try Writing Something New This Week!￼
This is like planting a garden and watering it. Get your materials and put them in a handy place in your bedroom. Start writing something small, four lines maybe, not a book or anything. This is just a playground for ideas.
OK, enough of that. You all have four weeks with no writing class, but I hope you take some of that time to read. And to read closely. Jeff Goins puts it this way in his online article Why Writers Need to Read if They Want to Be Good:
Here it means the inciting incident happened not long before you opened that first page and now the adventure or drama is on.
Carol Brennan King March 8, 2022 This week we discussed some of the business sides of writing and promoting. Therefore, because I want to leave you with helpful resources, I am going to pass on to you some comprehensive websites I have found useful. We talked first about the path to publication with the tools…Read more Creative Writing and Memoir Class Notes
We must consider the people who share or impacted our story and how our writing about them impacts them. We can hurt feelings. Does that matter? Do we have enough distance to be rational about what happened?
January 29, 2022 from the desk of Carol Brennan King Long time, no ??? See doesn’t work, or maybe it does. It has been a log time since you have seen me here. That does not mean that I have stopped caring about our writing community. I have been taking classes – the most recent…Read more Classes Start This Week
December 12, 2021 Carol Brennan King After months of feeling blocked, I have picked up the story of my great-great-grandparents and their journey to Bradford County in Pennsylvania in 1848. The working title of my book is Leaving Ireland, and I think 2122 might be the year it is finished. Today we went up to…Read more Resurrecting Leaving Ireland
Secondly, the first character the reader usually meets is the protagonist, the main character, and you must show the reader things about this person that makes them want to know more. Is she sobbing at her desk? Is he running down the street? Is he in a fight? Or on the phone?
Welcome Back! from Carol Brennan King It has been a while since we have been together and it was great to see you in person and via Zoom. In person people - please note that you can bring your laptop or tablet to class, and set it to zoom so that you can see the…Read more Creative Writing and Memoir Writing September 15, 2021
Carol Brennan King July 7, 2021 Prompt for next week: Write something around the word vacation. Think school, holiday, family, short or long vacations, accidental vacations (a snow day) or intentional and planned vacations. The example that I am sharing here may seem a long way off from vacation, but I was on my vacation…Read more Creative Writing and Memoir Writing Class Notes
Today was devoted primarily to putting some resources into your hands and then trusting you find them helpful.
March 10, 2021 Taught by Carol Brennan King Creative Writing: today we focused on using white space, lines, and punctuation as tools to help us communicate our stories. We also talked about how using breath units, or the words we want to be read in one breath, help us reach our reader to interpret the…Read more Creative Writing and Memoir/Nonfiction Writing Class Notes
Give the person a deadline for when you need the manuscript back – if you are giving them the manuscript to them and not reading it to them. Give them a reminder a day or two before your due date. You might say, “I have worked out for Wednesday to be my manuscript workday, so I would appreciate what you have been able to do for me before Wednesday.
Nov. 4, 2020 Carol Brennan King Note class changes next week: Creative Writing will be from 9-11am and Memoir will be from 2-4pm. Assignments Creative Writing: We talked about seven emotions: joy, anger, worry, anxiety, sadness, fear, and fright. For next week, write a short piece that shows your character(s) experiencing emotions. The point is…Read more Creative Writing and Memoir Class Notes
Do you choose to make your point by developing one issue ata a time or do you put lots of "nuts" in there and let your reader sort them out? I am not sure readers like guessing.
Carol Brennan King An essay for a class I am taking: I lean into the room to hear, to find sounds to write about, but all I hear is the sound of air being sucked through a small floor fan then pushed through the room toward the dehumidifier. Ostensibly, they work together to circulate the…Read more Listening to My Body 9/24/2020
It came to me that we were with a chorus of believers singing through history, from what I thought then was the late nineteenth century, based on the language of the hymn.
I sent them my third revision of my query letter, 15 pages of the manuscript (as they asked), and a synopsis of the book. Now, I did know that their services came at a fee, but at the end of two or three months, they would give me a list of 25 agents who handled books like mine…and were looking for such a manuscript.
October 26, 2022 Carol Brennan King We have been talking about writing techniques useful for both fiction and nonfiction or memoir writing. Then this last week, I was reminded of the power of voice in both genres. So next week, well, this week in class, I will tell you the story of the importance of…Read more Creative and Memoir Writing Class Notes
Let what you have written gel for a while, and sifting through for your most intriguing ideas, search for the stories that are emerging, and the stories that link together in a way that your reader is pulled along. You are looking for stories that will stand alone, yet connect with each other in that Triptych frame.
by Carol Brennan King Poem 2 in a series Can you feel it? the rumble of the black steel monster gulping clean air exhaling fire and sparks air too hot to breathe. Can you feel it? the air shimmering in hot waves burning your face as it passes by this thing, that shakes the earth…Read more No writing lessons here: just a bit of the feels from a recent walk: October 24, 2022
The point is both scenes and chapters have a place in your story’s pacing. Short chapters tend to move the action along quicker. Longer chapters might lull you into relaxing with the longer flow of information and less tension. Remember, both scenes and chapters have a part in how quickly your story unfolds, and how your reader experiences the story.