Friday, August 12, 2011

Feed-the-Writer's-Soul Friday- Finding Your Voice

I’m hoping y’all can get something out of my disjointed notes. This was a workshop that I went to at Nationals. In the middle of this discussion, the presenters popped up a few pictures of hotties for us. Since I don’t know how to post picts to blogspot yet, I’ll give you names and you can do your own search…Chris Evans, Nathan Fillion, and Kellan Lutz. 

Finding Your Voice-From a workshop entitled Speak Up! Seven Steps to Finding Your Voice
**Nothing you write lacks meaning because meaning is in you. ~Anne Marie O’Connor

What is Voice? It’s you on the page.
Voice is shaped by:
1) Your background
2) Genetics
3) Choices
             -education goals
             -spiritual beliefs
4) Self-image-so it’s important to get to know yourself!

Find an editor/agent who fits YOUR voice.

Sit down and define your writing strengths and weaknesses.

How do you find your voice? 7 Steps:
1) WRITE-as much and as often as you can
            -be organic
            -don’t self edit during the creative process-do that in revisions
            -Read your own work-identify your strengths and weaknesses (see above)
2) Listen:
            -to what your instincts tell you
            -when you leave out voice the writing is flat-you want your work to be SPECIAL
            -give them something new-your voice is UNIQUE
3) Ask:
            -people you trust!
            -ask yourself what you like about your own writing
            -poll your crit partners, beta readers, any readers and ask them to give you 3 words that describe your writing
            Ie: “comical, intelligent, deep”
4) Blog or Journal
            -find topics that interest you
            -pay attention to your tone to see how you handle topics
            -look at your vocabulary
            -look at rhythm-how you break up sentences
5) Let Go
            -give permission to write what you want to write, not what you think you should write
            -let your character be free to say and do the first thing that comes to mind
            -when someone read your work and tells you they can “hear” it, that’s voice
6) Explore/Experiment
            -make the most of your writing
            -push the boundaries and try something new
            -work at your strengths and HONE them-make them sharp and shiny
            -shine first-THEN focus on your weaknesses
7) WRITE some more
            -once you establish what it is that makes your voice unique, hone it
            -write, write and write some more
            -plot stories that will showcase your voice
            -FINISH YOUR STORY

Chris Evans
Nathan Fillion
Kellan Lutz

Friday, August 5, 2011

Feed-the-Writer's-Soul Friday- Michael Hauge's Six Stage Plot Structure-Part 2

Last Friday I shared the first half of my notes from Michael Hauge's Six Stage Plot Structure. This week I finish it off.

Stage 3-PROGRESS-from 25% to 50% of movie/story. This is where whatever the H/H outer goal is, they make a plan to accomplish their goal. Whatever the plan is, there are obstacles. The character is emotionally involved and the problem or conflict is what the emotions come from. They pursue their goal and there MUST be obstacles. In movies the emphasis is often on the inner conflict not the romance. You need a second outer motivation other than love and you need obstacles to another goal.

The stage ends with Turning Point #3 POINT OF NO RETURN (PONR) at about 50% of movie/story. The PONR is where the H/H make a commitment to the goal. This is where they burn the bridge and can’t go back. They have to option to quit but they go on until that spot. Example: typically this is where they make love. Have a first date. Declaration with words or actions “I love you.” Shows commitment. Typically once you pass PONR the universe will bring problems or obstacles. The outside world closes in. Ie: forces of nature, other character causes increase in obstacles, someone tries to kill one or both, the ex shows up. This all leads to stage 4.

Stage 4-This stage is called COMPLICATIONS & HIGHER STAKES. It runs about 50%-75% of your story. In this stage it is harder to achieve the goal. There is more at stake. It is progressively more and more difficult. At the end-H/H have a major setback and it seems to the reader that all is lost. Often as a result, the H/H will try to go back to their old life. But it will NOT work. They will make one last push to achieve their goal or die trying. They give all they have. This ends with Turning Point #4 Major Setback.

Stage 5-This stage is called FINAL PUSH and runs about 75%-90-99%. It is where the H/H give all they have to achieve their goal. It ends with Turning Point #5-Climax.
CLIMAX-is the point in which the outer motivation is resolved but the story isn’t over yet. Happens about 90-99%.

Stage 6-This stage is called the AFTER MATH. It runs about 1-10%. This stage is the opposite of the set up. Every day is a NEW Life. The H/H completed the journey. They have a transformed existence. Readers/viewers can see the reward for competing the journey. We get some sense of a new life.

I hope these notes are of some assistance.
Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend!