Scene-Weaving Challenge!

Tranquility-FitnessCenterThe Challenge
1. Take the given elements and smoothly combine them in a scene (or part of a scene).

2. Paste your scene in the comments, then change one element for the next commenter. (e.g. “still locked in the cabin, but now it’s noon the next day,” or “setting changed to an island,” or “ship noises get louder.”)

3. The next commenter will continue the story.

 

 » Read more about: Scene-Weaving Challenge!  »

Scene Weaving Class, and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

Sleepwalker's Guide to DancingWhen her father begins having conversations with dead relatives, photographer Amina Eapen returns to her parents’ home in Albequerque, and a past she has been running from. Confronted with memories of a childhood visit to India and the tragedy that resulted, and of the brother nobody talks about, Amina wants nothing more than to get back to Seattle and resume her career crisis. But like the unsettling images she captures on film and then hides away,

 » Read more about: Scene Weaving Class, and The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing  »

Plotting and Healing

Extract of Plot Elixir BottleExtract of Plot Elixir Bottle Plot Elixir Bottle Blue
Six weeks ago I made the wildly improbable promise to give twenty hours a week to my verse-novel.  Between writing classes, French classes, and subbing grades K-12, my life is already packed to the rafters. But I decided that if Varian Johnson could write at 4:00 in the morning and finish multiple books while working fulltime as an engineer (my agent tipped me off), so could I (well, except for the engineering bit.)

I’m missing a lot of Facebook posts,

 » Read more about: Plotting and Healing  »

Writing the Hidden Story

SpyI love those “aha!” moments when a character sneaks up on me–and I suddenly realize I’m not writing the book I thought I was writing. It might mean big changes, but it invariably makes a deeper and more authentic story than the one I started with. This is just as true for memoir as it is for fiction

As I prepare for my fall writing classes, “Writing the Hidden Story”

 » Read more about: Writing the Hidden Story  »

An Interview with Author Lois Brandt + teen writing with Lois at Bellevue College

Lois Brandt, Writer, Seattle

Photo by Meryl Schenker

One of the cool things about taking teen writing at Bellevue College, is working with a published author. Lois Brandt (who is certifiably awesome) teaches Writing Short Stories in the Teenage Novelist program. Students rave about her classes, which have included the “Write a Novel in 30 Days” class she usually teaches in November (to go along with NaNoWriMo) and “Editing Your Manuscript.”

 » Read more about: An Interview with Author Lois Brandt + teen writing with Lois at Bellevue College  »

Character Mashup–“Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem, Too”

This poem, by Jim Hall, is one of my favorite mashups, and I often read it in Talking to Your Characters and in Teen Poets at Bellevue College.

 

To see Jim Hall’s take on his poem, as well as the entire poem printed out, go here.

Another game to try! Do one OR MORE of the following:

1.

 » Read more about: Character Mashup–“Maybe Dats Your Pwoblem, Too”  »

“Geek Fiction” and Other Writing Classes this Spring at Bellevue College

You’ll have Doctor Who for homework!!!

Here’s what I’m offering at Bellevue College in the Spring  (Registration probably begins in March):

Geek Fiction Writing
This course analyzes popular sci-fi, fantasy, superhero and dystopian screen favorites to discover what makes them tick. Then we use these tools of excellent storytelling in our own original fiction. This is a step beyond fanfic, as you’ll create characters and worlds that are wholly your own.

 » Read more about: “Geek Fiction” and Other Writing Classes this Spring at Bellevue College  »

The Importance of “Off-Stage” Writing: 5 Ways to Use a Secret Journal

You’ve just taken Pamela Protagonista, rebel goth girl, through the perils of cheerleader camp where she has scored a victory over Amanda Antagonistella, who was not as good at karaoke as she thought. The Final Showdown is twenty chapters away and you have no idea why Pamela would go to Kennebunkport nor how she will score a train ticket without Reginald finding out. You’ve made lists and charted character arcs and rechecked the color of Reginald’s eyes,

 » Read more about: The Importance of “Off-Stage” Writing: 5 Ways to Use a Secret Journal  »

Review of FLYAWAY by Helen Landalf

FlyawayFlyaway by Helen Landalf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I loved about this book, besides the winsomeness of its protagonist, Stevie, was that it didn’t present easy answers. Stevie has grown up in an intolerable situation, but she loves her mother despite her mother’s flaws, and is determined to be loyal to her.

Even when I wanted to shake Stevie and say,

 » Read more about: Review of FLYAWAY by Helen Landalf  »