Here’s our biggest tip for beginning writers. Ask yourself this question:
It’s change. It’s how the hero of the story enters that story with something broken inside them. All the things that have happened before your story starts – the back story – has set up the hero needing to achieve something or needing to change something inside of themselves.
ET was a movie about an alien, but the reason it was so amazing was because it was a movie about a family in pain, a family that needed to believe in magic and love again. ET gave them that.
So, when you’re writing your book, think about the backstory of your character, what it is that put her/him/them in this place and what they need to do to change themselves or their world.
That’s what the heart of a story is.
That’s what makes it memorable. The internal change.
Don’t be afraid to evolve. New places, new experiences, new life paths, are all ways to become something and someone better.
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website.Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
I’m heading to Montreal this week and the Houston and Virginia Beach pretty soon to promote my picture book biography of Moe Berg. It’s called The Spy Who Played Baseball.
And I’ll be in Freeport, Maine September 28 as part of a Nerdy Evening of Kidlit writers!
The last TIME STOPPERS BOOK is out and I love it. You should buy it.
If you would like to purchase signed copies of my books, you can do so through the awesome Sherman’s Book Store in Bar Harbor, Maine or the amazing Briar Patch. The books are also available online at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
For signed copies – email [email protected] for Sherman’s or email [email protected] let them know the titles in which you are interested. There’s sometimes a waiting list, but they are the best option. Plus, you’re supporting an adorable local bookstore run by some really wonderful humans. But here’s the Amazon link, too!
You can buy prints of my art here. Thank you so much for supporting my books and me. I hope you have an amazing day.
Sometimes in life we want to be memorable, right? And other times? Not so much. Shaun is so tall and formidable that he doesn’t have much choice in being memorable or not. Carrie? She can fade into walls if she wants to. In writing, there are some pretty simple things you should do to make sure people remember your character. Mention the ACTUAL CHARACTER A LOT Talk about that character every 30-40 pages. People forget the characters they don’t see. This is true in real life too. Remind people you are out there. Give them a cool name. Carrie Jones? Not a cool name. Give. Just give. In real life and in writing, giving matters. People remember kindness. Give them something that makes them stand out physically and intrinsically. What do I mean by that? Give them something like a tattoo, a way of bending their foot to the side when they talk. Give them a strong personality trait. Do the work to make them memorable. Focus. In real life, it’s the people who focus on one goal, strategy, process who tend to make a big bang. Embrace Your Quirkiness. This is linked to that memorable trait. Being quirky might make you a bullied kid, which is basically hell, but when you’ve embraced that difference, your originality, your authenticity? That’s when people remember you. If you’re in a room full of a dozen white guys in suits, none of them are going to pop out. It’s the woman in the flowing skirt that you’re going to end up remembering. ...
Over on the random thought part of the podcast, we hear about Carrie being passive-aggressive at the campground bathroom, Shaun sing, and random people at Smokey's Barbecue and Lobster. But here is the more intellectual stuff. Um. Slightly more intellectual stuff? This guy Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book Outliers and in it he outlines his belief that if you practice something for 10,000 hours and do that in a deliberate way, then you’ll become a top performer. Who are the outliers? They are the best and the brightest. We don’t want you to freak out over that 10,000 hours bit because that’s like saying, “Hey Shaun, I know you can’t run more than 60 seconds right now, but this Friday you’re going to run for 93 minutes.” Spoiler alert: Shaun ran for 93-minutes straight on Friday. Carrie did too. Anyway, this guy named Danny Forest who writes on Medium breaks it down to something that feels a bit more doable. He says that he can learn soft skills in about eight hours and breaks it into working 30 minutes each day on those skills. That seems a lot better than 10,000 hours, right? There’s a difference between competence and brilliance, but that half-hour concentrated focus is how so many of us build our skills. Even dogs. So, inspired by Mr. Forest, the Farrar has three things he wants to learn: Make movies on ...
So in writing one of the biggest tips that you start hearing starts in around third grade and it's "SHOW DON'T TELL." And it's sound writing advice, but it's pretty sound life advice, too. How many of us have heard the words, "I love you," but never seen the actions that give proof to the words. You can tell someone you love them incessantly for hours, but if you don't show them it too, it's pretty likely that the words aren't going to rock that person's world. Telling is like this: Shaun was a hotty. Showing is like this: Carrying four grocery bags and a kitten, biceps bulging, Shaun walked through the parking lot, approaching a couple of older men. The smaller man gawped at Shaun, staring at his chest, the kitten, the bags, the biceps. "Wow," the man said, pivoting as Shaun strode by. "Just wow." The man licked his lips. His partner hit him in the back of the head lightly and said, "I am right here." What Does This Mean? Both examples illustrate that Shaun is a hotty, but one states it as fact (telling) and one elucidates with examples (description, reaction, action). Here's One More Quick Example Telling The lawyer liked to use big words to impress people. Showing Carpenter stuck his thumbs into the waist of his pants, lowered his ...