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Showing posts from September, 2017

Plot Elements (Disney Alert)


Plot elements are what makes a story a story. Romance, betrayal, impossible odds, to name a few. In this post I'm going to look at classic plot elements, discuss them, and put a spin on them.

Classic Disney Princess Plot Elements:
Good vs Evil
Unhealthy Social Systems

Remember that Disney Princess movies are, for the most part, based off of some of the first fairy tales. So these elements are in both pop culture and writing history.

Romance is timeless. It's relatable, desirable, and adorable (it's a matter of perspective, okay?). Romance is somewhat overused, yet is not cliche. It's a good way of endearing your characters to readers and pulling these readers into the story (aka shipping). To surprise your audience, pull a cliche-breaker. The girl can end up with the sidekick or the comic relief character. Your protagonist could have a hard time choosing a girl, given the inevitable fawning crowd.

This is a good ele…

Windows to the Soul

Today we look at character descriptions.
What do appearances say about a character's personality?

Quite a lot, actually. Authors use descriptions as an easy way of giving the reader a first impression of a character without having to go into any particular effort.

Cicero once said that "the face is a picture of the mind," and this can be true, especially in books or movies. Authors generally want to give you as much information as possible about their characters (unless they're deliberately hiding things) and will use the opportunity to describe their character's appearance to their advantage.

Look at this extract from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone, where Hagrid is described:

A giant of a man was standing in the doorway. His face was almost completely hidden by a long, shaggy mane of hair and a wild, tangled beard, but you could make out his eyes, glinting like black beetles under all the hair.

This is J.K.Rowling's opportunity to give…

School's Clutches

- Grace -
(A poem and a parody)
Here is the truth about Humpty Dumpty. Hidden from all until now. Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, Humpty Dumpty wouldn’t have died If he hadn’t had tests that had his brain fried. Too much knowledge was stuffed in his brain, So much that he was in lots of pain, It only took a hit on his head, For all of his knowledge to make him dead.
This is a parody of a parody (seriously 😊) of the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus (made by Megan, Hudson and I) When this school year’s finally over, No more studying for me. When I finally have some free time, Oh, how happy I shall be. No more studying on the weekends, No more stressing out for me. I’ll wave goodbye to all my teachers, How I’ll miss them, how they’ll grieve.

Cool Words. Because Why Not?

- Jo -
This should come as no surprise to you: I like words. They're useful things on the whole and almost all of them have or have had huge value. However, I am of the opinion that all words are not created equal. Some of them are useful and boring, while others are more fun than a dozen more combined. Now, I don't know if you do this, but I find myself often interrupting myself to remark on my admiration for a particular word that had come up in conversation. Unfortunately, the reasons for this love are as varied as they are arbitrary, so there's no telling which word will next catch my fancy. And you never know, some of these might actually come in handy to you, too. Still, it's important to note that this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Gelatinous - I was in the car on the way to church some weeks back and I had a question sloshing around in my head: "Are there words in English that have all five vowels? Surely, right? So, how many of them are there?"…


- Megan -
Intercessor I remember when I was falling, like they do now,

Now I fly, on the wings of my Father

But look, Lord – She's still falling

You carry me Lord, why not him? Won't you rescue her too?

They cry out, begging me to catch them,

But turn a blind eye when I point to their Maker

How, Lord, can I make this work?

I ask her, I tell him. I knock at their doors

I beg my Father to show them the light,

But no response comes from either side.

I have to do something – they continue to fall

I worry and fret, I can't just let them go!

I trust in my own strength, I reach in to grab her,

But he doesn't start flying, and now I'm tumbling too

I've filled my heart with their problems, now I can't hold on to Him

I cry out just like they do, and my Maker comes again

He's taught me a lesson, and now I have learned

That it isn't my job, to carry their load

The I AM is the one who carries the world

And as the Father pulls me back under His…

Slime Eels

-Guest post by ES-
Looking for a strange creature to go in your book? This one's perfect and IT ACTUALLY EXISTS!
Hagfish, or more commonly known as Slime eels, are a group of jawless soft bodied organisms that belong to the Myxinidae family. There are more than sixty different types of hagfish living in the midnight zone worldwide and not much is known about them. They have developed an extraordinary defense mechanism and are expert scavengers. I hope you will enjoy reading this post and find it very helpful.

Food: Hagfish have an excellent sense of smell and touch but even though they have two tiny markings that could be mistaken for eyes Hagfish happen to be blind. Sight is not needed if you live in the inky blackness at the bottom of the sea, so they have adapted to the desolate landscape and have become expert scavengers. If they happen to stumble upon a dead fish, Hagfish lacking teeth have an extraordinary method of consuming their find. They use their rasping tongue to su…

To Wed or Not To Wed

When writing, point of view is very important. The main character is the most liked one, so it's important to pick your main character. I've written a short story from 3 different perspectives to show you what I mean. Elizabelle's Point of View: I stood in front of Colton with tears in my eyes. It was time to say "I do." It was time to be pronounced "man and wife." It was time for our first kiss. This was the most important moment of my life and everything was perfect. "If anyone has a reason why these two should not be wed, speak now." I hear Pastor Phillips voice say. I waited for the moment to pass so we could finally be officially married. Then I hear "Please don't do this." I turn suddenly and see everyone staring horrified at a man in the back row. I squint at the man's face, then gasp. It was Kade. Kade and I had been best friends since we were 3 years old. We met on a playground when he helped me up onto the top of t…

On Writing Mentors

So. Mentors. How do you make them original?

1. Think Before You Kill Them Off Mentors always die.

There's a reason for this. The hero needs to be able to solve his own problems. If the mentor is still there with the hero, the hero is going to end up saving the world in no time flat. The hero needs to be independent and go and save the world on their own. So that's why mentors are always killed off.

So why don't we bend the cliche?

If the hero needs to be without the mentor, do something with the mentor that doesn't involve killing him off! Maybe the mentor is on vacation and the hero is unable to send a message to him. Maybe the mentor is mentoring someone else and does not want to be disturbed. Or why not, maybe the mentor has just been cursed to fall asleep for a hundred years.
2. Make Them Look Different There's one other thing about mentors.

They're almost always old, experienced men.

Imagine if there was a wider range of mentors. Young men who've been th…

Tick Tock Goes the Clock

Writing. Words. Worlds. Scribbles. Languages. Imaginations.
(This bit is entirely random, you may ignore it if you wish.)

This post is for everyone who says they are too busy to write - I plead guilty - so let me tell you (and myself) that being too busy to write is impossible! All you have to do is carry around a pen or pencil or writing device and paper or a notebook - if you'd rather write in there - then stop somewhere - it can be in the car for all I care - and start scribbling words.

Please don't tell me you walk to school or never sit down for a break from something or that you never ever have 1 minute or less when you are doing absolutely nothing. Because you will get an extremely skeptical, maybe even confuddled - or if I'm really shocked, a conbafflated look.

For those who don't know, confuddled is confused and something else, and conbaffleated is confused, baffled and frustrated all at once.

You can write when you're sitting in the car, you can write dur…

10 Tips for Being Creative

We've all been there. You're really excited about this awesome project that you're going to do, and then you sit down to brainstorm ideas for it and there's just a blank page of endless nothingness.

Well, here are a few tips I have picked up that are actually quite helpful.

1. Exercise daily. It actually works. Even walking just two miles a day can really stimulate your brain. Also, it reduces the risk of things like dementia in later life, so it's definitely worth a try. Studies have shown that people who exercise four times or more in a week outperform those who don't. So get walking! Or running, or whatever it is you do.

2. Research using books. The easier information is to find, the less likely it is to stick on your head. Googling things generally leads to multitasking, which is bad for focus and basically means you won't learn as much. Consulting books and people improve your memory and capacity for learning.

3. Don't multitask. "The jack of…