Monday, October 13, 2014

Does Standing On Your Head Help Your Writing?


Feel as if you have tried everything except standing on your head to make your story interesting, but the words are just sitting on the page like a big blob?

Trying to Write a Good Story
(Photo by Carol Newman)

Here is the reason why.

A list of events, no matter how artfully created, does not make a story. The list of events has to mean something. It has to mean something in your life; it has to mean something in the life of the reader.

That's it. That's all there is to it.

Great. How do I do that? Try the Launching Pad.


List  at least three important or life-changing events during the time of your life. You might think of these as turning points. Turning points may be large or small.

For each turning point tell how you were changed, what led up to this change, what life situation were you struggling with, what solutions had you tried that didn't work? What was at stake?

For example, a turning point in my life was when in college I changed my major from business to English. It changed how I thought of myself, how I saw my future, my friends, and my sense of happiness. Before, I hated my classes, hated college, hated the future I saw for myself, and couldn't relate to the other people in my classes. I tried studying harder, not studying at all, cutting class, and piling on my class load. Then one day I slipped into a large lecture hall where a famous play was being discussed. Oh now, this is what I want to study, what I want to read about and think about. But, I was still at an age where I did what my parents told me to do and my mother would be furious if I changed my major from the one she had picked for me. Still, I saw my future in a room with twenty typewriters teaching sixteen-year-olds how to type and I knew I could face my mother easier than I could face that.

Maybe your turning point was starting a business, loss of a loved one, an illness you suffered, or a crisis of faith or renewal of faith.

How did such events change you and the course of your life? How did your life change for the better. Even though the event may have been something like loss of a loved one or loss of a job, think about the people or groups who helped you through it. Think about how you grew in character as a result of your suffering. Write about those things.

HERE IS THE KEY TO MAKING THIS WORK: In your final draft, reverse the order of all the above. First, show the reader the problem, then let us see you struggle, trying one thing after another, then let us see your aha moment and finally, show how you were changed. And, maybe let us know what you learned -- but DO NOT say "This is what I learned."

Write with turning points in mind and you will have readers immersed in your story as they read to find out what happened next. 

You may even discover a few things about yourself and feel affirmed and strong.

Don't mess with me. I am strong enough to claw your eyes out. But I am also strong enough not to want to.
(Photo by Carol Newman)

Look how strong and confident you feel now. You felt all upside down and beaten by life events; but you honestly wrote through it and came out the other side.


Brownie Bowls

I am unsure if Dryer's brand of ice cream is available in the Kansas City area, (We have Bryer's - is that the same?) but since it is their recipe and their photos and it looks so good, I am including the brand names. If it is available where you live, give it a try.

Dreyer's Super Sundae Brownie Bowl

"Here's an easy way to push your already extraordinary Dreyer's ice cream sundae over the top – a fresh-baked brownie bowl. And the best part? You don't have to wash the bowl since you get to eat it!"

You will need:

DREYER'S GRAND NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Cookie Dough ice cream or SLOW CHURNED® Cookie Dough light ice cream

Brownie batter (made from your favorite recipe)
2 muffin tins
Cooking spray
Chocolate sauce

Follow the directions for your favorite brownie recipe to make the batter.
Spray cups of a muffin tin with cooking spray, and add brownie batter to each cup until they're about two-thirds full.
Spray the second muffin tin with cooking spray and place on top of the first tin of brownies.
Place in the oven and bake, following your brownie recipe's directions.
After the bowls are completely cool, add a scoop of ice cream, top with chocolate sauce and sprinkles, and enjoy!

Note: I am thinking about pumpkin ice cream for Thanksgiving or peppermint for Christmas. Or coffee ice cream for any old time.  How good would that be! 

Today's blog post is adapted from page 25 of Write Your Life Story in Eight Weeks Workbook - Second Edition.Write Your Life Story Workbook

All rights reserved 2014 There's An Angel In Your Inkwell®Write Your Life Story Workbook

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