Out and In and Out Again

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

The Straight Road to Kylie by Nico Medina was one of the first books I read about an openly gay character. In it, the main character starts off out of the closet and then goes back in to get something he wants. It’s definitely not “literary” fiction by any means, but when you’re starved for representation, you’re not always so concerned with the quality. All the books that I read when I was first accepting my sexuality still hold a place in my heart even if rereading them now would prove them to be problematic in some way or another. Think of what fictional character’s your protagonist relates to. Write a scene that explores what your protagonist has in common with this relatable character.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Plotting 101

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

So after reading Libbie Hawker’s outlining book Take Off Your Pants! I decided to check out John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story.  She had recommended it so highly that I had to see what the hype was about. While Libbie Hawker’s book is good for those that just need to get a better handle on plotting their books, John Truby’s book is a more encompassing guide for beginning writers. If you’re not sure where to start with writing full-length novels or films this could be a good place to start getting ideas. There are a lot of examples used to try to help you understand. If you’re not a beginner though you’re probably already familiar with a lot of the stuff that he covers in this book.  Write a scene where your character learns something new from familiar examples.

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

The Bones of Your Writing

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

I’ve continued my reading of writerly books with Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down The Bones. This book might feel like a waste of time if you’ve been writing for a while or studied writing a lot already. But if you’re just getting into writing and not sure where to start reading this could be a good start. The two best pieces of advice to take away from this book are to write every day and keep a list of subjects that interest you. More specifically than just write every day, Goldberg recommends a daily timed stream of consciousness/free writing session. She believes it will help clear your mind so you can ready yourself for more directed writing. I think it is worth a try. Maybe test out a couple weeks of free writing every day before trying to write more on your current project. The list of subjects makes a good jumping off points if you’re not sure where to start with a free write. Or use the writing prompts posted by me daily here and on my Tumblr. Inspired by this experiment to free write, try writing a scene where your character switches something up in their daily routine. Is it something as small as a new tooth past or something as drastic as switching from driving to biking to work?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Pants Off Planning

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Normally, I like to fill my reading time with fiction, but every so often it is good to read books on craft. I just finished reading Libbie Hawker’s book Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing. If you already have your own system for outlining your books or stories, then I don’t know how much this book will help you. It’s a fast read, and it never hurts to hear about how other writers work. If on the other hand, you don’t really know much about outlining a story this book could prove to be an excellent read for you. Whether you end up checking out the book or not, today write a scene that features a character that loves to plan everything out. Do plans always work out for them? If a plan doesn’t work out how do they react?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Journals, Diaries, and Other Daily Logs

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

This October I’ve resolved to read some of the classic books that our favorite monsters first appeared in. I started with Dracula. Other than very rigid ideas of gender that this book contains, which I blame mostly on the times that it was written in, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I love style of telling the story through journals, diaries, captain’s logs, and new paper clippings. Today write story that is composed in a similar manner. Dracula uses multiple character’s writing so as to get new insights and perspectives in the story. Will you use the same method or remain in the diary of one character?

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Recognizing Good and Evil

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I finished reading Good Omens this week! It was a really fun read and I definitely recommend it for anyone that likes stories that feature demons, angels, and other religious constructs outside The Bible’s context. The thing I liked most about the characters is that they don’t stick to the classic roles of good or evil that you’d expect from angels and demons. Today write a character that one would assume is either one or the other but defies everyone’s assumptions about her personality. What about her makes people assume this? Is she an angel or demon? Does she work in a career path that people have a negative connotation toward like lawyers or one people assume must make you a good person like a religious leader? How does she go about defying the assumptions about her character? 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades 

Stacking Worlds

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I’m reading a book called A Darker Shade of Magic. In it there are four different worlds that the character can travel through and in all four the city of London exists. There are specific rules about the way that the character can travel between worlds including what order you can move between them. He says the worlds are stacked like paper on top of each other. It’s a pretty interesting concept to be sure. Today write a scene that creates your own way of traveling between worlds. What are the rules? If you don’t like the idea of writing multiple worlds, write a scene where your character plans a specific route of travel. Why did your character select this route? What attractions are on the route or what threats are on the alternative routes that your character would like to avoid? Where is your character going? 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades 

Gone to Join The Circus 

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I finished up Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus this week. The book is a fun read for fantasy fans to be sure. There is something interesting about the point of view though with this one. Most of the book is told from third person point of view following the cast of characters freely as needed to tell the story. But there are also sections written in second person point of view. These sections are always descriptions of the different circus attractions that you can find in The Night Circus. Try out writing something where you mix points of view like this. Be sure that your switch in point of view has a purpose and is not done randomly through out the scene. 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades 

A Threat You Can’t See

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I recently finished Prey by Michael Crichton. The basic concept is about scientists that created robots smaller than the human blood cell. But as is the case with almost all science fiction the technology doesn’t work exactly as planned. The characters are then faced with a threat that is on an individual scale too small to be seen with the naked eye. It’s more terrifying than germs. Take inspiration from Prey and write about a character that is concerned with a threat that is that small in size. Is this character rightly concerned? Or is their fear on the level of hypochondria? 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades

Life by Degrees

Hello Beautiful Thinkers, 

I just finished Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a young adult romantic fantasy that features werewolves. The interesting thing though it that the change from human to wolf isn’t dependent on the moon cycle as is the tradition with werewolves. Instead they change based on temperature. When it is cold out they shift to wolves and as it warms up they shift back to humans. It was an interesting version of the werewolf that I hadn’t seen before. Write a scene that shows a dramatic change in your character’s life between different types of weather. Does your character experience seasonal depression? What other things can change in your character’s life with the weather. 

Keep Dreaming Beautiful Thinkers, 

The Boy In The Heart Shades