Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
"Well, I used to be a..."
sparks an epiphany:
The transition of one of my favorite children's authors, Natalie Babbitt, whose writing days ended forever a couple of days ago, made me feel contemplative today. Words left in others' memories carve out our place on this planet better than any tombstone markers.
Monday, June 13, 2016
- If I want to portray a story of a nonconformist who follows only the supernatural stirrings within his own heart and soul, defying social norms to do so, because he knows somehow that he is right about society’s need for a new way of thinking, I need only study the story of Abraham.
- To create a complex tale of deception and extortion among family or friends, I can find material within the biblical scenes about blind Isaac; his scheming son, Jacob; his impulsive son, Esau; and their manipulative mother, Rebecca.
- For a novel centered on dangerous sibling rivalry that almost destroys a family and alters society itself, I could find source material in the ancient stories of Jacob and his twelve sons.
- To portray a boy whose deep friendship with another boy is gossiped about as “gay,” a boy who stands up for his friendship even if it means challenging authority, I need to study the Bible story of David and Jonathan—the original “bromance.”
- If I want to share a story of an outcast, morally corrupt young woman who redeems herself by risking her life for the sake of a greater social good, I can study the tale of Rahab, the prostitute, who saved a city from complete destruction.
- If I want to create a political tale of a paradoxically noble, yet self-centered leader whose downfall seems to be an addiction to sex, I could borrow from the story of King David (not to mention some recent historical figures).
- And if I decide to depict a story of a boy with psychic gifts, good looks, and charisma, a boy who evokes as much bitter envy as he does awe, a boy who becomes victimized by the ones meant to protect him, and then uses his gifts to reverse his fortune change the world, that’s the story of Joseph, son of Rachel and Jacob.
Etcetera… You get the idea. The archetypes of most multidimensional characters have already appeared in the world’s best-selling, longest-existing collection of tales of humanity. The bible is not just for religious study; it’s not just about laws and wars and punishments; it’s not just about obedience to God and warnings about defiance of commandments; the bible is the fountainhead of all humanity-based writing. Amen!
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
|To find wisdom: Be still, observe, experience!|
Thursday, April 24, 2014
My poem for Day 23 of National Poetry Writing Month simply had to use a literary conceit to honor the great poet! And here it is, full of words not usually considered poetic, to say the least, but in a sardonic, Shakespearian tone.
as a first step.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Most us of have heard the saying, “You’re only as good as your word.” Does that also imply that you’re only as memorable as your word(s), too? Does it matter whether you matter as much as the matter you write? Maybe you’re fine with remaining anonymous, letting your words supersede your self. But most writers have more ego than that; it’s not a bad thing, but a fact. If you’re like me, you write words because your inner graffiti artist wants to leave a mark upon the world, to draw eyes to unexpected views that represent you to others and make them remember you.
- Show your respect for words via precise word choices, no matter how many revisions it takes to find them.
- Show your respect for your readers via subtlety and conciseness, to honor their ability to interpret and their appreciation of precious time—both of which are disregarded by superfluous words and overwritten descriptions.
- Show your depth of observations and psychological insights by developing characters that seem realistic and evoke empathy from readers.
- Show your wit via well-paced, cleverly worded phrases that carry readers along, rather than force them to follow.
- Show your intelligence via apt analogies, thoughtful symbolism, and insightful observations.
- Show your style via figurative language that reflects images the way you’d post pictures on Instagram to reflect your personality.
- Show your values via your fictional characters’ successes and failures, qualities and faults, their coping methods, and their various points-of-view.
- Show your personal path in life by noticing and accentuating the thematic threads that run through many of your writings.
- Show your artistic influences via your allusions.
- Show your understanding of your readers by choosing age- and/or genre-appropriate matter to unfold.