Saturday, July 26, 2008

What Happens Next?

Before I jump into this week's post. Big shout out for the Diviners and their wonderful celebration of my book. Please check out the blogs of Janet Lee Carey and Peggy King Anderson to find out more about the fun celebration. It's true I'm the keeper of the shhhhushhhing Nancy.

So this week's post is about the driving force within story. What happens next? This simple question is a good one to ask yourself. Is the set up for your reader so compelling that there is no way your reader can put your book down? Yah, your book better be that compelling. Direct your readers toward the true north. For there to be a magnetic force in you book, you've got to have a whole world of matter spinning inside it. My advice, look at your first chapter. Ask what is happening next. Is your character getting out of bed? Or is a tornado carrying your character up into the sky. Hey, which book do you want read?

Are you asking provocative questions that are impossible to ignore? I'm calling you up to a high place. This is the heart of mythic questions. I mean it. Who is your character? What do they want? Answer this! And consider this too. Are your characters charismatic? Really no one wants to hang out with annoying whiny people. Your job is to build that cauldron of sympathetic feeling in your reader.

I've talked about how bold you have to be to do this, but I'm going to add this: you have to be sure. To write meaningful books that are on a world-wide stage, you have to sure that you know what you are doing. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every scene, and every chapter must be executed with the best writing and most thoughtful intent. Yes, this is difficult, a daunting task. It's good to know this is done one word at a time. Also trust the voices: critiquers, readers, agents. The more stars you get in line the better off you are in terms of creating meaningful work.

Focus on creating a great story. Create a furnace, a star nursery, write your story. I hope this inspires you to be more.

I had to think about this. I hope you enjoy this doodle of the week. I call it Birth of a Star.

Remember: ©Molly Blaisdell, all rights reserved. If you want to use my cool doodles, ask permission first. It is so wrong to take people's doodles without permission!

If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's OK. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot. Confucius

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