The Writers Craft_Intro to Writing Your Story



the writer's craft writing your story by Lear Lobo also known as dr. Cynthia : this is a nonprofit Commons and SD games and simulations network session for the not at SD 2019 event location held in Second Life everyone has a story to share the topics today or why writing matters your legacy or writing daily whose story is it your audience focus genre theme and of course we'll talk about a few future topics this is part of a series on the writer's craft why writing matters is your story about social good is it fiction or fantasy or is it blended reality a little of both writing is our is on death battle why do we write love us to inform to educate to entertain we're telling life stories in social good we may be looking at the challenges faced life's value and meaning empathy and our joys and triumphs share your wisdom through your writing if we think about your legacy I'm reminded of the movie Out of Africa remember at the end when Isak Dinesen 'he's wonderful quote is told by meryl streep will africa sing a song of me is how i think of it if I know a song of Africa of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back of the ploughs in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee Pickers does Africa know a song of me will the air over the plane quiver with the color that I have had on or the children invent a game in which my name is or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me or will the Eagles of the young Gong Hills will they look out for me right daily right without fear keep a journal or blog put down your notable quotables your powerful thoughts let go of perfection don't second-guess yourself it's okay to make mistakes when you're getting your ideas down microblog on Twitter but be careful what you say right photo journal collect your photos and let them inspire you I'm featuring photos from the Fantasy Faire and from Johnny key library and other events in Second Life that have had meaning for me maybe you like a video blog and you like to see and share both the sound and the texture of your writing remember right first edit later edits are like speed bumps you know how they feel when you're driving they feel even worse when you're writing keep track of your words and get them down first join a writer's community you could join the National Novel Writing Month which is NaNoWriMo within November or in July and in April there's camp NaNoWriMo it's free and you get to be part of a community there are benefits and inspirational emails and you can be part of a cabin and have this sense of community as you're writing you're not alone but write a few words each day because writing is a lonely to task you are alone when you're writing write but you're not alone in the sense that you're telling your story everyone has a story so finish your first draft you don't have to do a book you could do a short story it could be a testimonial it could be something memorable that you want to save read it and then edit it your audience who will read your story well here we're sitting at Shauna Key library listening to the storytellers several times a week they they read and and enact these very powerful wonderful stories on Sundays they do tea time at Baker Street or other mysteries are you going to talk about caregivers or mentors perhaps your family or your friends is your audience your community or is it the world are they also the subjects of your book what do they want to know and what do you want to share so your stories focus is it about a character or more than one character is it about a place is the place that what matters most like Hogwarts right or is it an event is it something a moment in time in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is Alice's Story is it her story or is it a story about Wonderland what is the focus there is your story nonfiction or fiction maybe it's a little of both right especially for confidentiality when there's privacy issues you might decide you know to to form an analogy or a parallel story and to preserve the privacy of the people involved do you need an alias when you write your own name or do you need an alias for your characters and is it fiction and if it is is your story going to be genre fiction or literary fiction lastly well the people featured in your story if it's not fiction if it's nonfiction well they feel safe if others recognize their story well let's look at fiction for a moment genre fiction are the categories on the right romance mystery and suspense science fiction and fantasy westerns and there's many more subgenres the characters are both radically changed after the hero's journey genre fiction tends to follow the three extra stages of the hero's journey the call to adventure refusal to take the call and so forth going through conflict and crisis escalating in tension until you know you reach the the return with the elixir literary fiction in contrast transforms the reader so notice genre fiction transforms the characters in the book one or more of them literary fiction transforms you the reader when you read read literary fiction so it transcends the rules of genre fiction and if you're wondering what are those roles we're really not going to get into them much but let me give you an example in romance fictions two more more people meet right and early in the story needs to be the first chapter they have conflicts in crisis that of course keeps them apart or is a barrier to their love how they overcome these barriers is what makes the story interesting and then of course at the end there's an expectation they'll get together otherwise it's like Romeo and Juliet right they get together but it's a tragedy so in literary fiction you might see parallels or symbolism you might see metaphor and certainly you're gonna see emotion and tension it makes the characters feel real and an impossible story believable these are words by Donald Moss who's given quite a few workshops has several books and has a noted agent in the writing industry this is from fire and the fiction and I do recommend his work those same qualities are important for genre fiction too for other forms of fiction and you can apply them also to your nonfiction so if you were telling a social good story about some horrific event and how the people involved overcame it you know they triumphed over it you might be very interested in explaining how they felt what were the tensions how did the room smell how did you know what you know was it cold was it hot you use the five senses and draw us into the story Fein there are a variety of themes in fiction of course I've listed 11 possible here but there probably hundreds and I'm giving you some links to some of those more detailed themes but imagine love conquers all Jane Eyre death Romeo and Juliet it's also a love story but with the tragic spoilers and then of course some the good versus evil the stand by Stephen King a social good story The Miracle Worker coming-of-age Little Women is the example a story of power and corruption we can think of several Lord of the Rings Game of Thrones there's quite a few survival well for me it's the Martian let's face it when you're stranded on Mars you don't have food and you're trying to grow some and the winds keep kicking up that's survival and then courage we have the Hobbit and unlike the Heroes has a call to action prejudice there are many To Kill a Mockingbird and of course I've listed Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen then the individual versus society many of you may be thinking of 1984 but of course my favourites are Star Trek that was the movies 2 through 4 when Spock makes the ultimate sacrifice because the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one but his teammates you know disagree and that's what makes the story so interesting and then of course we have war Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind you know that's a story about a place and a person the place is you guessed it it's tura her estate and of course it opens with it and it closes with it and it's an amazing story so I recommend you look at some of these stories and think about and I know some of them were movies but movies are important too and here's a parting thought about movies you know how we talk about active versus passive voice active voice is when you don't have a linking verb with your verb and it's past tense and you you've put the the reader in the action you've brought the camera if we were thinking of a movie you've brought the camera close so there's a close-up on the faces there's a close-up on the action and we almost feel it we're jerking in our seats in response to something horrific right meanwhile passive voice pulls the camera back it gives us emotional distance we're now looking at the scene maybe in whites white spectrum right and of course we see it but we're kind of detached from it now there's a good reason for using passive voice and detachment and an example would be she had discovered as opposed to she discovered when you when you start using passive voice you can also flip around the subject noun and you can also obscure who's performing the action you can play some tricks with it but one of the things to think about is if you're writing about something horrific maybe you're writing about a hospice maybe you're writing about people who are dying daily and of course the caregivers perspective is they're trying to be cheerful and and help everyone have a meaningful and wonderful life and to die with dignity well that's a very sad and difficult scenario if you're writing about it you might have the reader care and feel the emotion but at some point you might provide a little bit of relief through passive voice and through some detachment from the scene it's a technique that I believe that caregivers have to exercise from time to time you know to control their own emotions and to continue in that field well there's some links there for themes and literary devices and you of course can disagree with me and your stories you decide how much emotion and how much pathos is appropriate so what are we going to talk about in future topics well we're gonna look at some writing topics and I've already alluded to a couple of them but we really haven't talked about plot or story architecture we haven't done into character development and we must have villains in social good stories the villains aren't always people sometimes their disease bacterial poverty there's a variety of villains and then of course of the five senses how we how we help the reader experience empathy by understanding what it's like to be in that situation then of course some juicy conflicts you gotta have them and a story synopsis is let's think of it as a sentence or two that describes the story and then perhaps a two-page synopsis it summarizes it so you have a sense of what are you doing in this story then decisions about nonfiction and of course APA style because if we're going to talk about other people's work or other situations it's very helpful to use references citations and of course to use integrity and and use an ethical writing I have other workshops online under digital storytelling and the writers craft and these slides are going online at slideshare.net slash near Lobo slash presentations another workshop will cover publishing you might need more than one it's a big topic but of course there's everything from publishing on the web self publishing publishing ebooks and then of course all the things you need for a book like book covers and book formatting frontmatter the back cover some of you are thinking what if I'm only doing an e-book or a Kindle or a nook or you know one of these forms of books maybe and I I book the thing is do I need a back cover and of course think of it as after they've finished the story what happens next in your book are you going to direct them to other books oh you're going to talk about the author you're gonna give them some historical facts or where to find out more information that kind of thing perhaps you have maps or of them you want to direct them back to your agency if you're if you're telling a social good story and you want them to participate in future stories you could even invite them to participate in an anthology which is a collection of stories written by different people like chapters in a book and then of course you can use some of your writing as a fundraising vehicle perhaps little snippets from it or short stories whatever you plan to do with your writing don't forget to write writing matters any questions you can contact me and there's there's contact information on several of my social media sites I am on twitter.com slash near Lobo that's the easiest way to reach me by direct message or it's route week join us for future sessions on the writer's craft write often and without fear I'm there Lobo better known as dr. Cynthia Killeen and keep on writing bye bye

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