Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Character Development Series-Move Around the World

Nothing makes you reexamine your priorities like packing. When you can only take a few things with you on a trip, or when moving, it makes it a whole lot easier to figure out what really matters to you.

I need to take clothes, food, my laptop, the cat, my books, etc.

I think I can live without my CD player, the kitchen sink, high heels, and my fork collection.

Take a few minutes with your character to reexamine their priorities with them. What possessions can they not bear to leave behind, and what could they do without?

When you're finished, comment below, I'd love to hear what your characters would pack, and what they'd leave behind!

To view the entire Character Development Series click here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tell a Story Day

Today, April 27, is "Tell a Story Day".

I had intended to write a short story to share with you in honor of  the occasion, but I got distracted, and reorganized my closet instead, sorry.

While I was going through the piles and piles of journals and notebooks that I dropped on my head. I came across my old story notebook, and have decided to share with you the first story I ever wrote.

This is: "The Great Hamster Hotel" written by seven year old me. Enjoy!

So go tell a story, it's never too early, or too late, to start writing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Character Development Series-A Past Crush

"He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not..." 

In honor of the obscure holiday "Lover's Day" give your character a past crush and bring them together again.

Comment below, I'd love to hear what happens!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hope and Easter

Happy Resurrection day! Today we celebrate the completion of the greatest story ever told. Today, over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, and saved us all from death. Now because of him we don't have to live in sin and death, we have been forgiven and rescued.We know that bad things may happen, life may be stormy and terrifying, but this is not the end. We know that better things are still to come. Because of Him we have hope.

Hope is what makes a good story great. Think about it, at the end of your favorite book are all the main characters dead? Did they fail their quest? Did the villain win? No, good triumphed over evil. It might have cost a great price, but in the end they never lost hope. They may have doubted a few times, but they achieved their goal. What are we left with when we read "The End"? A sense of satisfaction, and hope for the characters, that they will live on. That life may not always be easy but they will find a way to overcome evil, and a way to live happily ever after.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;        
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;      
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Character Development Series-Make a Sandwich

Sandwiches are great. There are endless varieties, they're really simple to make, and super delicious!

What kind of sandwich a person eats, can tell a lot about them. What kind of sandwich would your character eat? 

My character Nadasa from "The Paths of Thyme" would have a sandwich made with rye bread, with a thick slice of ham, spinach, and goat cheese.

Another one of my characters, Esther, from one of my many WIPs loves grilled cheese with tomatoes.

I'd love to hear about your character's sandwiches, please comment below! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Festival of Faith and Writing

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Over the weekend I attended my first writing conference: Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing. Over the past three days I did a lot of walking, listened to many different speakers, filled my mind with new ideas and concepts, met fellow writers, and added many more books to my ever growing to read list.

I learned many new things, some of which I will share with you over the next few weeks, but if you asked me what one thing I took away from the conference as a whole, what stood out to me the most. Between the many speakers and lectures, the endless topics and ideas. The thing that made the biggest impression on me was the fact that writing is not a career choice made by me, writing is not a fun hobby I decided to pick up, writing is not a way for me to win fame and fortune. 

Writing is what I've been called to do by God. It was never up to me, I've been called by God, and I never stood a chance, even from the beginning.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Character Development Series-Ghost Story

Put yourself in your character's shoes, you and your companions are sitting around a campfire, it's dark. The only sounds come from the crackling of the fire, and the chirping of the crickets.

Write for a few minutes. Have your character tell a ghost story to their companions around the campfire. What kind of story would they tell? Anything goes, and when you're finished, post your story in the comments, I'd love to hear what you've come up with!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rampant Violence in YA Fiction

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The half a dozen books above, are just a few examples of the rise in the popularity of extremely violent YA books. It's not that I don't enjoy an exciting book where the stakes are high, and the hero has a lot to lose, I do, just like anyone else. I have actually read all of these, and enjoyed about half of them, but what struck me most was the amount of violence throughout them all. All you have to do is browse through the YA section in the library or book store, and you'll see a startling amount of dark themes on the shelves. Violence, I believe is the most popular, but there are others: abuse, demons, mind control, zombies, depression, vampires, addiction, witches, and suicide, just to name a few. 

It kind of makes you wonder if there's something wrong with our society. If these are the kind of books that are flying off the shelves, then what does that say about the people who fill their minds with this stuff? If you enjoy these books, I'm not judging you, I'm just wondering if this overexposure to violence correlates with the significant rise in crime over that past few years. It's not just books, it's television, movies, and video games. Are we being desensitized to violence, so that we won't think its that big of a deal anymore? If we are constantly bombarded with brutality in our entertainment, then will we have the courage to stand up against it if the time comes? Or will our moral compasses be too corroded and corrupted to alert us to the fact that something is wrong? I'm not telling you that you should stop reading YA books, or that you should sell your TV in a garage sale. All I want you to remember is that what you fill your mind with is what you become.

"For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think." -Buddha

Friday, April 4, 2014

Favorite Books

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Girl

Once upon a time, there was a girl. There wasn't anything particularly special about this girl. She was shy, and lived a quiet life. One day she opened a book and discovered that the world was much bigger than she had ever imagined. Since that day, the girl has discovered that she has her own story to tell, and has picked up a pen to write it.