Jan 19, 2015
I've been working on my notes for a workshop I'm co-teaching this spring, called "Beyond Main Characters." Our plan is to focus on supporting characters and transitional scenes, to examine how these elements operate in novels, how they work and how they don't.
Ensemble casts are one of my favorite things to talk about, especially because I love television. And any time I get the chance to talk about tv sitcoms and writing at the same time is a great day for me. For example, let's compare and contrast I LOVE LUCY and FRIENDS. The first had a clear hierarchy in its characterization. Lucy and Ricky were "front seat" people, while Ethel and Fred were relegated to the back, providing comic support and drawing out the main characters' stories. FRIENDS, on the other hand, was a true, balanced ensemble. (Sure, Jennifer Aniston became more famous than the others, but that's another discussion.) Each character got a chance to be central, to express emotion, to be a complete, rounded person in the fictional world of the show.
How does your novel operate? How do your supporting characters define your protagonist's experience? Do you have multiple points-of-view that work together to form the story, or one main character who drives the car?
[For more information on "Beyond Main Characters," check out the Highlights website here.]
Jan 6, 2015
This is our meadow.
In our neighborhood, there's a dirt road that threads between the houses and leads to this wide-open expanse of space. Each season in the meadow brings its own characters. Right now, there is a family of beavers building homes in the creek, gnawing and stripping trees to construct a dam, to control the water, to stake their claim.
Sometimes I imagine magical things happening in the meadow. Sometimes sinister things, instead.
What do you see?
so, the holidays are behind us, and we have begun a new year. i've seen a lot of folks choosing a single word to carry through 2015 and without quite intending to do the same, i think i've found one too: anticipation.
i like this word because it combines so many elements. joy, anxiety, possibility, emotion. it's all about the future, about being open to what's coming. and i've got some good stuff coming this year!
so stay tuned, check back, and be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter so you don't miss any good news.