Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Results Are In

Now let's look at last week's blog entry.

The first set of images, most people associated the Banana/Orange together as fruits. True. Some associated Monkey/Banana together. Also true. Adults, with a wider knowledge base will see 'fruit' as the binding factor while children, who haven't been taught the concept of 'fruit' saw something totally different, usually the monkey and banana. Kids go to zoos! For those that chose monkey/banana, this doesn't mean you haven't matured, it just indicates you have a child-like prespective. In other words, being able to see different corners.

Moving to the second set of images. Again, most people chose Seahorse/Shark with the ocean association. A couple picked Horse/Seahorse using the equine theory of 'horsies' -- both choices are fine. But, what about Horse/Rose? The association there? Kentucky Derby. Rose/Shark? Or Rose/Seahorse? Alphabetical. Horse/Shark? Both can bite.

There is no wrong answer but the answer reveals your mindset. Seahorse/Shark is very adult and educated. Horse/Seahorse is childlike and has the allure of riding a horse/horsie. Horse/Rose is a gambler who sees 'tips' to winning everywhere. Even more abstract is the person who views things alphabetical (an organizer) or even the person combining the bite aspect (a fear/phobia.)

So, now you are in the box and you've been looking at the corners. Most people just know the corner they are sitting in (Banana/Orange or Seahorse/Shark) yet for a writer, to be inside the mind of your character, you have to know what they are thinking... not what YOU are thinking.

As explained above, a child sees differently than an adult partially due to education and experience. A gambler thinks differently than a person with a phobia. Or perhaps your character sees the world in an orderly fashion.

One needn't go outside the box to find the answer -- everything is right there, neatly fitted into the four corners. Just peek around.

Want to try one more? Okay, here are four choices.
a) Horse
b) 3-Leaf Clover
c) Horse Shoe
d) Garden

Okay, tell me which two are grouped together and why. Use your character's mindset. Using last week's examples as a guide: Louie, a loser of a gambler, gazed at the horse and rose, he knew then that the Kentucky Derby winner's circle was calling to him -- he had to bet.

Now you use the new set (horse, clover, shoe, garden) and let us know.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Looking At The Corners Of The Box

This week is something really different. I'm sure you've all heard about 'thinking outside the box' or some such idea.

Today I want you inside the box. I want you to look at the different corners, to think beyond the ordinary, to take that extra step INSIDE the box. I see no reason to go gallavanting all over creation when what you want is right there in front of you. Just look!

I'm posting two (2) pictures of four (4) images each. There is a poll to the right. Select which two (2) items you thinks are the closest related. Imagine these items within your mind -- grass, sun, weeds, mower. Now of those four, which two do you feel are the closest related? Grass/sun? Grass/weeds? Grass/mower? Sun/weeds? Sun/mower? Weeds/mower? Me? I'd probably pick grass/mower.

So, here is picture one. Select using the poll to the right----->>

Now, here is picture two. Again, select using the poll to the right----->>

Now, there really isn't any right or wrong answer but tune in next week to see what the results are and what a possible answer would be if you were thinking from a different corner for your aspect.

My Bad -- Oops!

So, today is Tuesday and it should be Monday. Monday just whisked by me so fast I never even realized it was there. I am truly sorry. That's what happens when you get lost in your weekends.

Therefore, being late, I need to find a good topic for discussion. How about...

Writing Tricks.

How do you create scenes or settings? Do you use an image or picture to help you describe the setting? Have you re-envisioned the argument you had and used it for a scene? Looked out the window? Let music carry you away?

A good writer doesn't just say he walked into a room. That room has to have items; be it furniture, clutter, moving boxes, office equipment, operating table, etc. etc. There is something to sets that room apart from others. How do you describe it?

Again, your heroine doesn't just ride into the woods. There are trees. Are they large and looming oaks or majestic redwoods? A glen of first year birch? Crunching pine needles? Are there streams, slopes, rocks?

Is it a car? Or a sleek Maseratti, classic Rolls or even a clunky Model-T? Giving the letters BMW or SUV helps to define the vehicle. Car is so banal.

So what tricks do you use to establish your writing scenes to enlighten the reader?

Share a trick.

Monday, December 14, 2009

He Said - She Said

Following up on last week's topic about quotation marks, how about we dive into another scenario -- he said / she said.

Supposedly "said" is an innoculous word that just disappears into the writing. Does it really? Try reading your manuscript... or any other persons work of art and see if it really, REALLY does disappear. Oh, wait, I meant READ IT OUT LOUD!

Remember, at some point in your banal life you are hoping to hit it big-time. At that point, somebody is going to be forced to stand in front of an audience, whether it be a classroom of bored English students, a clutch of tea-sipping ladies of the afternoon white-glove society, or an artist performing at a coffee shop or elsewhere.

Yes, they will be reading YOU out loud.

How will you measure up?

So, do you believe that "said" just disappears or do you think it should be mixed with add-on phrases and substituted terms like: shouted, screamed, whispered, hissed, etc. I say this with drama to reinforce... I spat angrily... ETC ETC ETC

What are your thoughts on this little discussion?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today I have created The Writer Haven. This is a place for writers to gather and discuss topics of interest about writing with at least one issue each week. I will attempt to post on Mondays.

If nobody has any suggestions for topics, I will put forth a question to see if any others can shed a little light on the issue.

To get the ball rolling--

Dialog. At a meeting with other writers last night, one informed the group that she had just finished reading a book that didn't have any quotation marks used to set off dialog.

Is this something new in the publishing industry?
Have you seen anything like this?
Do you like / dislike this idea?