Prep for NaNo Month – Step 4 & Goal Setting

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Prep for National Novel Writing Month – 4th Steps

Thirty days and nights of literary abandon. About 100 novels have been published from NanoWriMo efforts. See the list.

Okay, NaNoWriMo starts Thursday!  If you’d like to try drafting a 50,000-word novel in November, register here.

Scenes

The night was dank and dreary (hmmmm). Frankenstein-green light drenched the tired and quiet bus riders. Across from me, a woman clutched a book so closely that I thought she’d either eat it or squeeze inside. When I asked what she was reading, she replied, “Half Blood Prince,” the sixth Harry Potter novel.
Because I knew that one important character died, I asked, “Was it Hagrid?” To my surprise, everyone on the bus perked up and eavesdropped. Conversations about Potter erupted. And I wondered, How did Rowling do it?
Paying careful attention to the last book, Deathly Hallows, I realized that J. K. Rowling enraptured readers with her mastery of The Scene, which is:
  • A Setting (either implicit or explicit), with
  • Two or more characters
  • Interacting in ways that propel the story toward the next scene

Scenes are different from exposition: explanations, observations and introspective passages. Consider concentrating on scenes during NaNoWriMo. Keep asking: What happens? What happens next?

Tracking

A log or process for recalling what has been written and where it is will prove most helpful (and reduce hair pulling), especially after about 50 pages of “literary abandon.” Mine is available for $15. 

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Worth A Look  

In each issue, BriteLitesBiz presents a video specially selected to inspire, motivate, enlighten and prompt WordSmithing.  This issue’s 5-minute video presents a seven-step sequence for achieving goals.

Nominate a video for “Worth A Look.”  When selected, receive art featured in Sandra’s gallery.

Support BriteLitesBiz

TSTL 5 Each week, BriteLitesBiz delivers information and inspiration for WordSmiths.

Support by clicking on the image and shopping in my galleries where the art can be purchased, either as prints for less than  $20 or custom framed. Note the Weekly Specials.
BriteLites can also be supported with a $20 gift.  Thank you
Payments
Also visit SoulSongz, my blog that presents art for healing and high achievement.  This Issue:  #35 – Boo!  Possibilities.  “You Deserve.”
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#35 – Boo! Possibilities & "You Deserve" video

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Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark  things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities – always see  them, for they’re always there.
Norman Vincent Peale

When I was in tenth grade, we lived on a lonely hilltop surrounded by apple and pear, cherry and peach trees.  One gray afternoon, as I strode from the kitchen, as I expected the dining room to open before me, a monstrous form hovered above the door.  I was so horrified, I fell flat on my back (so much for the fright-flight response).

My kid sister never said, “Boo!”  And I think she was too shocked at how discombobulated I was to laugh … right away.  Nowadays,  recalling that humiliating and offensive incident, I think of how Zig Ziglar explained that “fear” is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real.

If I’d looked up, I’d have seen my sister standing on that furniture, arching her arms and wriggling her fingers in that stupid,  “Creature From The Black Lagoon” imitation.  If I’d looked up.  If.

A Question:    What scares me these days?

An Affirmation:  Every breath I inhale calms me.  Every breath I exhale takes away tension and open a space for brighter possibilities.   Source

Worth A Look

Each week, SoulSongz searches the internet for videos that can inspire, uplift and motivate.  This 48-minute presentation was one of the most popular on PBS.  SoulSongz hopes that it inspires smiles as well as great ideas.

Nominate videos for SoulSongz’s “Worth A Look.”   When selected, receive art featured in Sandra’s gallery.

Critiquing Critics

BriteLitesBiz, Information & Inspiration for WordSmiths

 This week, 18th century author Guy de Maupassant critiques critics.  This week, BriteLites will also offer final preparations for November’s National Novel Writing Month.  Visit BriteLitesBiz.

Support SoulSongz

Each week, SoulSongz delivers lovely art and enriching information.  Support by visiting Sandra’s galleries where her art can be purchased, either as prints for less than $20 or custom framed.  Note the Weekly Specials.
SoulSongz can also be supported with a $20 gift.  Thank you.   Payments

#36 Critiquing Critics – de Maupassant Pt 1

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Guy de Maupassant

Through this series that revisits 19th century authors, BriteLitesBiz invites discussion of topics that remain important to WordSmiths. The intro stated,

Although Henry James one time observed that “in dissertation M. de Maupassant does not write with his best pen,” this discussion of the novel is one of the few really lucid essays on the subject.

Thank goodness!   And — symbolically — deMaupassant lambasts more than those who publish opinions about books.

*

From de Maupassant’s introduction to Pierre et Jean.

In the midst of eulogistic sentences I find regularly this one, by the same pen:  “The greatest fault in this work is that it is not a novel, properly speaking.”

One could reply by the same argument:  “The greatest fault in the writer who does me the honor to judge my work is that he is not a critic.”

What are, in truth, the essential characteristics of the critic?

Without prejudice, without preconceived opinions, without the ideas of a school, without affiliations with any special group of artists, he must understand, distinguish, and explain all tendencies the most opposite, temperaments the most contrary, and acknowledge artistic innovations of the most diverse character.

Now the critic who after Manon Lescaut, Paul et Virginie, Don Quixote, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Werther … Madame Bovary, Adolphe, M. de Camors, L’Assommoir, Sapho, etc., dares still to write “This is a novel and that is not,” seems to me to be endowed with a perspicacity which strongly resembles incompetence.

Ordinarily the critic understands by “novel” an adventure more or less probable, arranged in the fashion of a drama in three acts, of which the first contains the exposition, the second the action, and the third the denouement.

This manner of composing is absolutely admissible on condition that one accept equally all the others.

Do rules exist for writing a novel, outside of which a written narrative ought to bear some other name?

To be continued

Mid Week, Watch for:

4th Step in Preparing for National Novel Writing Month

Setting Achievable Goals (a Zig video)

Be sure to visit my SoulSongz blog with the autumn theme, “The Sky’s The Limit.”
Boo!

Support BriteLites with a $20 gift.  Thank you.
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#35 – WordSmith Perfection & The Hero’s Journey

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Through this series that revisits 19th century authors, BriteLitesBiz invites discussion of topics that remain important to WordSmiths. This sixth and final excerpt from Robert Louis Steven’s “The Morality of The Profession of Letters” gives a thought-provoking perspective on perfection in writing.

Perfection
Complete text of Stevenson’s “The Morality of The Profession of Writing”

There is no book perfect, even in design; but there are many that will delight, improve, or encourage the reader. On the one hand, the Hebrew psalms are the only religious poetry on earth; yet they contain sallies that savour rankly of the man of blood.

On the other hand, Alfred de Musset had a poisoned and contorted nature; I am only quoting that generous and frivolous giant, old Dumas, when I accuse him of a bad heart; yet when the impulse under which he wrote was purely creative, he could give us works like Carmosine or Fantasio, in which the last note of the romantic comedy seems to have been found again to touch and please us.

When Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary, I believe he thought chiefly of a somewhat morbid realism; and behold! The book turned in his hands into a masterpiece of appalling morality.

But the truth is, when books are conceived under a great stress, with a soul of ninefold power, nine times heated and electrified by effort, the conditions of our being are seized with such an ample grasp, that, even should the main design be trivial or base, some truth and beauty cannot fail to be expressed.

Out of the strong comes forth sweetness; but an ill thing poorly done is an ill thing top and bottom.  And so this can be no encouragement to the knock-kneed, feeble-wristed scribes, who must take their business conscientiously or be ashamed to practice it.

Okay, so I’ll try really hard not to be knock-kneed and feeble-wristed during National Novel Writing Month.  How about you?
Sandra

 

Sandra’s Prep for National Novel Writing Month – 3rd Steps

Thirty days and nights of literary abandon.

Okay, NaNoWriMo starts in ten days!  If you’d like to take try drafting a 50,000-word novel in November, register here.

 Setting

Decide where the story unfolds.  Settings can change after the 1st draft is done, but – for now – in what real or make-believe places will characters either succeed or fail.  (General, inept failure isn’t so great.  Heroic, magnificent failure can be awesome.)

 Structure

Sketch about a dozen stages in the story’s progress, from the main character realizing they’ve got a problem to resolution.  This process can be helped by deciding what BIG thing is at stake for the main character.  The Hero’s Journey is a tried and true, millennia-old crowd pleaser.

SUPPORT BRITE LITES

Each week, BriteLitesBiz delivers information and inspiration for WordSmiths.

Support by clicking here and shopping in my galleries where the art can be purchased, either as prints for less than  $20 or custom framed. Note the Weekly Specials.

BriteLites can also be supported with a $20 gift.  Thank you.
Payments
Also visit SoulSongz, my blog that presents art for healing and high achievement.  This Issue:  #34 – To Have Succeeded.

# 34 – To Have Succeeded & Zig Ziglar (video)

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The Sky’s The Limit #4

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children …
to leave the world a better place …
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was radical. Way before the Civil War, he believed that everything is connected to God; therefore, divine. Because of that divinity-by-association, he wrote,

Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Accept the place the divine providence has found for you,
the society of your contemporaries,
the connection of events.
“Self Reliance”

Through SoulSongz’s “The Sky’s The Limit” series, I seek different voices to remind that I can accomplish a lot. And a lot can begin by lifting my head. I’m well acquainted with how sidewalks and dirt and rocks look. I watch them to keep from tripping. But to stop from time to time and study what’s up … whether day or dark, clear or cloudy, to experience the world above, ah, that’s special. Sky-gazing, this week,

I ask: How can I leave the world a better place?

I affirm: I can start by smiling. I can begin by listening. I can take great joy in offering these gifts, and I can _____________________________________________.

Okay, I’ll try this approach on a moment-to-moment, case-by-case basis.

What do you ask? What do you affirm?

Worth A Look

Each week, SoulSongz searches the internet for videos that can inspire, uplift and motivate.
This will be one of the best 9 minutes of your life.  You’ll wind up with a big smile as well as a great goal.
Nominate videos for SoulSongz’s “Worth A Look.”   When selected, receive art featured at www.SandraGouldFord.ImageKind.com
 Support SoulSongz

Each week, SoulSongz delivers lovely art and enriching information.  Support by visiting my galleries where art can be purchased, either as prints for less than $20 or custom framed.  Note the Weekly Specials.
SoulSongz can also be supported with a $20 gift.  Thank you.   Payments
BriteLitesBiz

Information & Inspiration for WordSmiths

This week, Robert Louis Stevenson discusses perfection in writing.  Click on the picture. See and comment on this week’s a short excerpt from an essay by Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Kidnapped, Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

#33 – By Any Means & How Celebrities Transform Troubles

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The Sky’s The Limit #3

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

This photograph was taken while I drove through Utah’s canyonlands.  Coming from a very green and hilly region, the wide, weather-sculpted terrain astounded me.

While little lives in that austere land, the place inspires.  Looking at this image again and again, I know that I am small.  Yet, because I am of the elements that gave that place substance and energy, majesty fills me.

That I could experience a world that huge ignites sky-high possibilities.  I know that I must begin now, doing all the good I can, by all the means I can, so …

I ask:  What magnificent things can I do today, this week, this year?

I affirm:  I am blessed with fine abilities, talents and connections.  With them, I can ________________________________________.

Next Post:  To Have Succeeded

Worth A Look
A 13-minute conversation with Charlie Rose about how celebrities transform their problems into courage and confidence.

See Also

#34 Write True & Alice McDermott video

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Fiction is to the grown man what play is to the child;
it is there that he changes the atmosphere and tenor of his life.
Robert Louis Stevenson

See also his collected poetry

I still contend that, in the humblest sort of literary work,
we have it in our power either to do great harm or great good.
– Robert Louis Stevenson

These words are from a portion of Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay that are not in BriteLites’ serialization but will be part of the whole that is offered shortly.  While Stevenson was denouncing the sensational and mediocre, mundane and dishonest journalism of his time, his words are reminders to all who write, whether non fiction, fantasy or poetry.

Through this series that revisits 19th century authors, BriteLitesBiz invites discussion of topics that remain important to WordSmiths.  Following is the fifth excerpt from Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Morality of The Profession of Letters.”

The Two Duties of All Writers

There are two duties incumbent upon any man who enters on the business of writing: truth to the fact and a good spirit in the treatment.

In every department of literature, though so low as hardly to deserve the name, truth to the fact is of importance to the education and comfort of mankind, and so hard to preserve, that the faithful trying to do so will lend some dignity to the man who tries it.  Our judgments are based upon two things: first, upon the original preferences of our soul; but, second, upon the mass testimony to the nature of God, man, and the universe which reaches us, in divers manners, from without.

For the most part these diverse manners are reducible to one, all that we learn of past times and much that we learn of our own reaching us through the medium of books or papers, and even he who cannot read learning from the same source at second-hand and by the report of him who can.  Thus the sum of the contemporary knowledge or ignorance of good and evil is, in large measure, the handiwork of those who write.  Those who write have to see that each man’s knowledge is, as near aas they can make it, answerable to the facts of life; that he shall not suppose himself an angel or a monster; nor take this world for a hell; nor be suffered to image that all rights are concentred in his own caste or country, or all veracities in his own parochial creed.

Each man should learn what is within him, that he may strive to men; he must be taught what is without him, that he may be kind to others.  It can never be wrong to tell him the truth; for, in his disputable state, weaving as he goes his theory of life, steering himself, cheering or reproving others, all facts are of the first importance to his conduct; and even if a fact shall discourage or corrupt him, it is still best that he should know it; for it is in this world as it is, and not in a world made easy by educational suppressions, that he must win his way to shame or glory. In one word, it must always be foul to tell what is false; and it can never be safe to suppress what is true.

Watch for mid-week posting
NANOWriMo Prep, 2nd Step

National Book Award winner Alice McDermott discusses her process with Charlie Rose
10 minutes