August 4, 2012
The best way to pace yourself is with a deadline for what you want to achieve, a goal. Amazing are the results. The ending date is the polished date, the final show. This is the show of labors, the results; which could be a book, movie, painting, or verbal telling. Best is we ingest the process becoming what we did, the goal. What is remembered the experiences add up and help feed the next goal. clarionwriteathon.org
When I first started the process of story, as a child, I was the story, then I saw the story, then I told the story and now after years, I mean years of practice, and goal setting, I can write a story. Yes, I can plot and write a story, after all the practice of the being, drawing, seeing, and preforming the characters, who make the of writing more interesting (spelling and grammar excluded). However, I need a deadline because of all the life that goes around me and I need focus to finish a project - like preparing a fine meal for friends on to be served a certain date. CampNaNoWriMo.
January 23, 2010
The where! Here I am again in my head going over and over the place of the story - this voice and that voice of the characters here and there. Oh! there's the character.
WHERE IS this character?
I see her dancing in the sky. I'm carefully observing what the character looks like, and how does she move, what age. Opps! That's me! I'm looking around thinking. Where? There she is, young about 10 years old, dancing on a dry dirt path, yes, with her friend. Or, is that her brother? Yes, her brother who is younger. They run to catch huge green grasshoppers. The dirt path is dusty and long. Now I see the overview: the long dirt road through the field of tall dry grasses in front of them, the old brick train buildings behind and to the left, and the trees and creek to the right. They are running on the old train road in the old forgotten train yard.
Okay that is the physical place?
How is the character feeling about the path, her brother, and the grasshopper? How she feels is the emotional place for the reader or listener --- the audience.
Where is her mental place?
Okay, I'll float awhile gathering the moment. Happy, tired, excited, or maybe mad? No, she is happy running and dancing. The air is hot, she is sweating. No breeze, still and hot! Only for wind created while running. Opps! the grasshopper she holds spits on her hand, now she jumps, screaming, ICK! No, water to wash he hand. Her brother, much younger, comes over to help. He wipes the 'tocacco' off. She feels love and trust for him. They are on a journey alone with no mom and dad to their grandma's house. They run fast afraid of many bums, which live there. They have seen them and hear the stories of their gangs. The girl is very thirsty and getting tired from the running, now dancing. Although happy to be with her strong brother, they are in a race to reach Grandma's and to enjoy her fresh baked cinnamon rolls with butter which always wait for them.
Now the story unfolds.
Next, dear writer, what do the characters look like?
October 11, 2009
Theirs, His, Hers, Mine and Ours!
Oh my, here I am - think, think, thinking - voices of characters going through my head which to use? Who is the strongest? Do I want the strongest? Who are the rest? Why are they important?
REALLY whose story is this!
To whom are we talking with or at or to. WOW!
I can see why I look dizzy, maybe skeptic, humorous, HO, WHOA! What about the lack of spelling skills, the spilling of word mistakes all over the pages? That is under the control of editor!
I see I am a little wicked or possibly determined. There is light on my head, notice the darkness around me. That darkness is the doubter. Who said that? NO! The mistakes come from my fingers not focusing on what I'm typing, or that child poet inside that likes to mix the 'by' with 'my', and the 'bit' with 'bite' when I'm thinking, not the editor, she is always right. I like her, a bit bitter and opinionated, however, always checking to see if I'm in her world and that I'm wording correctly so others may read the story. The one playing images with words is my poet having fun. YES, she is child and I need her play, especially in November during the Month of Novel Writing.
Actually, I need the whole staff, the dreamer, the doubter, the critic, editor, poet, here and with energy and enthusiasm. We got stories and images to craft into words. Our job to announce who is the narrator! Who is she? What age? Where is she? And what is her attitude? And to whom she tells her story.
June 3, 2009
Oral story, the oldest form of storytelling, vibrates
in our bones. We tell stories all day to many
people. Writing the stories follows the same
structural processes of plot, characterizing, and
scenes as a verbally told story but we use word
symbols for the voice symbols. In verbally told
stories we can use body movement and facial
expressions for the characters. For both crafts,
concise, clear words paint images and bring the
characters alive to hear and see.
When crafting the ‘oral story’ the first sentence is
the set-up -- the when, where, who, and what:
Once upon at time so-and-so lived somewhere and felt something. In a picture
book the first three illustrations are the set-up (when, where, who, and what). In
a chapter book or middle-grade novel it's the first page, and in a young adult or
adult novel the first chapter is the set-up for the story. Then the listeners or
readers are lead by words to the emotional event -- the why: a conflict, problem,
or puzzle to resolve.
Clear, accurate words direct and focus the journey. Plotting starts. For the
youngest audience, one character interacts with someone or something in three
to five scenes. For the more mature audience, many characters interact in the
main plot with subplots traveling an A to Z path with many emotional events.
The storyteller or writer intrigues the audience with twists and mystery to
enhance the story.
Carefully selected written or verbal words focus the characters in action. The
characters move, react, and talk -- not telling but showing the characters in the
scenes. Words connect images to the listeners or readers. The present or simple
past tense makes the drama stronger. The characters push the plot forward.
The emotional actions, reactions, and dialogues of the characters reach out and
emotionally cord, bonding to the listeners or readers, who then plug into motives and feelings of the characters’ or their own. The charge is the emotional impact of conflict, adventure, or the puzzle. The audience is glued into the story waiting for the final charged event -- the how. Satisfying stories have a solution for the audience. The conclusion shows change in the characters, and the ending brings the audience back to their world.
A story can be told in five sentences or written into hundreds of pages to enjoy
for days. To know how your written story affects readers, tell the story to
listeners and watch their expressions. The facial expressions will tell if the story
is good, or needs more work.
STORY seems so simple, however; STORY is complicated on many levels.
Here are websites that post events and classes, fests, and workshops for
storytelling, ultimately helping in crafting the written story.
Stagebridge is a school for seniors in acting and storytelling. In one semester you'll experience teachers and their special skills and styles.You learn how to have fun while developing stories. Check their website stagebridge.
Storytelling Association of Alta California has a calendar of events for storytelling. STORYLINE (SAC newsletter) is a $30 yearly subscription, which lists all upcoming
storytelling events. Check out SAC, Facebook
SAC Storytelling Festival, 2010 was the 25th celebration Bay Area Storytelling Festival, which is a feast of stories told by selected professional storytellers. Check out BASF for next years events.
National Storytelling Network, NSN for a listing of event and storytellers.
A MUST! An archive of stories since September 2006! A feast for the ears! Jackie Baldwin's radio show, Story-Lovers World!, airs every Sunday from 5-6 p.m. Pacific time on public radio station KSVY in Sonoma Valley. Contact to Jackie visit her website story-lovers.
Bobbie Kinkead is an illustrator, author and storyteller, can be viewed at following web addresses to learn more about BobbieTales and her work: