Friday, May 28, 2010

The Last Book Review: The Little Prince

The Little Prince is a slim volume that is rich in wisdom. On this very last book review, it is your job to read The Little Prince, and then go forth with encouragement as you embark on your own novel writing journey.

Review The Little Prince by concentrating on one of the stories or storylines within it. Do you relate to the rose? The Little Prince himself? The fox? Your job is not to decipher what the story means, but to disclose, in your review, what the storyline means to you.

Because this is a little more personal than all your other reviews, you do not have to post it. The key is to read the book and see how a few words can make all the difference. If you have that kind of power, you have it made!

Good luck as you begin your novel-writing journey!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Last Movie Review: Take a Summer Blockbuster!

It's time to focus all that you've learned as a reviewer and apply it to your work, as a writer. This is your very last movie review, so make it count!

Summer blockbusters aren't exactly brain fodder, but they do cater to the senses. The visuals have to be stunning, the sounds have to be real, and everything has to be larger than life.

Pick a summer blockbuster, whether it's about the earth ending, aliens invading, or an adventure in the past. Review this movie on two levels:

1) As a feast for the senses: how did it appeal to you, and what did it make you feel? What have you learned about awakening the senses, and how can this help you write a better novel? The key here is not to cross genres, but to learn how some elements of art cross the boundaries of the medium used.

2) As literature: all senses aside, how was the screenplay? How good was the story? what about the dialogue? The characters? How could the story, dialogue, and characters have been improved?

When you are done, post your multi-layer review online and provide a link to it in the comments section.

Good luck, happy watching, and happy writing!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—
not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."

E.L. Doctorow

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pick Up a Bit of Thursday Next

Jasper Fforde's stories on the adventures of Thursday Next are more than just tales of a parallel universe - they are a tribute to the most unforgettable characters in literature. Read them for the sheer pleasure of revisiting characters and settings, and see what a world full of fiction-obsessed people would be like.

For information, you can download or buy the first book here:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's All You: A Schizophrenic Triad

It's time for you to talk to yourself - and characterize yourself! One of the greatest powers of the best writers is in turning every single person in a novel into a character - a real, living, breathing, almost three-dimensional person that seems to rise out of the page and drag you into the story. exercise your characterization by making three kinds of people talk to each other:

1. You - as in YOU, right now.
2. The person that you want to be.
3. The worst version of you.

What will the three of you talk about? What are the three of you doing? Make sure that you have distinct characters. Write them out in about 1000 words, and make your own plot and story. When you are done, post your story in the Comments section, or provide a link to it.

Good luck, happy characterization, and happy writing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Now, Break Down those Bricks!

You can think of your creativity as imprisoned: a little ball of light, a child full of wonder, a molecule of darkness. You can think of it as imprisoned in a house in your head, where it treads through halls that are as comfortable as they are crippling. You need to take out the comforts that hamper your creativity. You need to break down the bricks of your house!

Unblockers can help you remove cobwebs from your head, and they can help you unleash your creativity as well. Take the creativity out to play, have it to go to town for the day, or set it free for a little vacation before it returns to the hallowed, comfortable halls once again.

In this exercise, you will pretend that you are taking your creativity out of the house. You can be brutal and talk about breaking down the bricks. You can be gentle and coax your creativity out. Whatever the technique, your aim is not to write a story, but to blabber. Talk about your creative moments, make your creativity run loose, and start writing without worrying about grammar, syntax, or punctuation.

To help you, you can start your work with: "I want to be more creative...."

Good luck and happy unblocking!

Monday, May 3, 2010

"What if you had to talk to people in song?"

Some people chide Broadway for portraying an unreal world: one where people break into song and dance numbers spontaneously, one where nearly all conversations rhyme, and one where stories are brought forth and resolved in three hours or less.

But what if Broadway happened to YOU? What would your day of song and dance be like?

Write a short story with at least 1 song and detailing at least 1 dance number. This exercise will not only hone your poetry and movement description skills; it will also allow you to flex your muscles when it comes to integrating song and dance into your stories. Pick your plot and stories, and when you are done, post a link to your short story in your Comments section.

Good luck and happy writing!