Monday, March 26, 2012

On Hold

Until I can get some computer repairs, I'm going to have to put the blog on hold. Hopefully a visit to the Geek Squad (or its equivalent somewhere else) will get everything working again,and I'll be back at the end of the week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Serial Monday - Supes Week 5

Last week I missed Serial Monday because I was fighting off an epic cold. I'm back to normal again, so Duke's back this week. This is a slightly shorter installment than last time, but I hope to make up for it next week.

Last week's poll:
What should Duke do next?
Talk to the girl now.                          4 (67%)
Wait until after class.                       2 (33%)

Week 4: Week 4
Week 3: Week 3
Week 2: Week 2
Week 1: Week 1

Supes - Week 5

Duke waited until Mrs. P. got a couple minutes into her lecture, then he turned to the girl beside him. “Didn’t I see you with Marie earlier?”

The girl glanced at him, rolled her eyes, and went back to her note taking.

Duke gave her a minute to finish the page, then he tried again. “So what’s this class all about?”

The girl sighed. “Pay attention and you’ll find out.” She turned the page in her notebook and made a point to look anywhere but at Duke.

Not exactly the warmest welcome he’d had all day, but it wasn’t the worst either.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reference Book Rehash - Weeks 3, 4, and 5 (WGBfYA)

Author: Regina Brooks
Title: Writing Great Books for Young Adults

I’m a bit behind in my Reference Book Rehash – this is why I needed to have the rehash in the first place – so I’m combining weeks three, four, and five in this one post.

Chapter Three of Writing Great Books for Young Adults is a short chapter on character. Once again, Ms. Brooks runs through several exercises that evoke teenage emotions and help us choose which character is the best one for our story. By the end of the chapter we’ve got a main character who is three-dimensional and imbued with all those emotions we dredged up in the last chapter. The most important thing I took from the chapter was a reminder to always keep your character’s motivation in the front of your mind and to make sure he acts accordingly. That motivation should be clear to the reader so she’ll care about the character and not lose interest.

Now that we have the character in mind, the next two chapters deal with the plot of our story. Chapter Four deals with several different types of plots. Ms. Brooks lays out the structure of a plot, fleshing out Freytag’s pyramid. She works through it clearly, explaining the action at each step. I especially liked the descriptions of the different types of denouement – I’m a firm believer that the wrong ending can ruin a great story.

Chapter Five is all about building the plot of the story. It is so packed with information that a summary might be as long as the chapter itself. Ms. Brooks gives a rundown of plot faults and ten factors to help determine if the plot works. I’ll definitely be revisiting this chapter when I’m struggling with types of conflict or a plot that I just can’t figure out.

How do you build your plot? Does it revolve around your character’s motivation?

More Details
Week 1
Week 2

Monday, March 5, 2012

Serial Monday - Supes Week 4

Last week's poll:
What should Duke do next?
Go see Mrs. P. in Philosophy.                          1 (10%)
See if he can hear what's going on in this room. 9 (90%)

Last week: Week 3
Week 2: Week 2
Week 1: Week 1

Supes - Week 4

After a quick glance up and down the hall to be sure no one would catch him eavesdropping, Duke moved closer to the door. A clear, lilting soprano drew him forward. The pull was almost physical, a siren’s call. He didn’t stop until his toes bumped the door. It was all Duke could do to keep from yanking open the door to follow the voice. He forced himself to look in the narrow window instead.

A petite blonde stood in front of the teacher’s desk, twirling the end of one pigtail as she sang. The teacher’s eyes were buggy behind his glasses. He stared blankly at the girl, nodding like a bobblehead.

The corners of the girl’s mouth tipped up, but she kept singing. She stopped twirling her pigtail long enough to pick up a mug from the teacher’s desk. The teacher reached out with both hands, palms up as if in supplication.