“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Strategy # 8 Hidden Secrets: Reflective Journal
Your Story: 8 Strategies for Writing Innovative
Setting with Impact
Begin building a sensory journal for your main characters to give you
fuel throughout the series. Tie it to the personal memories—both trauma and
joy—and fix the location whenever relevant. Focus the emotional description.
Next to each category list the senses incorporated and how the senses
Journal entries for your protagonist’s:
Another way to develop a sensory language, and assist in character or
physical location, is to keep a family journal. It’s an extension of the
reflective journal, but this focus is on relationships, memories and
communication. Look for threads where past history can connect with present
history in your story world. The exercises can be interspersed between all
three angles. And the key here is once again to connect the emotional, sensory
layers that result. Consider writing it up for yourself first; next connect to
a character, and then to her situation. Take some of your episodes as seeds and
grow them into the opposite outcome.
For example, in one workshop a student mentioned that that she had “a heroine who goes back to the house she lived
in, one that holds bad memories and one she accidentally burned down. It's
still in ashes. What she doesn't know is that one person was killed there
and one was badly burned and disfigured. The house will play a crucial
role in the story.”
Share:Did you choose a secret trauma or a
secret joy? Why does your character need to keep it a secret?
I am an author, a freelance content editor, a writing workshop instructor, and a writing coach. I write fiction novels and short stories, and nonfiction reflective journals, workshops and poetry. I am an avid reader, an occasional knitter and love to watch the ocean or see a good movie.
Albert Einstein said, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” Einstein called his imagination “a holy curiosity.
As readers and movie buffs we enjoy the drama and universal feelings of love, revenge, greed, hope. “When the shoe fits”, we can tap into these versions, add our own imagination, and enrich our own stories. We begin to identify metaphors for ourselves, our characters and our readers and become more attuned to feelings and beliefs. We often find emotional heritage—our touchstones—in our personal history, literature, scripture, folk-tales, songs and culture.
Jane Yolen says, “Folklore reflects the society that creates it. Modern art tales…. take on this mirroring quality, too.” According to Roland Hein, G.K. Chesterton believed that everyday life is permeated with mythic qualities. “One must have the eyes and the ears to see.”
So in Mythic Impact we will open our ears and eyes to a holy curiosity, building bridges through chaos and confusion, to search out illuminations.