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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Strategy # 8 Hidden Secrets: Reflective Journal

 Build 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 responded.

Journal entries for your protagonist’s:

  • saddest day
  •  happiest day
  •  scariest
  • challenging
  • hopeful
  • joyous
  • disappointing
  • despairing
  • successful

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?

Read deep, marcy

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