Consider using imagery to convey the tone of a scene. It’s fine to select a universal image, such as fluffy white clouds or birds chirping to set a happy mood. But you can elevate the scene by picking an image that connects in a specific way to your story or reinforces one of your character’s traits. Then, examine how you can use that same image to depict a change in tone by the ending. For example, if that happy scene ends on a sad note, transform those fluffy white clouds into dark thunderclouds, or have those chirping birds fall silent. Using thoughtful imagery not only reinforces the emotional impact you want your story to have, but also broadens your reader’s experience of the world you’ve created.
Category Archives: Practical Prompts
As you go about your week, whenever you’re in a new place or environment, spend a few minutes thinking about how your character would react to that errand or setting. A child would view a trip to the grocery store differently than an adult would. A person with a limited budget would react to the shopping experience differently than a person with a lot of money in the bank. How can you see your everyday tasks through the eyes of your characters?
This month, spend time developing multi-faceted characters that readers can see pieces of themselves in. Yes, you should consider a character’s physical appearance, mannerisms, family structure, occupation and maybe even his or her favorite color. But for this challenge, dig deeper to figure out your character’s driving want and need.
To help you delve more into this subject, we recommend the following resources to start with:
From K.M. Weiland
From the Story Grid
From Cheryl Klein
Last month, we encouraged you to identify mentor texts. This month, read aloud the first pages of the books you selected to hone in the qualities that make a gripping story opening.
This month, we encourage you to identify three to five mentor texts that you can use to improve your writing. A mentor text is a book written in the same genre as your story, targets the same audience or explores comparable themes. It can also be set in the same time period as your work-in-progress or feature characters that face similar conflicts. Spend the next weeks reading through your mentor texts to study how other writers crafted dialogue, navigated between scenes or ramped up drama. As you read, make notes of the things you liked. Share with us the texts you chose and what you discovered. Then, be on the lookout for future posts here that dig deeper into how to get the most out your mentor texts.