Worksheet Fun: Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson

Hello, everyone!

Who’s ready for NaNoWriMo?

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Right. Er, I mean ‘Write.’

Like some of the people who are actually writing this year, I will be revisiting an old story that just never got off well.

Even unfinished, I know where I went wrong. Hence, why I made a worksheet. I’m hoping some of you will find it helpful too.

So without further ado…

This has been a long time coming, first off! Second, this is all based on Randy Ingermanson’s method. I just put it into a form that I could print out and write on, since plotting is easier for me to do on paper. Here we go.

I obviously couldn’t put every little thing you could chart out of a character for the full character chart. I did the best I could but my mind was mostly set in young adult, so it might be lacking a few things you’d want to add about other important characters.

But feel free to change it by converting the PDF. It’s Randy Ingermanson’s idea, I hold no claim on it. I just rewrote what he wrote and Bubblecow so I could plot under pretty fonts.

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Some things I learned from writing (hello, nearly ten years of steady storytelling–day in and day out in fictional worlds!):

If this is your first time writing, don’t write for anyone but you. In fact, don’t write. Tell yourself a story. Delve as deep and as far. Have fun. You like action like me? Push your character off a metaphorical cliff. Like romance? Have your hero walk by the love of his life in the first page. The first sentence. In the same heartbeat as the first word. Do it!

Don’t edit. Don’t even reread. Keep the vision in your head the vision in your head. Keep writing.

The more in tune you are with your character, meaning the less you have to do with what’s happening to what’s happening to them, the more genuine the writing. The surprise, the adventure, etc. Trust me!

Never, if someone gives you worksheets, think this is a fool-proof, perfect way to write. In fact, please don’t follow things like Hero’s Journey or Five Act to the letter. Because the most beloved stories are the ones who turn tropes on their heads.

Did I mention have fun? Because that is EVERYTHING. You will not meet a writer/author who writes other than for the reason of pure pleasure. 🙂

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Let’s be writing buddies at NaNoWriMo.org!

❤ Best of luck, guys!

Catch Up with Me.

I didn’t blog this week. It’s largely because I had some strange work habits/other things to do.

I thought of just posting what happened early this month, but I think that it’s too long, too personal, and obviously too raw.

For those who don’t yet know, my cousin had cancer since he was four. He lived to be seventeen. He was a month and a few days to be eighteen–which he was excited about. So it was rather hard for me to…(understandably) understand. Then I had some things before that, but I went to a funeral. That’s the short answer. I feel like I should say more but there isn’t much more to it than that.

It was a funeral. 99.9% of us know what that’s about.

Now moving on to the revival of the color scheme: I went way too fast. I usually give myself a few weeks to gather the measurements, get the looks just write, etc. This time I did it all in four days. Not even whole days.

It’s nice and cool (color wise) and fallish but I don’t think I like it anymore.

So I will be starting to do something much more permanent.

Speaking of permanent! I’m changing one other thing. I’m considering changing some of the blog content. So changes to come obviously!

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But if any of you would like the Ribbon theme (the one above), please, do let me know.

Today is PVRIS Day!

Hello, everyone!

Two posts in one week. I know. Insane.

But I just recently discovered PVRIS and I mean I had heard of them but I’d never heard them and *sigh*. SIGH.

Stares and sighs.

Look at her. Just look at her and don’t look at her. She’s mine.

But her voice is just…and I just…

Anyway. Small update but not the long one I promised. Basically, I’ve been busy then violently (and still sick) then I had to go to a funeral.

Long post to come explaining what happened on that, but now, my favorite playlist!

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Romance ClichĂ©s For Everyone!

Hey, everyone!

This has been in the queue for quite some time. Though the title explains it all, just briefly, this is a list of things I see on my romance shows/stories/etc. This list will get longer the more I remember what the hell I’ve been subjected to.

For those of you writing romance, don’t think of this as points to avoid. A lot of these things are clichĂ©s because they lack the foundation to be logic, to keep going. Sometimes, when people say clichĂ©, they mean there are others who think these similarities with guarantee hits, popularity, what have you.

In other words, they think they’re winning tropes when really, they’re just making common things that could be extraordinary. Just keep that in mind!

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*deep, down, very long, drawn out sigh* It’s not so much the whole someone pretending not to love someone else, being confronted and feeling this way. This whole, how can I when I never stopped. It’s the whole, why did you say it.

Though I know many people actually express their feelings in words–hello! I’m one of them–most of those people are usually lying. For the most part, we don’t flat out tell people directly how we feel.

If something like this were to happen, maybe they could do something indirect.

How, ebelleful?

Well, an example would be this little conversation:

Ex: when will you be back?

MC: I don’t want to come back until you’re married and it’ll feel wrong for me to ask you back.

VS.

Ex: when will you come back?

MC: I don’t know. There’s not a lot left here. I was thinking down the road. Maybe not after until we’ve had our families. There’s just not a lot to do here anymore.

(By the way, this conversation is an actual conversation.)

I’m not saying that people wouldn’t answer the way they did in the first example. Because when I was pissed, I’d try to be sincere. (Because I figured that was cruel.) But you have to have motive and line it up.

When I see this clichĂ©, more than half the time–and I’m talking 80%+ here–it’s usually packed in and blurted out. Like the character had been thinking this the whole time and maybe they would forget it if they didn’t say it dramatically right

Now.

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We have a winner. This one really gets me, as a fantasy lover. Just, why?

I get it. Once upon a time, this was pretty good. It was left field. But now, this has become so common. Maybe it isn’t purposefully lazy writing, but it definitely has the stench of it.

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Hello, PNR! Of any kind, this is usually what I see. Which is probably HOPEFULLY not what the creator intended. Oh, well, I’m a big paranormal/immortal. I guess I’ll risk it all for you.”

What? My life? That’s one of the most important things you and I have to lose.

Sigh. I mean, if it was purposefully morbid, trying to freaking get her to die like some sort of disturbed love thing

I could understand. Probably even get behind if it’s done well. That’s the beauty about good writing. Even the darkest of evils can be empathic if done well enough.

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Someone’s always buying someone from getting or staying close to another someone. If you watch dramas, you know what I’m talking about.

Someone is depressingly, shockingly, scarily rich.

And someone is so dirty poor, you can see the ground they stand on wear top hats in comparison.

And yet the union of these two families via the lovers is always so depraved (I guess) someone is offered lots of money to forget their pleasant love.

I think one way to turn this on its head is American Dad style.

You just think about that.

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Speaking of Rich and Poor! Yes, someone is poor and someone is miserably rich. I dare say at least this was a good thing from Shakespeare tragic rewrite, Romeo and Juliet.

Why don’t people fall in love within their own class? Are these people terrible? WHAT?

Either way, this is so old (yet not old enough) that when it flashes on the screen, most of the drama/book comes to a very narrow set of conclusions.

For the people who like to know where they’re going in a story, okay. But for me? I’d rather be flat on my ass surprised and suspensified til the last word.

Not that you can’t be suspenseful following a sort of formula. You just have to work harder at it.

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Working. Sleeping. Etc. Do people really just show up at the work place in high heels and body cons and get dropped on the desk?

Because, I mean, it’s not bad, honest. But for once, I’d like to see a twist.

Going to the office thinking you’re going to be kinky and something happens.

Anything! I will take anything.

(For those noticing a pattern, yes, it’s true. Suspense of any kind drives a story forward. ClichĂ©s take the mystery of where you will go or land or [place thing here.])

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This has been getting better, in my opinion. But when you think of sexy and romantic in the US, you think southern accents. Maybe a cowboy but usually a Southern Belle.

And okay, maybe I’m not all the way sick of this one yet, because a man talks to me in a Louisiana accent, you better believe I’ll be nodding to whatever the hell he just said. And that smile most of them have and those manners!

Nothing is sexier than a Southern Gentleman.

*swoons so hard it actually hurts*

I’m sure other places are sexy too. You just have to figure out what location, what time, what words, what person. Knowledge, I think, is inherently sexy. To a point. Being Knowledgable is probably what I mean, so pick a place, find a person who knows something about surviving in that world, and you have sexy romantic surroundings.

(It’s all about the tour guide in POV.)

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For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter/Tumblr/any other social media, you won’t understand how much I know of Nicholas Sparks. Because let me tell you, it’s more than I wish I knew.

Not that he’s bad. He’s just the king of these very formulaic movies. Not that he writes them. Maybe has not that much to say about them. (His books didn’t hold my interest. Sorry.)

Yet, I know about these movies because they are the most romantic my mother and father get. New Nick Sparks movie? Gonna get it.

But anyway, back to the cliché point. This pissed me off in The Notebook. It will piss me off in every other book/story/drama/anything that I experience.

Cheating after a reunion dinner.

And I get it. Things happen.

Sometimes. But if this is the way a writer expresses that these two people–and woe is them they haven’t seen each other in years!–show they love each other passionately, I am out.

This is despicable. Like two grown people who haven’t seen each other and love each other, can’t stop and think and act like the grown people they are and step back from the situation.

Unless they are morally ambigious people and that is what the story is about–hi, meet Gone with the Wind–this is not a good place to put a Happily Ever After at the end.

It’s just, maybe I’m not explaining it right, but it doesn’t seem like you can trust two people who have no self-control or respect for others. Like, how can you root for them if they are not purposefully morally ambiguous and doomed to be that way from beginning to end?

I get it. Not everyone gets caught. Not everyone gets punished. But why is this a cliché?

Why? How is this part of the ROMANCE world?

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All my friends on Twitter were arguing about this. I mean, I read them going into a spiral for days about this happening. I’d never seen it before until a few choice movies and books fell on my lap.

Now, I don’t remember their titles. Looking and cannot find. (Thanks, Obama.) But when I do, I’ll come back and add in the edits.

But anyway, THIS is lazy writing. The couple is doing well, everything is going smoothly and oh, no, we can’t have them be happy yet. They have to argue about something.

What the devil was this couple arguing about? I think I remember something about a fly in the room. I could be wrong. I probably am wrong.

Ignore the fly, but assume it’s as small and insignificant as the fly.

Rather than, if two people are going to be fighting constantly, writing two very different characters so they HAVE something to fight about, I see people create generic things and throw a wrench in their daily, boring lives.

If you’re writing a romance with friction, remember, relationships are hard. You are not one thousand percent the same as your partner. Pick those small or maybe bigger issues and find a situation where they’re forced together.

Friction. See? See?

I’ll show myself out at the end of this post.

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Why? Why am I having trouble finding my sources?

I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but I had a good one for this because I WTFed so bad, I stopped drawing. I wasn’t even supposed to be listening. I mean, it just happened.

They were doing that middle of the movie thing where they were montaging into a deeper relationship and he said something and she said something about her family life that wasn’t so great and he laughed and she laughed and I was just blinking more than I had ever done in a minute.

You know how you blink a lot when someone shoves you in the pool and you fear your lashes have swept under your lids so you’re like “gonna lose my eyesight if I don’t blink a lot”? That was my blinking.

If romance is hard to do, don’t hurt your brain writing a comedy. Comedy is so subjective, but I doubt saying something about your abusive father leaving at a young age is funny to anyone.

At least I didn’t have the backstory to find out why it would be funny to them.

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I love the rain. I love the sound. The smell. If it’s light enough, the feel of it on my skin and face. (Face also made of skin.)

But I’d never kiss in the rain. Because the time I did, I snorted water. All I wanted to do was rip back and run away. Because it was COLD AND WET.

I’m not sure who decided this was romantic. I also am not sure why it was so popular but I’m seeing less of it.

Now a kiss in the snow, I get. Because it’s like you’re in a snow globe. And it’s dry. Mostly.

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In most romances, there’s this hidden place the lovers can talk and get to know each other. And the assumption is that if you have to go somewhere private, someone is looking to sit right between you two or tear you apart.

So that’s why I don’t understand, if this person is so persistent, they can’t find you.

It’s romantic. I never said it wasn’t. A place where you can be alone. Where you can know each other better.

But it’s existence is nearing ultra clichĂ©. This is laid back clichĂ© because I guess it’s still serving a function.

(But I want to see the opposite, to be honest. A couple getting closer with no alone time.)

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So many of us act out when something terrible happens to us. But it makes me blink extra hard at the girls in some of these dramas. Like, bad boys are misunderstood?

He’s dangerous. Do you have a death wish?

He won’t want you if you want him.

Is there more to say for this? Because I think this has gone on long enough.
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Thanks for reading. Check back in possibly for more romance clichĂ©s. ‘Cause they’re for everyone.