Monday, December 20, 2010

What Carols Can Teach a Writer

"You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." The only character greater than a villain is a villain who is redeemed.

"Oh, Holy Night" A powerful story is often best told simply.

"Silent Night" A few simple images can create powerful emotions.

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" Sometimes, something innocent can become creepy.

"The Twelve Days of Christmas" A one-sided romantic relationship is boring.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" The underdog with a reviled talent makes a great hero.

"Frosty the Snowman" A great character often deserves a sequel. ("I'll be back again, some day." )

"Carol of the Bells" Driving rhythm can pull the reader forward.

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" You can tell a story through dialogue.

"The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…." ) Setting alone can show strong emotion and story.

"Good King Wenceslas" Sometimes, a character is remembered more for kindness than power or glory.

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" Home and family are two of the most powerful goals within the human heart.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside." "This is for your good, not mine" is a great seduction.

"Jingle Bells" and "Jingle Bell Rock" The times and tempo may change, but the story remains the same.

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" Sometimes, the character's emotions and the message aren't the same.

"Santa Baby" With the right voice, even Santa and a chimney can be made into a double entendre.


Marilynn's Workshop Schedule and Information Links

Writing the First Chapter, January 3-31, 2011.

Drawing a reader into the first chapter of your novel is more than an exciting beginning, more than a “cute meet,” more than a sexy hero and a feisty heroine. Step by step, I'll show you the craft needed to draw the reader into your novel and make her eager to keep reading. I'll also show you how to set up the goals for the main characters and for the novel.


Writing in the Moment, April 11-May 8, 2011

How to get your voice, viewpoint, and craft so perfect that you disappear and your story comes alive. Lots of worksheets.

The Blurb: Mother of All Promotions July 25-August 7, 2011

A blurb is the pithy description of your novel in a query letter, the short "elevator pitch" used at a writer's conference, the log line for online promotion, and the all important back cover copy for a published novel. Without a great blurb, a novel won't be noticed by agents and editors.

Marilynn Byerly--creator of a blurb system used by university publishing courses, publishers, and many authors-- will show you how to create that perfect blurb for your novel. The course will include a number of worksheets and in-class blurb analysis.

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