Learning and Growing

For my birthday back in November, I received two new non-ficiton books. I have been steadily working my way through them, not wanting to rush through the treasure trove of information. Thinking back, taking my time and pacing myself in learning is something that I’ve always done.

Gail Carson Levine was my favorite author growing up, and a huge inspiration for me even to this day. Her two non-fiction books on writing, Writing Magic and Writer to Writer, are well-used and worn on my bookshelf from my days as a young writer. Each chapter ends with writing exercises, so it forces you to stop reading and do some writing. I usually didn’t go back and zoom through the book right away because after doing the little writing exercise, I just wanted to write more! The next day or later than week, I would go back and read some more, which would grow me and spur me on towards more writing.

Fast-forward to last year, when I found Brandon Sanderson’s 318R class lectures. After the first video, I was hooked. My desire to learn and grow as a writer had been revived. I probably could have watch all of them in one day if I hadn’t restrained myself. Instead, I watched one class a day, pausing to take meticulous notes, and often going over my notes a few times that day and trying to apply it to my story ideas. Rather than rushing through it in a couple days, it took me a couple weeks, but the time to soak in each lesson really helped his methods and tips to stick with me.

After the class ended, I began to seek out more materials on fiction writing. I knew I had a lot of room to grow as an author, and I knew the #1 way to grow was by writing and finishing novels, but I had been neglating the learning side of things. My hunger to learn had been realized. Sanderson mentions Orson Scott Card a lot in the class, and, Card being one of my favorite authors, that gave me some direction on where to start.Read More »

I Also Write Musicals

I’m an artist through and through. I like arting. I art all the time.

While I am aspiring to be a professional author, and working towards improving my writing and storytelling skills with every word I put down on the page, there are plenty of other modes of art that I participate in: sewing, designing, painting, drawing, and songwriting, specifically writing musicals with my husband.

Writing musicals has it’s similarities with writing novels, but the differences increase the more I think about it.

Character creation and development is the most similar. Just like in a novel, the characters in a musical or play need to be well developed and complex. Otherwise, the audience will just see a bunch of bland characters and the take away from the show won’t be as much impact. After all, if you don’t care about the characters and can’t relate to them in some way, it stops at being entertaining, and for us, writing musicals always goes beyond the spectacle.

Outlining is always very similar, but slimmed greatly in comparison to novels. It requires the writer(s) to really hone in on the important scenes in the story, the ones that communicate what is happening the best, and never wasting any time. After all, most people aren’t looking to go to a six hour play. Most people.

Now, as for the differences:
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