The Writers Circle: Milestone Birthdays

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

Often, we see stories built around something “big” that changes for a character on their 13th or 18th birthday (or some other age society has deemed as important).  Do you use these milestones to help build or shape a character’s life or world? Would it work if the big changes took place at another, less commonly “important” birthday like the character’s 14th or 23rd birthday?  Share your strategies, tips and tricks in the comments below or in the forums.

 

 

Just for Fun: Celebrities

Your main character is out and about — in a cafe, in the grocery store, walking in the park.  Suddenly, they are face to face with a famous celebrity.  Assuming your character has is a fan of this celebrity, what does he or she do at that moment?   Now, what if your character dislikes this celebrity? Would he or she react differently?  How?

Write a few paragraphs in the comments or on your blog and let us get to know your characters a little better!

 

 

The Writers Circle: Pets, Companions and Sidekicks

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

In many people’s lives, pets are a large part of every day life. They are our companions, helpers and friends.  How often do animal companions get included in your writing?  What role, if any, do companion animals play in your stories?  What are some examples in popular writing of animals who play a key role in shaping or improving a character’s life?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

Just for Fun: Weird Weather Traditions

In honor of Groundhog Day, take a moment to get to write about a weird, weather-inspired tradition in your creative world.  Use this to get to know your universe better or to better understand how your characters feel about the traditions in their lives that they might not think about on a regular basis.  Jot a quick paragraph or two down here in the comments, on your own blog or just on a piece of scrap paper at your desk.

 

 

Just for Fun: Hobbies

In an effort to get to know our characters a little better and add a bit more depth to them, let’s spend some time thinking about what they are doing when they’re not out changing the world.  Pick one of your characters and describe what they do to kick back and relax or what they do in their free time.  Perhaps your super-strong military character loves to knit or grows an amazing flower garden when not out on a mission.  Maybe your school teacher moonlights as a professional kickboxer on the local circuit.  Whatever it is, have some fun getting to know your characters a bit better here in the comments, on your own blog or just on a piece of scrap paper at your desk.

 

 

Just for Fun: Holiday Foods

Let’s get to know our characters a little bit better.  Consider that they are sitting down to a holiday feast. It could be with family, with friends, or with people they don’t know at all.  What do they eat?  Do they focus on the main entree or are they more about the sides? What dietary restrictions do they have and how does the group meal accommodate them? Perhaps most important of all: do they choose a single dessert or do they sample all of the pies, cakes and ice creams that are available?

Just for Fun: What’s in a Name?

If you write stories, chances are you have to name things. Whether it’s a character, a town, a planet or some kind of invention, we need to be able to call it something. Let’s discuss the way you come up with names for your characters and places. Do the names need to be related to their function in the story? Are they random? Do you use variations of your spouse’s name or your kids’ names? What works or doesn’t work for you?

Just for Fun: Halloween

Pick a character from a current work-in-progress, a past story you’ve written or one you’ve thought up but never used.  In honor of the upcoming Halloween holiday, imagine someone has invited this character to a costume party. What do they dress up as and how do other people react to their costumes? Write a quick scene with them at the party. You can do this in the comments here or write a quick story and leave a link to it here in the comments.

The Writers Circle: Incorprating Nonfiction into Works of Fiction

TWC
One of our goals here at Today’s Author is to help all of the writers among us to do what we love to do: write. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by talking to each other and learning from each other.  Our Writers Circle series is designed to do just that – provide a chance for us to discuss writing, editing and publishing questions.

This week’s topic is:

Works of fiction often use elements of nonfiction. For example, Stephen King’s recent novel 11/22/63 borrows Lee Harvey Oswald, Marina Oswald, and JFK, and interweaves elements of their lives (both real and imagined) into a fictional narrative. How do you feel about this kind of appropriation? Do you think anything is fair game, even if the people you use or the events you reference are being changed for your own story-telling purposes? Do we owe anything to history to leave nonfiction out of our fiction?

Let’s discuss this in the comments and see what our community thinks.

 

Do you have an idea you think would be a great topic for a future The Writer’s Circle post?  Do you have a question you’d like to ask our authors?  Fill out the form on our Contact Us page to share your ideas and questions.

 

Just for Fun: Holidays

Pick a character from a current work-in-progress, a past story you’ve written or one you’ve thought up but never used.  In honor of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, think about what this character does when they have a day off from work or school for a holiday. Do they go somewhere or follow any traditions?  Describe your character’s favorite holiday and how they spend it.  You can do this in the comments here or write a quick story and leave a link to it here in the comments.