Friday, September 2, 2011

You think you've got big problems? What about a big solution?

I have been...

* Promoting this Writing Workshop.

*Taking care of my son who had to go to the doctor after his face smashed into the baby stroller.  He was being a sweet son and lifting it out from behind the mass of bikes around it and somehow a part of it smacked into his cheek bone and cut him pretty deep. There was a lot of blood.  Ugh. Isn't that one of the worst things in the world? Seeing that much blood leaving your child's body? And he had to get....wait for it....a whole One stitch. One? Come on. He can't even say, "I had to get stitches."  Nope. "I had to get a stitch." 

*Sticking with the Couch to 5k plan.  Wooh. It's hard.  I'm up to week 7 which is  25 minutes of constant jogging.  It's hard, but I'm doing it.  And I've very proud of myself.

*Trying to finish the current draft of my middle grade fantasy by September 12th.  I have plans to hole up at the library tomorrow to get a whole bunch of pages written.  Maybe 30?  heh....I can dream. 

*I've been studying a lot of middle grade novels. What makes them work? What is it that I love about them? Why did I get bored with this one or that one? What could the author have done to keep me up until two in the morning unable to put the book down? What did the author do to make me want to forgo sleep in order to continue turning pages?  

I've been rereading Ella Enchanted.  What a magical book! 

I remember loving it, but I'd forgotten just how wonderful it is. I checked it out from the library yesterday (I really need to buy my own copy) and picked it up to glance at it during lunch. And then...

I couldn't put it down.  I got so completely sucked in.  How she did that? How did Gail Carson Levine get me so absorbed in Ella's tale?  Ella's problem (well, a pretty awesome fantasy world ta boot).  Ella is cursed to obey every command she hears.  What a great and horrible thing! And not only did the author give her main character a huge problem, but Ella also has a specific solution in mind.  She is convinced if she can simply find the fairy Lucinda, maybe she can convince her to take her "gift" back.

A specific solution. Something to motivate her to do crazy things, like run away from finishing school to a giant's wedding in the hopes of finding Lucinda. 

I've been needing this. Motivation.  In my WIP, Jasper, my MC has a problem. But the solution in his mind has been somewhat vague. Luckily, yesterday I thought of a way to solidfy what it is he is searching for.  I gave him a specific solution to motivate, to push him to do crazy things in an effort to reach solve his own problem. 

Thank you Gail Carson Levine!


  1. I think I would LOVE that book! I LOVED the movie, we have it and I never get sick of it. It's very clever. That's what makes it work. See? There. I answered that burning question for you! ;) Kidding. Thanks for saying my tutorial doesn't suck. I added some more pictures (better ones) maybe they will inspire you to get around to making some. I think they are so much cuter on teeny people (everything is). We need to chat soon. I'm not feeling so crazy if you still want to go see a flick?? Maybe Saturday, or any day next week if it's a late show.

  2. Great list. I read the Book Thief and I'm reading Maze Runner. Catherine Called Birdy is on my shelf right now. Don't know when i'll get to it. I bought it at a book sale at the Scholastic warehouse by my house. They have sales twice a year and sell books up to 80% off so I have quite a collection.