And now for a preview!! That’s right, Beyond the Door is coming out next spring, which means it’s already in design. A cover should be coming soon!! The book is full of clues in Ogham. What’s Ogham you ask? It’s a primitive Irish language dating back to the 4th century. It looks like a series of tallies or hatch marks and the inscriptions can still be found on stones in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, although it was also written on trees. The Ogham alphabet has 25 letters.
Here’s what Ogham looks like from Project Guttenberg…
May 1st is when I start to plant my garden, so it’s natural to think about seeds. (Okay, maybe it’s only a theoretical garden, but every year I have big plans.) This spring I’ve been thinking about another kind of seed too, the ones we plant as writers.
I really hate it when a writer tells me something I already know, something I’ve figured out on my own from reading the story. One of the jobs of the writer is to be constantly seeding the manuscript with truths about the protagonist, so that when the reader gets to a big reveal, a crisis, or a climax, and the protagonist reacts in a certain way, the reader says, of course, she wouldn’t have acted differently.
Now I’m not talking about predictability. In real life people surprise us all the time. We think, I didn’t see that coming. And I really like surprises. But even in the unpredictable response, there should be a seed of truth we recognize. I started thinking about this when Sci-Fi guy said, “You would rather show than tell. That’s where a preceding event comes into play. You establish her humanity early, then all she needs to do is make that decision and we get it.” In my case, the protag drops a stone rather than throwing it at a really bad guy. I didn’t want a sentence to follow that stone drop. I wanted the reader to think, of course that’s what she’d do and I know why.
And that’s where seeding comes in. If we seed enough clues, early in the story, we can harvest them at critical moments without having to explain a character’s response, without having to tell. But that implies we know our characters well enough to know how they will respond in crucial moments. We don’t want to plant seeds of peppery arugula when we really want butter lettuce to sprout. It also implies we trust our readers to be smart and get it. We writers often forget just how smart our readers are.
So my take away is that even from the very first chapter I need to start sowing seeds. I need to know what some of the crises will be and how I want my protag to respond when she gets there. I need to make sure I’m always planting.
Saturday – April 13, 9:00 – 12:00
Gonzaga University, Cataldo Building, Globe Room, off of Sharp Rd.
Good Reads! Reviewers and Writers Share Wonderful Books
The BEST New Books 2012- 2013 K-12 with Marilyn Carpenter 9-10, 11:15-12
Marilyn will share excellent choices of titles of books for children that will engage young readers.
Inside Story: Meet and Greet our very own Inland NW authors! 10:10-11:10
A panel of 6 WA State authors/illustrators will inspire you with a short glimpse into their writing world. They’ll share the behind the scenes stories of their new 2012 books. Featured authors/illustrators are: Maureen McQuerry, Kelly Milner Halls, Stephen Wallenfels, Dianna Winget, Chris Crutcher,and Matthew Kirby!
I like to imagine who might be reading The Peculiars and where. When I was growing up in San Jose , CA one of my favorite places to read was in the walnut tree next to our house. This week I discovered that librarians in Los Angeles, CA have been reading The Peculiars. It was one of ten books selected for the Westchester Award. © Ellegon | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
“This award honors authors who contribute exemplary literature to the Young Adult literary canon & the talented publishers who bring their texts to life. The award was founded in 2009 by Suzanne Osman, a teacher librarian for the Los Angeles Unified School District in Los Angeles, CA.”