Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Order of Events for Multiple Story Lines

I am a by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. While, that is a pretty fun way to write for me, I have some organizational issues to address. I have three separate story lines going on and it is now time to weave them all together, so today I came up with this idea (I'm calling it Order of Events) as a way for me organize my thoughts. 

I'm sharing it below. KEEP IN MIND, I AM NO EXPERT! I am working on my first novel, trying to figure it all out. I love to read tips from other writers, so I'm posting my tip in case someone out in blogland can use it.

Order of Events for Multiple Story Lines --

1. Write down story events for each story line separately. (Example below)

Three pigs set out on their own.
One pig built a house out of straw, one of sticks, one of bricks.
The wolf huffed and he puffed. 
Wolf Came and blew the house down....

Little Red Riding Hood went into the forest
She visited her grandmother.
She noticed large teeth, ears and mouth.
Grandmother was really a wolf and ate her.

Josh just moved into a creepy old house by the woods.
The kids in the neighborhood didn't like him.
They told him stories about wolves living in the forest.
One day, he met a wolf and it was nothing like the fairy tales!
2. Color code the story lines.

Three pigs set out on their own.
One pig built a house out of straw, one of sticks, one of bricks.
The wolf huffed and he puffed. 
Wolf Came and blew the house down....

Little Red Riding Hood went into the forest
She visited her grandmother.
She noticed large teeth, ears and mouth.
Grandmother was really a wolf and ate her.

Josh just moved into a creepy old house by the woods.
The kids in the neighborhood didn't like him.
They told him stories about wolves living in the forest.
One day, he met a wolf and it was nothing like the fairy tales!

3. Weave the stories together chapter by chapter to get the right flow, pacing and suspense.

Three pigs set out on their own.
One pig built a house out of straw, one of sticks, one of bricks.
Little Red Riding Hood went into the forest
Josh just moved into a creepy old house by the woods.
She visited her grandmother.
She noticed large teeth, ears and mouth.
The kids in the neighborhood didn't like him.
The wolf huffed and he puffed. 
They told him stories about wolves living in the forest.
Wolf Came and blew the house down....
Grandmother was really a wolf and ate her.
One day, he met a wolf and it was nothing like the fairy tales!

OK, so my example isn't foolproof (it may not even make sense), but it gives you an idea of how to pull your story lines together. And no, these are not my real story lines.

P.S. If this made no sense, whatsoever, just laugh and do it your own way ;0).

How do you pull your book together? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Photo Prompt Challenge - Some Piggies

1st Writes now has a Photo Writing Prompt every Monday! You can join in the fun by writing to the prompt, posting it to your blog, and then linking it!  For this week's photo click here

Here is my response to this photo prompt:

Some Piggies
by Dawn M. Hamsher

Some piggies are good for banking.
Some piggies are good for baking.
Some piggies are good for riding. (See Baby Monkey Riding on a Pig video)
And some piggies are good for...licking?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lovin' the Language Blogfest Post

Jolene B Perry is hosting this neat blogfest where you post 5 lines from your current WIP. 

Lowering his voice, Ben said calmly, “My mother works hard to feed us and you do not pay her fairly for her goods.  That will change.”

“Oh really! And who exactly is going to make me?  You -- a daft boy?” The merchant's big hand slammed the counter so hard the basket of eggs jumped and the man laughed at his own joke.  Then he wiped the spittle from his mouth with his hairy arm.

“No one is going to make you. You’ll want to."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Chat #2

Blogging Is For the Ducks!

Last week, I met up with my blog buddies, Pam and Brianna for a Blog Chat. We decided to meet without our laptops at a local college campus by a stream. We set up our lawn chairs, indulged in Crystal Light Iced Tea and Key Lime Pie Bars, and began talking blog

Before long, we got company. Two ducklings came onto the bank and proceeded to nest on our shoes, taking turns visiting each of us for the entire 2 hours. Blog talk went out the window as we made over the two seemingly orphaned ducklings. 

Since we didn't get too deep into blog talk, I decided to reflect on the ducklings and what I could glean from them about blogging. Here's what I came up with:

  • Need for community
  • Visiting is good
  • Stick together
  • Be careful where you wander (there are dangers out there)

What is something in nature that has caused you to reflect? 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 This Week (Updated)

Panda Mania VBS 2011
I'm thick in the middle of VBS this week! I co-lead the opening and closing of Vacation Bible School. I get to sing, dance, act, and generally act like a goof-ball --all in the name of Jesus! It is great fun.

It is a challenging week though. I work full-time and then go straight to VBS. That makes for one tired girl! But there is a reason I do it year after year. It is the look in the children's eyes as they watch us. It is hugging, talking, and high-fiving the kids.

I almost get choked up thinking about the role I play. I am one of the lights of Jesus to these children. Some of these kids never set foot in a church any other way. They come to have fun. Well, I hope they feel loved and through us, they see Jesus.

Jesus hugs the children
Tonight, is my favorite night of the VBS week! Jesus comes out and all the kids go up to him and hug him. Then we pray and kids can invite Jesus into their hearts. It is always emotional. 

My neighbor, Jeffrey, plays Jesus. Last year, a little boy named Jacob, with Down's Syndrome, gave him a hug and his heart just melted (There is a wondrous story about Jeffrey and Jacob. I will write about it soon). 

Thank you, God for your love. May I pass it on. Amen

Monday, June 20, 2011

Photo Writing Prompt - House

Photo by Toby Hamsher, 2011

Check out Monday's photo writing prompt on 1st Writes
(a new photo will be posted every Monday)! If you write about it, we'd love to read it in the comment section there!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Need Questions!

I woke up from a nap today (yep, it was wonderful) with the urge to write a series of short skits for church! Each skit would be based on a question people have in their faith journey. I have two questions, so far:
  • "Why does God love me?"

  • "How can Jesus' death cover all the sins of the world, even mine?"

I could use your help coming up with more! Please leave your questions in the Comments Section. Thank you, in advance!

What are some questions you grapple with in your faith?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just My Style!

Stacy Post from A Writer's Point of View has me going again! Her post on writing style Writing Style from A Reader's Point of View opens with her own personal sense of style and then hits on writing style. 

I wanted to explore this further, so I read Grammar Girl's Understanding Voice and Tone in Writing by Julie Wildhaber.  Takeaway: These words can be used interchangeably: voice, style, personality.

Now for an exercise of self-discovery!

Writing Exercise: 
1. What is your personal sense of style?
2. Think about your writing. Describe its style.  
Click here for list of writing style terms to assist you. Ask critique partners to describe your writing style.
3. Compare 1. and 2. and share your thoughts about the similarities and differences. What did you learn?

My response is below.

1. My personal style --
  • Personal Style/Attributes: Comfortable consignment shop clothing, ball cap, sneakers, soft t-shirt, long auburn hair, pony tail, no perfume, all legs, crooked smile, hazel eyes, glasses. 
  • Voice: Verbal, passionate, yet introverted at times.
  • Personality: Honest, hard-working, dependable, loyal, task-oriented, practical, self-motivated, encourager.

2. My writing style --
  • Dialog-rich, inspired by my love of theatre, strong focus on pacing, humorous (my observation)
  • Enthusiasm, Brevity (per Pam Williams, critique partner, 2 Encourage)
  • Sincere, Conversational, Insightful, Encouraging (per Virginia, critique partner)

3. Comparison of me and my writing -
I am true to myself in my writing. What you see (me) is what you get (my writing). 

In closing, this was a good exercise, especially getting feedback from my critique partners on my writing style!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Writing Comes First - Comic: Prompt

Below is the link to my recent comic about Christian Writing on 1st Writes Blog. Enjoy!

So, what can a Christian do when they have Writer's Block?
Writing Comes First Comic: Prompt

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meet Punky P!NK

Photo by Dawn, 2011
My rose bush wrote a guest post 
Check it out!

I'm so proud of her. She's a beautiful, spunky girl. Can't wait for you to meet 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Photo Writing Prompt - Purple Flower

Writing Exercise: Write a drabble about this photo. 
Drabble -- an extremely short work of fiction of exactly one hundred words in length.
My response is below.

Photo by Toby Hamsher, 2011 (Maine)
Clothed in Majesty
by Dawn M. Hamsher

I look out over the rough grasses and all that the Lord has made. I stand tall, and for good reason. I am clothed in purple, like my master, and I announce to all that I was made by him. I reflect the son with every fiber, with every petal of my being, and because of his glory, I have been crowned by him. But, it is more than that. He loves me and he also calls me friend. I am much more than a pretty face. I am holy, in Christ. 

How do you reflect the love of Christ?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's the Tone?

I was reading A Writer's Point of View by Stacy Post. Her post Emotion from a Reader's Point of View deals with "tone" or the "emotional draw of a story". I was intrigued. I couldn't wait to do this writing exercise! 

Stacy's Writing Exercise: Read Emotion from a Reader's Point of View, which includes a list of tone descriptors. Then figure out the tone of your current manuscript. Share it in Comments Section. My response is below.

My Current Manuscript's Tone:
  • energetic 
  • adventurous
  • suspenseful
  • upbeat
  • entertaining

Wow, I spent a lot of time coming up with these 5 words to describe the tone of my book. This exercise was great because it adds one more layer to my understanding! 
(Pam & Brianna, Do you think I hit the mark on the "tone descriptors" I chose? Would you suggest any others for my book?)

If you liked this exercise, you'll want to read the rest of Stacy's series on Point of View:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mosaic Me

I found another great blog, Miscellaneous Mum, and a fun activity called Mosaic Maker Meme!

Exercise: Make a mosaic about yourself by following these instructions. Let me know in Comments Section if you make one. I'd love to see it! My response is below.

Instructions (I've expanded on Misc Mum's a bit):

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Creative Commons Search.
2. Pick one image to represent your answer.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers. (3 columns, 4 rows)
4. Save.

The questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school or college did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is/was your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What did you look like as a child? (I uploaded a photo of me into Photobucket to get URL for it. Or, if you don't want to do that, use this question instead: What was your favorite childhood game?

1. Golden Dawn for Golden Rice, 2. Enchiladas, 3. Sword, 4. green sea of chairs, 5. Colin Firth, 6. Coffee time, 7. Beach Palm Tree, 8. OREO .., 9. The Writer and Nobel Prize in Literature - Jose Saramago, 10. There is no better person to fall in love with but with Jesus, 11. Explored : Hey Buddy12. Photo of Dawn, age 9, taken by Jack D. Horner.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Little Info Is...Comic: The Basics

I'm having fun writing up these comics. They are inspired by work (I work in the IT field). I hope you are enjoying them too. I have a few more planned and then I'll get back to doing some writing exercises. 

P.S. I am working on my book in my spare time (just finished another chapter), so don't think I'm completely goofing off. :0)

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Little Info Is...Comic: Monitor

I have to tell you...I'm stuck on Matt Conlon's comics. Stick I.T. has hilarious I.T.-related humor that I can really relate to in my job. His comics have inspired me to write some of my own (hope you don't mind, Matt). What fun!  

Man, you never know what I'm going to get into, do you? :0) Now, keep in mind that this is my first attempt at a comic. My husband smiled at it and said it was "humorous, but not hilarious". Thanks honey..for your support.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Matters...

Carla's Writing World is becoming a favorite blog stop for me. Today's post  
Writer, How well do you know your audience? made me want to drop everything 
and do her exercise. And, in fact I did! I'm sharing it below.

Carla's Writing Exercise: What is important to your audience? Think of 20 things that matter to your audience.  
My response is below.

What is important to my audience? Hmm... First, I need to think of the audience that will one day read my book (optimistic, aren't I?). Well, they will be like me and my daughter. People who love to read chapter books full of adventure and fantasy (books like Harry Potter and Peter and the Starcatchers). 

Here is what I think matters to them:

                                             Believability (in characters, story and setting)
Photo by Capture Photography
Mythical creatures
Good Vs. Evil
Short Chapters
Good battles
Love for Main Character
Plot twists
Pets (yes, pets...are always good)
Good characters
Relationships between characters
  Satisfying ending
   Well Researched (if applicable)

Now, to keep this all in mind as I write! :0)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Capturing a Moment - Eternity Tea (UPDATED)

UPDATE TO THIS POST: Three from our writing group went to Eternity Tea. Brianna challenged us to each write a post about our experience there, so that we could compare our writing styles/voices. Mine, of course is below, but please check out Brianna's version A Real Tea Party and Pam's version A Taste of Eternity.

I seem to be stuck on the "Capturing a Moment" theme! 
I've been having some wonderful experiences lately and I have to write! 
This one is about a tea I went to last Saturday in Everett, PA called Eternity Tea Room.  


Eternity Tea
by Dawn M. Hamsher

China Blue cloth
With white lace on top
Painted pink roses
Adorn each tea cup

French Crème Brulee
Apple Harvest Crunch
Turtle Delight and
Chocolate Macadamia Nut

These four friends meet
Loving writing and God
Here they share a moment
But one day, eternity above