Saturday 28 April 2012

Princess Stories

When I was a little girl, I was convinced that I was a princess. I was, of course, a good princess who loved animals and trees and flowers. Not the mean and nasty kind.

Every since I learned to read, princess books were always at the top of my list. I think I had frequent flyer miles at the small town library where we lived.

After the librarian exhausted all of her efforts to find me more and more princess books, I resorted to other short stories for children that had faeries, elves, gnomes and dragons.

Reading princess books had become my passion at an early age. I could be drawn into this other world that felt so real and magical. I knew I would always be a reader of princess stories, maybe even a writer of a princess book. And my princess stories could have elves, faeries, and gnomes in them.

By the age of eight, my good imagination was already in high gear, writing scripts for my play-acting scenes. I made up the best scenes, or so I thought at the time. I was always a good and noble princess in some kind of strange and horrible situation that I needed to be rescued from. After I was rescued, I always rescued the distraught animals, or elves or whoever else was having a bad trouble.

I only have one younger sister and no brothers. So my sister, being the good sport that she was, was always eager to be my rescuer/prince charming. I did not like the fact that she would only wear her cowboy outfit, with guns in her holster (how barbaric), but nonetheless, she made a good prince and always went along with my ideas (which, of course, is very important when you're the writer of the princess story scenes).

My play-acting, princess dress was a hand-me-down from a older cousin; a simple, white dress with a little crinoline underneath, but to me that dress was the most precious thing I owned, I wore that dress for years. I even tried wearing it to school, no luck, caught by mom, go change.

I wore that dress the day I decided to have a Princess Mud Pie Sale. I spent the day making mud pies and decorating them with rocks, flowers, twigs and the odd dead bee. I set up my booth, with the help of my mom, and anxiously awaited customers.

A few elderly ladies stopped by to pinch my cheeks and marvel at my creativeness, but alas, no sales.

The day was drawing to an end, and I was really hungry, when my dad pulled up in our station wagon. He thought I had a wonderful idea and bought the whole lot of Princess Mud Pies.

Thanks, Dad, for that day, I will never forget it. I know you've already read my real Princess Book from Heaven.

And thanks to my sister, Cindi, for co-operating in all of my Princess Stories.

For the real Princess Story, click on the book on the sidebar, Sir Princess Petra - The Pen Pieyu Adventures or visit:

Book Trailer

Sunday 22 April 2012

The elusive right brain session

For me, a right brain session is cructial to my being able to write.

First of all, I am not one of those writers that can just sit down everyday and write something intelligent.
Seriously, I don't know how people do that.

I have to get into my right brain, my creative brain. And some days, this is very hard work.

I work full time at a hectic dental office. I do a bazillion things in one day, but for most of my day, I'm doing bookkeeping, payroll, or some sort of paperwork. This is left brain.

So, for me to switch over, it takes some careful thought.

First, I have to pre-plan a writing day. I have some Fridays off, so I think about it all week. FRIDAY IS WRITING DAY, FRIDAY IS WRITING DAY.

When I get this suggestion in my head. I am subconsciously planning to be in right brain first thing Friday morning, hit the keyboard and write something amazing with absolutely no effort.

Yah, right!

Although planting the suggestion in my head early in the week does help me keep a schedule, I'm pretty sure I don't wake up with my right brain in full force.

First of all, I need at least 5 cups of coffee to be able to hit the letters on the keyboard to type in English. Then I need to put the phone on silence and shut out the outside world. This means my husband cannot bother me as my DO NOT DISTURB sign is up.

The second thing I do is either listen to music that inspires me, do some artwork, or meditate. These are all right brain activities.

Once my right brain is on, the creative process of story telling is amazing. Characters and ideas flow. I write. I do not worry about proper sentence structure or grammar. I use the creative right brain to sail the writing process through all sorts of adventures.

When I am in right brain, I write for 9 hours straight,not thinking about time or obligations. And then, the process winds down, and I wonder why I am so hungry.

I try to get into my right brain sessions for about 3 - 4 weekends straight. I continue from where I left off, not worrying about the previous writing, unless I can't remember something that I wrote. After 30 - 40 hours of creative writing, that is usually enough time to have a rough story hammered out.

Once the rough story is written, then the editing part is next. I hate the editing part. But now I can use my highly developed left brain (which most of us have already) to form proper sentences and check puncuation, grammar, etc.

My editing goes on for months. Several hours every weekend if possible.Never in one sitting. Stepping away from my project helps me to edit with a new set of eyes the next time.

This is how I deal with the elusive right brain. I also rarely watch television, preferring to read or paint a picture, or ride my horse, or play with my dogs. I believe television saps our right brain creative thinking. It's been several years since I cut down on television and I really think doing something else more creative helps in the long run.


Saturday 14 April 2012


A quick review and something to think about as you are forming your own story.

CHARACTER plus meaningful, directed action toward a previously planned and desired end--that is the meaning and purpose of plotting.

If you take a character from one situation where he is content and place him in another situation where he is not, problems are bound to be generated. Immediately there is a state of unrest, conflict, or adventure--especially if the character decides to improve his lot, attain a goal, or be assertive in some way.

The odds should be against the hero, the hero should struggle (physically or mentally) to attain the goal, and finally achieve the goal in some original manner.

                                                          12 Point Plot Structure

1.  Who is the main character?

2.  Who or what is the antagonist? (There can be more than one antagonist and those antagonists can be a person,bad weather, or a situation the main character just can't get out of, etc.)

3. Who are the other people in the story? Do you have a good reason to have them there?

4. What does the main character want? It should be vital.

5. How important is what he/she wants? It should be very,very,very important.

6. How does the antagonist prevent or foil the main character from achieving his/her goal? This will be your conflict.

7. What does the main character do about the obstacle? They must win through their own power, not luck or coincidence. The main character doing something about the obstacle starts the action.

8. What are the results of his/her action? Here complication should set in.

9. What do these complications lead to? Hopefully, something interesting.

10. What is the climax? Where the intensity and interest in the story reach a high pitch. The main character must decide what to do because of the kind of person he/she is.

11. Does the main character accomplish his/her purpose? This is the story outcome.

12.What is the theme? What basic truth has been illustrated through your main character?

Once you have plotting down pat. The next step should be editing. I know, we all hate editing.

But from my experience, editing a story at least 10 times (and over several months--not in one sitting) will make for a much tighter story.

The more words you can cut from the original story, the more concise your wording will be.

One of the most valuable things I learned through my years with The Institute of Children's Literature and journalism school was: Don't fall in love with your words. We all have a tendency to babble, so learn not to babble. Cut your words and make your story read smooth.