Stepping into the forest of my mind

Stepping into the forest of my mind
Just as every journey begins with a first step, every story begins with the first word.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Obstacles Add Tension in Story #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

As in life, obstacles can add tension in fiction or memoir stories. When I say this, I mean literally whatever keeps your protagonist from reaching her story goal is an obstacle.

Obstacles can be physical things like:

Wild animals blocking the path back home
An evil villain forcing your protagonist to retreat or hide [antagonist]
Any treacherous trail to negotiate in order to find freedom [landscape]
An ice storm or bitter cold or icy waters to traverse [weather]
Government or societal corruption

But obstacles can also be internal things like:

Lacking physical ability to do something
Lacking in knowledge
Mental or physical illness
Mental or physical abuse
A bad relationship your protagonist can’t break free of
Any belief contrary to a logical standpoint [if someone’s being nice to you, that means they want something]

Writers should include both internal and external obstacles for their protagonists—in varying degrees of intensity. They can’t all be life-threatening in a story or the writer will run the risk of exhausting his reader. The writer needs to choose obstacles that mean something important to his protagonist. How the protagonist interprets these obstacles is the reason why writers include them in their stories.

If we turn to my college memoir, Victoria’s main obstacle in keeping her from obtaining her college degree is internal. It’s her belief that she can actually do it. It’s her feeling of inadequacy when compared to other college students.

A few external obstacles in this college journey are:
            Her children – Although they are the impetus for Victoria to begin college, the time they require in their growing up years collides with Vic’s ability to focus on college.
            Failing the math portion of the entrance exam.
            Professors – their teaching style and Vic’s ability to learn collide.
            Dropping a course in order to save sanity
            Vic’s always fighting the clock, trying to find time to complete assignments
            Vic struggles with learning subject material

Feel free to offer any insight regarding my obstacles in this college journey. It would be truly appreciated.

Thank you for visiting Adventures in Writing. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in the comment so I can be sure to do the same for you. To continue hopping through more amazing blogs or to join our Author Toolbox blog hop, click here

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Insecure Writers Want to Know: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

Me, creative? I wish I could say I’m a musician or a painter, but my medium is words. I’m a storyteller just like my father before me. Okay, I specialize in anecdotes—family anecdotes. But something besides storytelling? I really had to think about this question.

I’m the keeper of my family’s memories, our treasure, our adventures. I create photo albums for each child with this treasure. Each of my five children receive a life book, I call it, filled to the brim with their personal anecdotes and life treasure. These books take me months and months to create. I fill them with redwood tiny pine cones, elementary reading certificates, small sea shells from Jersey beaches, scouts badges, and zoo pins. Stickers, photos, and snippets of their life memories fill the pages.

I like nothing more than to enjoy a fresh pot of tea in the morning. But I don’t like the teapot to get cold quickly, so I created tea cozies. I ask the children what we should make. We go up into the attic to search for scraps of material. We make a template. And I sew our new creation. Now, I’ve created tea cozies for each of my married children using their favorite clothing growing up. I create a cat using my daughter’s favorite leopard print skirt. I use contrasting fabric for ears and tail. I make dogs or cabins. I offer one of my many teapots and two tea cups to go with each tea cozy.
Have a hot cup of tea, enjoy the love
and share precious memories.
I was the hospice caregiver for my mother in her last months of life. Once she died. I made “Grandma G” heart pillows out of Mom’s housecoat. I wanted the children to remember that Gram’s love would always be with them. I attached ribbons to the hearts so the children could hang their Grandma G hearts anywhere.

I always enjoyed community theatre. I used to be in shows, but needed to decide if I was going to spend time acting or creating stories to sell. There is only so much time in one day, and my family has always been my priority.

I can’t wait to see how creative you all are. Thanks for visiting! Please follow Adventures in Writing if you haven’t already and connect with me online. Leave your blog link in your comment so I can be sure to do the same for you.

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month.  To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.