Archive for June, 2012

Five Minutes at the Beach

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Five Minutes at the Beach

I park my car in the lot, get out and trudge down to the shore on what is referred to as sand.

After taking off my shoes and slinging my pack onto my back the gravel cuts into my flesh. Softness and warmth do not come to mind as I walk as far along the shore as my burned feet will take me.

My brain says, “Enough get your shoes back on and get back to your car.”

I heed its warning and slip my feet back into my shoes and start back up the hill, away from what is called a beach, to the parking lot overlooking it.

My brain speaks to me once again and this time asks me a question, “Does this body of water have a fragrance, or even a smell? Perhaps the pleasant waft of salt water might be sniffed”

Again I try to do what it says and again there is nothing. What’s going on? This is after all a beach. But I guess it is not the ocean I have been used to my whole life.

I suppose I should just take it for what it is to me.

Catching onto Character Arc

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

As a story unfolds, so does the identity of the characters playing a part in the telling of that story.

The unfolding from the story’s beginning to the middle and to the end is called the arc, or the line of the story. The scenes within the arc build to the top, or the moment of highest tension, before sloping back down into some kind of resolution.

The story arc includes one or several character arcs, depending on how many main characters there are.

The character has to want something, or she already has what she wants and loses it.

The character arc is the line of movement in the story as this character faces her flaws, fears and limitations and overcomes them to get what she wants – or, in some cases, needs but does not initially recognize or acknowledge. The inner (or outer) journey she undergoes along the way causes growth and transformation of who she is.

In my novel “Changing Colors,” my main character Kate wants to replace her lost things from an apartment fire, but her obstacle comes in the form of antique stores and flea markets that don’t have anything except for a teddy bear, not enough to restore her sense of home.

Kate faces setbacks and forces of antagonism up until the crisis event, or climax. Those setbacks thwart her desires and trigger her fears.

As she is tested, her motives increase, giving purpose to her actions. She becomes more determined to overcome her problems and obstacles. At the climax, or her moment of truth, she will have to stay with the status quo and suffer the consequences or change to get something better. What that is for Kate, I haven’t yet figured out.

But I do know that as soon as Kate, or any main character, gets her want or need met, the story is over.