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Showing posts from May, 2011

Lessons from Aquamarine

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This is a movie which is in our home library and I've seen it I don't know how many times. Aquamarine is the story about two teen girls who find a mermaid and are promised any wish if they can help the mermaid find true love (spoilers below). The lesson I want to talk about actually doesn't have much to do with the plot itself, but with a topic I've covered in previous "Lessons from" posts. Mainly, having your characters act age appropriate.

Most of my books have some sort of romance in them even if the main plot isn't a romance - a romance will most likely come in somewhere. With my first young adult fantasy, Horse Charmer, currently out, I've been brainstorming other young adult and middle grade stories. Something I noticed with Horse Charmer was that though the story is young adult because of the age of the heroine and a romantic element, my tone is more middle grade fantasy. The romance was very light and sweet - on purpose.

Lesson 1 - Aquamarine …

RWAOnline Workshop The Plotting Wheel

*** Permission Granted to Forward ***

RWA Online presents:

The Plotting Wheel
Presented by Becky Martinez and Sue Viders
June 6 - July 1, 2011 (Dates arranged so writers attending the RWA National Conference can still take this class!)

About the class:
Plotting a novel can be a daunting task, but no matter what method of plotting a writer uses, there are certain elements that need to go into any well told story. Don't get bogged down with a story going nowhere. This class illustrates how to tackle those various elements by using “The Plotting Wheel.” Learn how to build a plot from idea to satisfying conclusion by moving the story along using the spokes of the wheel.

The plotting wheel can help the writer make certain they’re headed in the right direction with their characters and that the story is moving forward through meaningful action, while building tension and making use of good pacing. The plotting wheel gets a story off to a quick start, props up the sagging middl…

Lessons from Back to the Future

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I just rewatched Back to the Future with my daughter who had no idea what I was talking about when I made a BTTF reference. So, of course, I had to rent it for her. :-) I can't even remember how long it has been since I had seen it last, but it completely lived up to my memories of it.

The lesson I want to cover, which for some reason I didn't consciously remember about the movie, is layering

Wow, go back and watch the opening twenty minutes of this movie and notice all of the little details of visuals and dialogue which come into play later on in the movie. It's a feast for the eyes if you know what you're looking at. If it has been a long time since you've seen the movie, I would actually recommend you rewatch it twice so you can go back to the beginning and see all of the groundwork and layering the filmmakers did with BTTF.

Consider layering and hinting with your own work. Your reader might not consciously notice it in the first run through, but it will add…

Horse Charmer Now Available

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Horse Charmer is now live and available as an ebook at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Through Smashwords Horse Charmer will shortly be available through Apple, Sony, Kobo, Borders/Borders Australia, Whitcoulls, Diesel Ebook Store, and ScrollMotion.

Horse Charmer by Angelia Almos

At sixteen years old, Cassia would rather spend her days in the royal stables than in the royal court. But as the eldest child of King Robet and Queen Sarahann she obediently performs her duties as the Princess of Karah.

Her safe world changes forever when her father is murdered in the neighboring kingdom of Vespera. Cassia grapples with his loss as her mother prepares her for her new role as queen. Her first task - she must travel to Vespera to marry a prince she barely knows to fulfill the treaty her father signed just before his death.

Nothing is as simple as it seems with political intrigues and unusual powers shadowing Cassia on her search to find out who killed her father and why.

Lessons from Penelope

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Bringing back my series on Lessons from Movies. I love to study movies to improve my own storytelling. It's not that I don't learn from the written word, but as a visual learner I pick things up faster and easier if I see it.

Penelope is a sweet, sleeper of a movie. I vaguely recall it being released in the theater, but somehow missed it. I picked it up as a new release at the video store and was charmed from the opening sequence. The movie is a modern fairy tale and has a distinct magical feel to it. On to the lessons, beware, major spoiler as I am going to discuss the climax.

1) I love, absolutely, love that it is Penelope who breaks her curse and that her "prince" is unable to. In fact, none of the men who her mother shoves at her would be able to break the curse, because they can't look past her face to the person she is. It is only when Penelope accepts and loves herself for who she is - pig snout and all - that the curse is broken.

2) The second part of the…