This old One Room Schoolhouse in Roaring Falls serves as our only currently available Classroom. Due to its small size, we frequently hold classes outdoors under the spreading Chestnut tree, or seated along the edge of the old Stone Bridge.
The classes held here are devoted solely to helpful Writing Tips, and other goodies not directly associated with the Roaring Falls Series. On occasion I may expound on certain facets of Roaring Falls in examples, as part of a lesson or two.
Because this page could grow quite large over time, rather than having it look like a jumbled up slow loading Blog. For your, and our mobile visitors convenience, we have divided each Topic and Sub-Topic, placing them on separate Schoolhouse Bookshelves.
Dreams can take us into realms we could never venture to in real life. Tapping into the vast resources of our unconscious mind, can make a story come alive, expand realism and introduce the non-logical element of surprise.
For those of you with young children, or you may remember yourself as a child, dreaming up a real whopper of an excuse for something you knew you were going to get a licking for; the stories we could come up with, then. As we grew older, we often fantasized; what would it be like to date a rock star? Then drift off into our own little world of make believe, until the teacher sent an eraser sailing our way.
The art of purposeful daydreaming will open many new avenues, provide inspiration for new ideas and solve difficult situations encountered in your novel; However, daydreams are not the only source of inspiration. I often get stuck on some unsurmountable task and decide that the best thing to do is simply, just sleep on it. Like priming an old water pump, after getting settled in bed and have just reached the point where my eyes are to heavy to hold open, yet the sound of the night has not yet diminished, I will mill over the situation allowing my subconscious to work through the details.
Some of my greatest storyline concepts and solutions to problems, are those experienced while I was sleeping. I keep a notepad on my night stand to write down those ideas that would be impossible to remember come morning. Sometimes when I read my notes, they are so far out of touch with reality, that I cannot decipher what I meant by them, but most of the time, I'm glad I took the couple of minutes to write them down. Also by writing them down, you can fall back asleep much faster than if you keep thinking about them.
One of my tasks at work is to get the author out of a corner they painted themselves into. Many chuckle when I say that, because they may think it is impossible to write oneself into a dead end. Actually, it happens all the time; a novel is published, hits the charts and the publisher is demanding a sequel. Sometimes a book may go into series, and the author has closed every conceivable avenue of escape for a certain character. Perhaps this was in order to prove him guilty in the first book of the series. Now, due to the popularity or acceptance of this key character, the publisher wants the author to prove his innocence.
Many strong feelings, emotions, and visions, seem to come forth in our dreams, whether at night or when we begin to daydream. I love to keep interesting objects around me, and rather than sharpen pencils, organize papers, or keep popping that tab on a soda can as a distraction, I will pick up an object and just study it for awhile. I begin to speculate on the what if's; what if I could turn a tin cup inside out like it was made of rubber; what if that metal came from near the center of the earth; what if it was spewed out by a volcano; what if it was planted here by a meteorite?
Using something more related to the problem I'm having with a storyline, a locked room for instance; I may just sit there holding an old skeleton key, like the one to grandma's house. I may shift my attention to the door, back to the key, study the door handle, then back to the key again. I may think to myself how folks were dressed during that era, the songs they may have listened to, or the mischief they may have found themselves into. I close my eyes and let my mind wander, and before long, a solution is found for my dilemma.
Sometimes my mind wanders and forgets to come back, until the phone rings or my face hits the desk.