What’s got your Eye in 2016?

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What’s got your eye in 2016? I hope it’s a good book!

Come challenge yourself, by joining the 2016 100 book reading challenge hosted by bestselling author K.M Weiland. 

For further details please see The Reading Challenge.  And stayed tuned for rewards and prizes!

You can also see what I’ll be reading by navigating to my Readers Hit List page.

Respectively yours
Benjamin

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The Physiology of the Writer: The Bones

Still life of model skeleton in Halloween concept

THE BONES

Welcome the second edition of the Physiology of the writer.  This week we will discuss a little about the inner workings of the bones as it pertains to the writer.

One of the most essential elements of the human body, or even its functioning is the skeletal system.  Bones are living organs within every human being.  They have a host of cells that enable them to carry out their daily functions for maintaining homeostasis.  You have the osteocytes, osteoblasts, osteoclasts, not to mention a host of red blood cells within the bone marrow.  But one of the most basic functions of the skeletal system or bones, are that they provide a rigid site for muscle attachment.  Which ultimately is for movement.  And without such an arrangement of bones we would literally be a shapeless sack of flesh.

So you could logically say that without bones there would be no movement or locomotion.  There would be no shape to appreciate, or anything to hold us together.

As writers what is the most basic element of our writing?   I’m guessing it’s the OUTLINE.  The “skeleton” of our writing process.  Without it there’s no locomotion and no shape.  It would be a complete blob.  No matter how awesome the other elements would be there still would be no shape.  It’s much harder to appreciate a bag of flesh just resting on the floor.  Gross huh?  Yup.  It’s even challenging to figure out which organ is which in such a state.

So I’ve been learning one of the most important aspects of writing is the outline.  By nature or design I’m a pantser.  Meaning I’m not much of a planner.  I see one day at a time and I go after it.  But when it comes to writing, there needs to be some definite planning.  Well unless of course you are a diehard pantser.  James Patterson convinced me that the outline is one of the most critical components of the book.  Yes.  Outline.  He spends sometimes a month just on the outline!  Author K.M. Weiland sometimes spends 3 months just on the outline!

Without an outline I’m completely flying blind.  There’s no roadmap and the characters have no idea where they’re going.

But there’s something even more simplistic than the skeleton itself, and that’s the bone marrow.  In physiologic terms there’s nothing simplistic about the functioning of bone marrow.  Hematopoiesis, or blood forming, is the producing of red blood cells that are absolutely vital for survival.  Without it we die. Period.  I know because my father died of bone cancer.  He suffered several vertebral fractures, ailments, and unfortunately he passed.  Multiple Myeloma.

To me the intrinsic bone marrow represents  a basic story premise.  Which is basically a mini outline of the entire story.  Kind of like a birds eye view.

Story Premise

  • Hero or the Protagonist
  • Situation – condition of the hero at the beginning of the story
  • Objective – what does the hero desperately want?
  • Opponent or Antagonist – who opposes the hero?
  • Disaster – forces hero to respond
  • Conflict – main conflict in story

You can see more about story premise here:  Six elements of the Story Premise

I’ve been enjoying working with a basic story premise which has been awesome!  Hopefully sooner than later I’ll master outlining the novel, then structuring the novel by K.M. Weiland.  I’m also reading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell which has been an eye opener.  Another way of outlining is a way I heard from Kylie Day.  Click here to check it out:

More resources:

7 Point Story Structure by Kylie Day.

Story Engineering with Larry Brooks

Every writer is different.  Isn’t that a beauty?  So I’m curious what’s your experience?  How do you approach writing a novel or short story?

 

 

Benjamin

 

 

The Balm of Hope

 

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My heart overflows

into the still of the night,

as seeping anguish overtakes the calm.

Weeping eyes worn of gnawing pains,

as wretched days grow harder to sustain.

Yet hope is fierce knowing no boundary,

her tenacious wings guide into the light.

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin

Upcoming Serialized Literature: Sink Imagination

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Hey everybody!

 

I’m pleased to announce that by the first of the year I’ll have a new serialized fiction novel available exclusively on Channillo.  You can check out a preview here: Sink Imagination.  The posts will be weekly once they begin.  It’s going to be quite a ride for Kyle Chambers.  Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Especially if you’re Kyle Chambers, a middle aged private investigator struggling to make ends meet.  Dwelling in the midst of a declining city rife with crime, he wavers as a single parent who is trying to balance the burden of work while managing a reeling teenage daughter who longs for her own identity.

At the worst time of his life, he discovers that anything he imagines happens in reality.  Only, his reality is frayed by the  signs of early onset Alzheimer’s.  Unsure of himself and his newfound ablility, he seeks assistance from a therapist for stability before he completely loses his grip or gets himself into trouble.

 

Again, let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

Benjamin

Merry Go Round

231

 

Everyone joins the merry go round at some point.

Feeling safe and secure, as the next turn whips

around the carousel cutting against chilled breezes.

The years spin astray, night and day telling their own story.

Seems like a good deal, but it doesn’t come with its own bread and butter.

At best, we try to connect with one another; building sentence upon sentence, spelling out our own history.

 

 

 

 

Written for the Sunday Whirl:  Wordle 231

Benjamin Thomas

 

 

K.M. Weiland’s Reading Challenge: Read 100 Books in 2016

 

Challenge yourself
Challenge yourself

It’s official.  The 100 book reading challenge for 2016 folks.  You gamed?  What do you say? You in?  I’m in like flynn baby.

These days there are so many things competing for our eyeballs.  Your superfreak android phone.  The ever seductive iPhone 6.  The Ipad sucking the life juice out of your retinas.  Laptops galore.  Tablets.  Sports.  Netflix, hulu, Sling, Amazon video, Youtube, video games, and television.  When does it ever end?

The world wants your eyes
The world wants your eyes

We are now living in the digital age like it or not.  The age of information is right at your fingertips.  Literally.  Mobile devices have become the new “crack” of the century.  We’re so addicted to it and we don’t even realize it.  Sad thing about it is, we only have one set of eyes.  They can only be in one place at a time.  Sometimes I wish I had an extra set,  but I guess two will have to do.

 

We can only see one thing at a time...
We can only see one thing at a time…

What about reading?  What ever happened to books?  Do kids read anymore?  Never underestimate the power of a good book, is what I always say.  Kids need to read. Constantly.  It’ll build their literary brains and develop their capacity as a human being.  I did not grow up reading books.  Unless you include the Incredible Hulk.  Even that was sparingly.

Best selling author K.M. Weiland has initiated an awesome challenge.  Read 100 books in a year.  Can you do it?  But a better a question is will you do it.  Even incite others to join the challenge.  To challenge themselves.  If you’d like to participate or would like more information follow the link below:

K.M. Weiland’s Reading Challenge: READ 100 books in 2016

Or follow @KMWeiland on twitter for further instruction.

Are you gamed?  I’ve already got my list compiled and ready to do some serious #eyeguzzling in 2016!  You can take a peek at what I’m reading here:  My Readers Hit List for 2016.

 

 

-Benjamin

SWEET LURE

230

 

 

Her countenance was sweet

and her lure was pure magic.

Unflickering eyes of pearl held steady,

streaming love in steady gaze,

spread wild like rolling spring blossom.

Its leaves giddily unfurled, elegantly creased

thoroughly unbound  and happily released.

 

Then fear  viciously flooded

chambers in the heart,

draining down to the veins.

The lines were drawn, but the facts still remained.

All vicious schemes were irrelevant 

for the attraction was extreme.

All barriers disintegrated

in the reality of their dream.

Written for the Sunday Whirl

Benjamin Thomas

 

 

 

 

The Physiology of the Writer: Interpreters of Inspiration

3d rendered illustration of engine pistons and cog wheels with depth of field effect

If this is your first time on the writing train, WELCOME.  Join the locomotion.   Well, let’s get started with a brand new section of the blog entitled:

 

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE WRITER:   

Interpreters of Inspiration

 

Have you ever wondered what drives a person to commit to writing a full length novel ?  What would inspire them to do such a thing?  The better question would be what exactly is inspiration?  To me, this is quite mysterious.  It comes and goes as it pleases, much like the wind in it’s behavior pattern.  It appears, disappears, changes direction on a dime.  Could be a very subtle breeze tickling the skin, or a category five hurricane knocking the walls of your house down.

For me it seems simple.  When I least expect it, usually something I heard, thought, or saw will stick with me.  In other words, it’s something that we substantiate with our five senses.  We then translate that into an idea, a story, character, or a full length novel.   How does each one interpret the varied inspiration that they receive?  That would be an intriguing research project for some brave soul.  Anyone willing to take up the challenge?

Inspiration usually incites us to action, causing a chain reaction of events.   Normally it drives someone to magnify some form of artistic expression.  Whether it be drawing, painting, decoration, writing, poetry, music or photography.  Inspiration causes movement.  And when that wheel begins to move, things happen. What that movement looks like are as varied as the grains of sand on the beach.

Whoever invented the car is an absolute  genius.  There’s definitely a lot of working parts in your car to make it move.  At least they should be working.   It’s obvious that without fuel nothing works.  But definitely without a working engine you’re going nowhere fast.  And for some strange reason I’ve been considering the piston as representative of this muse, that so easily behooves us, and moves us to write.  One of the most intrinsic, essential parts of an engine are it’s pistons.  When you put your foot on the gas pedal those pistons are pumping fast.  Then off goes your Ferrari.  Cool huh?

Like I’ve said before,  writers are the most intriguing people on the face of the earth.  What drives them?  Muse.  Inspiration.  Interpretation.  Hence a story is born.

That grisly beast in the writer is quite mysterious.  She’s not so bad once you get to know her.  She keeps me company when everyone is sleeping.   My night time mistress keeps me busy.

There it is folks. The audacious pistons of inspiration.  Interpreted by the most intriguing individuals to populate the planet.  You.

 

~Keep your foot on the gas pedal~

 

Benjamin

 

Inspiration and Creativity by Kylie Day

Not feeling Creative? by K.M. Weiland

5 Shorcuts to Getting Ideas for a novel by Better Novel Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Smart Tips for Structuring Powerful Scenes

Need some help crafting those awesome writing scenes?  Look no more.

Writing powerful scenes by K.M. Weiland.  

What do the scenes in your story need to accomplish? What constitutes a scene, anyway? Learn three tips for structuring powerful scenes.  Check the link for the full taste.  Stay awhile and check out the scenery.

Source: 3 Smart Tips for Structuring Powerful Scenes

 

 

Benjamin