kendra.frost

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  • in reply to: Freebies and Writing Goodies for your Toolbox! #43048
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Thank you so much, both Linnea and everyone here! It’s been a wonderful class, and I really look forward to the next one. ((And showing off once I’ve finally finished a full novel XD  ))

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42938
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    IE: External dialogue: Oh, no, I’m fine. Really. Internal: WAHHHHHHHHHH! SOB!

    Oh my goodness I have so much fun doing this with Larissa! She’ll say something, then finish it in her head, either with snark or something that flips the meaning.

    “Strawberry, boring,” I handed the S labeled one to Jesse. “Blackberry,” went to Rowan, “and blueberry, best of all berries, to me.”

    “Blueberries will always be gross,” Jesse said, accepting a fork.

    “And there will always be more for me.” Especially since I’ll never eat another blackberry again.

    I have yet to figure out why the blackberries came up, but I’m betting it’s one of those elf memories. I know I’ll have to be careful putting too many of those in, since that’s not the issue she has in this book, but I still need to set it up for later.

    Gah why’d he have to bring that up? It was Linda’s laundry bin, an eviction notice waiting to happen. It was a fire hazard, a prison, a festering cesspool of malignant ooze. It has the soul of an unwashed jock strap, I’m not allowed to paint, and there were invisible animals breaking in before I even finished unpacking.

    “It’s a box within a box within a box,” I said instead, bending down to unhook Red. “And it contains all my boxes.

    Part of the character growth I intend for her is that she needs to start speaking up on what she actually thinks. Both around her friends and the people who are supposed to be taking care of her. ((That also leads into her trying to talk about the spirits, but being unable to, which leads to a decision in the falling action to go talk to the elves. Especially after she tries to tell Rowan about the spirits and literally can’t move her mouth.))

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42926
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Frost Lesson 6 Homework

    I picked HiDee’s, and Ana Morgan’s.

    (1)  What specifics are used that cemented your trust in the prose, and drew you into the story?

    For HiDee, it was the first part…

    Dana Taylor pressed a hand to her chest and forced herself not to hyperventilate.

    For God’s sake, what was she thinking? She’d seen the unfamiliar car hanging around her neighborhood the past few days. She should have called the cops when her neighbors’ dog started barking, but Monty barked at everything. Instead she’d gone out the back door, snuck around the corner, and there was a man, crouching below her window.

    She stared down at the shadowy figure on the ground. Her fingers ached from the death grip she had on the long-handled flashlight, but she wasn’t about to let go of it.

    Ignoring the comments that were already made about backstory, hyperventilating is a very real reaction to finding a burglar. The unfamiliar car around the neighborhood is a telltale sign that someone’s up to no good. That and the long-handled flashlight show the modern era. Calling it a flashlight instead of a torch shows she’s probably in America, and clinging to it lends credibility to her nerves.

    For Ana,

    At five minutes before eleven, Ammi Folkright downshifted into her regular parking spot at the Minnesota State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The aging engine of her old F-150 pickup coughed as she tucked her wallet and cell phone in the glove compartment, and she patted the dash until it stilled.

    Carrying an innocent-looking, brown-paper lunch bag, she marched across the snow-slick asphalt toward the imposing granite-block building and waved at the dark eye of the overhead security camera.

    The lock buzzed, granting her admittance. She opened the thick steel door and approached the check-in bay.

    Downshifting, F-150 coughing and shaking, the paper lunch bag. These give an immediate, sort of run-down feel to the scene. The truck is old, it’s a paper bag instead of a tote, or lunchbox, which would cost more. Pointing out that the lunch bag is “innocent looking” rather than just leaving it as a lunch bag, shows she probably knows she isn’t supposed to bring those things in.

    There are a lot of credible details, actually. It’s winter with the snow-slick asphalt, urban feeling with the lack of greenery, having to be buzzed into a mental health facility, etc. The way her father’s expression changes at an interruption that lets her know he’s lost his train of thought. The fact that it took a bloody nose to teach the MC that the door opens outward, and fast. Even the imposition of the building is credible, since it shows this is not a welcoming, soothing exterior.

    (I agree with some of the comments that I’d like to see how the MC feels about that big, imposing building. In Skyrim, one of the NPC’s remarks on how the big, stone, Imperial walls used to lend a feeling of safety, with the implication that now they definitely don’t, and I always loved that detail of how his perspective changed over time.)

    (1B) What specifics are missing, or incorrect?

    For HiDee’s, The cowboy boots later are a specific detail, but they don’t show anything beyond what shoes the MC likes to wear. It could be for any reason from living on an actual ranch (which is doubt-able due to it being a neighborhood) or that she actually rides horses, to a club thing in Texas or some other western state.

    I’d say if the boots are a needed detail that early in the story, show us what they look like. Rough and beat up? Probably a real rider. Clean and neat, probably not. Bejeweled and bright pink? Definitely a clubber or dancing shoes.

    What shoes someone wears says a lot about the character and the character’s purpose, and it does show a lot about her inexperience with these situations that she’s wearing something that clacks when you step.

    For Ana’s, it’s odd that she’d still try to push her herbal remedies through the guards, even though she’s been going there for so long. To make that detail more credible, though, you could explain why she’s trying to get the guard to fudge the rules she already knows are non-negotiable. Does she believe they’re giving her father the wrong medicine? Does she not believe in modern medicine? Has something happened outside concerning her herbalist activities and she desperately needs reassurance?

    The “missing” details are mostly about the MC. Yes it’s in third person, but we don’t get thoughts, reactions, or much of the MC’s opinion. That makes it kind of hard to relate until the scene with her father, and even then it seems kind of distant, like we’re viewing from the outside instead of riding along.

    (2)  What made the opening feel credible? Was there anything that jarred you out of the story because it seemed “out of place” (not credible to the story)?

    For HiDee’s, What made the opening feel credible was those first three paragraphs. After that… well it’s already been touched on that the MC’s reaction is a bit iffy. The fact that she’s reminiscing over her parents’ advice might lend credibility to the fact that the burglar has already konked himself out cold (something we don’t learn until after the reminiscing), but loses a lot of the tension.

    The reminiscing could be left for after the MC gets the immediate situation taken care of. Not only does it show agency on behalf of the MC to act in that situation instead of stand there staring, it would keep the tension up. “Oh no! Burglar! Wait, he’s konked himself out. Wait! I know him! *first-aid* … What the hell was I thinking going out there like this?” That might be a potential comedy/eyeroll moment, too.

    For Ana’s, I wasn’t jarred, really. There were a couple of moments in the beginning where I wondered and I’ve already mentioned those, but the rest, especially the interaction with her father and memory issues, were great!

    I especially love this line: “she jabbed the button like a hungry pileated woodpecker in search of a tree ant.” Great visual, and it also shows her irritation with being “late”

    Adding details about emotions, opinions, etc, would help mitigate some of that “camera over the head” distance and move it towards “camera in the eyeball, or in the mind.” How’s the MC’s body reacting? Does her neck feel tight? Does she slouch at the building? Seeing her physical reaction to the emotions she has to be feeling would make it a lot easier to get into the story.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: HiDee Ekstrom Homework Thread #42925
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    It borders on the TSTL character–Too Stupid To Live–

    Something that might mitigate that is if she recognized him sooner. Going after a stranger in the dark may not make sense, but approaching someone you know to find out why the hell they’re in your yard after years of absence would. That might take some of the tension out, though…

    Or you could show him try to get away and slip on something, thus hitting his head on the rock. That would be an action instead of description/telling. And it would give her a nice little dilemma: Help out like a good human or leave him lying there and let the paramedics/cops deal with it?

    Just my two-bits. Never know if it helps if you don’t share, right?

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42924
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Kendra, I just read your newest re-write. as you know I loved your opening before but now I can really see the difference. Everything is so much clearer and more inviting to a new reader of your genre. This class has been amazing…..and so much fun to see how the lessons and comments have impacted our openings and made them so much better.

    It has, and it is! One of the reasons I keep hopping on here.

    I agree with Ellen. Each rewrite is just that much tighter, that much cleaner. The two key elements are the ferret and the sky (the first IS there and shouldn’t be, the second ISN’T there, and should be. Did you catch that symmetry?)

    I did not notice that symmetry! But now I think I might play on it.   o.o

    Nicely done, Kendra! I don’t normally read fantasy but this sounds very intriguing!

    I really like this lesson 4 opening, Kendra.

    Thank you all!

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42902
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Re-posting for ease of access

    Magic Mist

    Kendra M. Frost

    Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

    ——————-

    I stacked the box of jewelry displays on top of the one with my bead cases, between the closet and the bedroom door. The craft fair setup started tomorrow night, so there was no use unpacking them. I stretched a stretch that made my muscles ache from arms to feet. Thank goodness there’s not much left. In my room, at least.

    “Into boxes and out of boxes and into boxes again,” I murmured to the pile of stuffed animals on my bed. They knew my pain. They’d been through the moving shtick before. “My whole life is boxes, Biern.”

    At least my room smelled better than Linda’s. She’d shoved all her clothes, clean and dirty, into the same trash bags. I’d at least washed mine before bagging them, even if I hadn’t bothered folding. She’d stopped cleaning when I started middle school, telling me “make yourself useful at least.” Ew, and I have to ride in her car in the morning.

    “And there’s no time to unpack the rest of the apartment, Lock. You’ll help me decide which dishes deserve saving, right?” I’d eat a hat if Linda washed those before packing them up. I’d been busy with eighth grade exams. “And Stuffy, you’ll help me vacuum?”

    I hadn’t set up my alarm clock yet, but it had to be past midnight. Linda was supposed to drop me off at Rowan’s house at nine so I could go with the Ridley’s. Our annual summer trip this year was a big cat sanctuary Rowan’s dad had read about. Not much time to sleep, since we’d have to do the trip before the craft fair set up. I turned to the closet to pick out some clothes; save some time from the morning routine. I’d just found a shirt with dragonflies on it when a voice came from somewhere near my bed.

    “It could be worse.”

    I froze. The voice was gentle, conversational. I draped the dragonfly shirt over my arm but kept flipping through the hangars, listening as it continued. Please be sleep deprivation. Please be sleep deprivation.

    “You could have gotten an apartment close to the pool. The leeches are quiet, but there are always humans sneaking in with them. Or the night-Fae and elves in the courtyard. Back here all you need to worry about are those two-forms or the incubus next door. They’re quiet enough.”

    It kept going, commenting on my stuffy collection while I carefully closed the closet door. Invading voices or not, Linda would freak if I woke her up after yesterday. The voice fussed over messy fur. Probably the snow leopard, Biern. The lack of stuffing in some middles. Stuffy and Raine; they were the two oldest. They were all cats except for Ricky, my raccoon hand puppet. That’s how I spotted it when I turned around.

    It was easy to notice the second pointy nose nestled among my stuffies, even with just the light from my desk lamp. A ferret. Or is it a weasel? Those were the wild versions of ferrets, right? Do we even have weasels in Ohio?

    It finished smoothing Biern’s fur, then adjusted Lock’s Lynx tufted ears with delicate finger-paws. The Clan had gotten pretty roughed up in the trash bag Linda had given me to put them all in. The ferret hopped over Biern, slipped around Stuffy, then paused to pick a piece of lint out of Leo’s mane.

    The ferret looked oddly at home among Clan Stuffie. Its brown fur was almost the same color as Ricky’s, and it was smaller than Biern. Except for the fact that it was moving, and the odd brightness it had compared to the rest of the dim room, I could have believed Rowan bought it for me. Nah, she’d get me another cat.

    “And it’s really quite likely you’ll find friends here,” the ferret continued. “That’s good. Half-children like you are such misery to be around when they’re lonely. There are several families with…” It looked up at me and I looked away. My pulse started jumping in my neck.

    “Boxes and boxes, Biern.” I folded the shirt, trying to pass it off like I’d been staring at the stuffed snow leopard. My palms were sweaty. Was that new or had I just not noticed? I tried to breathe deeply while I crossed the room to put the folded shirt on my desk.

    I’m seeing them again. Of course I’m seeing them again. As if eighth grade wasn’t bad enough after I’d wished them away. I cannot go through freshman year like this.

    Humans weren’t supposed to have natural magic. That was what the humans said, anyway. The elves knew better. I knew better. So did my best friend Rowan Ridley.

    Whatever powers humans could have, though, I still wasn’t supposed to talk to invisible animals hanging out with my stuffed ones. Or in trees, lakes, fountains, or berry bushes. I went over to my dresser and pulled out a pair of jeans.

    The ferret was quiet, still sitting among my fuzzy friends. I put the jeans on top of my shirt and went back to the dresser to dig for socks. There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s not there. I ran out of energy. I’m tired and imagining things. Ignore it. It’ll get bored and go away.

    Two-forms was what the smaller spirits called shapeshifters. I’d never heard that phrase anywhere else. It was better than leeches, at least. That was what they called vampires.

    A soft thunk hit the carpet. I bent over the drawer and focused harder on finding the right pair of mismatched socks. I had one in my hand that was black with neon stripes. A little more digging got me a neon polka-dot from the same set.

    “Is it the spots or the stripes you see?” I sang the song softly, closing the drawer. I straightened up and came face to ferret face with the intruding spirit. Goosebumps stabbed my skin. I froze again.

    “You can see me.” Its little whiskers fanned out, tiny nose twitching.

    Cute! I thought, looking at its tiny round ears and smart black eyes. Then I realized what I was thinking and swiped at it.

    There was an actual, solid impact as my hand hit its side and sent it flying across the room to land back among the stuffies. I stared at my hand, then at the ferret. It shook itself and twisted upright.

    “How rude!” it said.

    I half hopped to the window above my desk and wrenched it sideways. It hit the opposite side with a loud crack. I winced. Then I scrambled back until I hit the crafting boxes. I pointed at the open window and spoke as loud as I dared. It came out as a hoarse whisper.

    “Out! I am not supposed to see you. Or talk to you. Or think you’re cute. Out!”

    The ferret stared at me for a moment, then hopped over to my desk and climbed up to the window. It sat in the sill and looked back at me. I kept my finger up, trying not to look at it. And definitely not thinking of hugging it. Finally, the ferret hopped out.

    Of all the times to get an apartment on the ground floor. I rushed over and slid the window closed. It stuck a little before snapping shut all at once with another crack! Please let Linda not hear that. The rim bit into my palm and I shook my hand to take out the sting. I lowered the bar quietly into place on the other side of the window; an extra precaution. Only then did I notice the sky.

    There wasn’t one.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42898
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Well don’t I feel like a doofus. I was getting my age group titles mixed up. I said MidGrade. I meant New Adult. Early to mid-twenties. *facepalm*

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42897
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    From the last class handout about the 9 openings, once it’s boiled down it seems like the real thing to avoid is just… too much of one aspect of story. Too much dialogue. Too much action. Too much description. Too much… anything, really, because nearly every aspect of story is on that list. So the takeaway would be to balance everything out instead of focusing on one skill.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42890
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    I don’t know how teen readers, though, will respond to the eventual revelation that the MC they’re aligned their hearts and minds with isn’t who and what they thought in terms of AGE. It could either work out totally brilliantly or totally flop, IMHO. I mean, the first romance writer who thought, hmm, let me make the romantic hero a dead person who sucks blood… probably got some deep pushback. Now, it’s a staple.

    I do mention in chapter 1 that she spent time Underhill, but I don’t really go into what that /means/ yet. I have a plan for an epilogue or mentioning in the falling action that she needs to go talk to the elves she spent time with. … Other than that she remembers that she was there, and not much about the experience. In her mind, she’s still a 14 year old with only the experience of a 14 year old. She won’t get her memories back all at once, either, but this is one of the reasons I’m waffling on the age-range thing. Older teens (like I was when I read something similar) will probably still be interested if they liked the first book, and readers in their 30’s or older (higher numbers than MidGrade) will probably see an escapist thing where they have an “oh if I could go back knowing what I know now” situation. At least that’s the idea…

    You note properly–CONTRASTS. In opening scenes, you need to focus more on moving things forward rather than just description. Use the setting, as I said, as part of what moves things forward. Or highlights pending issues. Since this current “home” isn’t up to par (in her mind) with the others, there could be ways to use that to ramp up tension.

    Now I have ideas for when she goes back to get stuff. Part of my Make it Worse: the bad guy has broken into her apartment and stolen Stuffy, something that couldn’t have happened if they’d lived in their other houses because there were always nosy neighbors around instead of “mind your own business” apartments next door, or they were allowed to change the locks or had other freedoms that came with renting from a person instead of a real-estate manager or company.

    I could also work that into the first chapter so it’s more of a callback when she returns to find the break-in. I’ll have to be careful not to make her sound whiny.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kathy Strobos Homework Thread #42888
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    I’m good driving at a controlled 60-miles-an-hour, not hazardously heading-for-a-heartbreak on some highway of love.

    Nice, and subtle. And I’m glad I said something useful. ^_^

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kathy Strobos Homework Thread #42863
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Kendra, your comment made my day because I was trying to show Rory as a good guy. And so I am so happy that worked.

    Yeah that /definitely/ came through, and right when he appeared on the page.

    it’s dangerous to love someone/better to be less emotionally involved.

    I can see how that misbelief could tie into this current situation, but it didn’t really show. … Maybe you could highlight it when you mention the best friend’s comments and “switching lanes.” That could be a good spot for MC to say, not only that she doesn’t want to switch lanes, but that she’s seen where that goes and it’s better to be cool/calm/not-invested-romantically.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42861
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Hi Kendra, I read and write MG and YA and I’m loving the idea of a girl who sees ‘the other side.’ You asked about “making it sound less like a YA novel to start.” You mean you want it to read younger?

    Thanks Rebecca and Ellen! I definitely don’t want to target 15 or younger, since there are some pretty intense themes.

    Maybe the moving boxes could be filled with the half-finished/intricate/boring/whatever craft projects she’d done to distract herself during her last horrible year at Nasty People Middle (elementary, if you want younger) School, or something like that.

    I already have stuff in the boxes, but I could add a quick sentence letting people know that. She’s leaving the stuff for the craft fair boxed up. So… display stands, beading supplies and tools, wire, chains and soldering iron, finished work, etc. It might be worth it to mention what she makes.

    Consistently, I’d say Larissa just calls her Linda, without the Aunt part, so I’ll chop that out. I don’t want YA (human trafficking is horrific and there’s violence and traumatic injuries with the shapeshifters fighting, and explicit descriptions of the pain Liss is feeling), but it’s definitely attitude, and Larissa has reasons for not giving the honorific.

    ((Larissa is actually 34 years old, but she was underhill for 20 years. I know I mention elves in the first scene, secondhand from the ferret. She doesn’t have direct access to those memories, so she still acts like a 14 year-old most of the time, and it’s not an issue I’ll address until the second book. I just wanted hints of it in the first one so it doesn’t come out of the blue))

    Linnea I REALLY wanna describe the apartment now… It’s important in terms of history/character how Larissa compares all the places they’ve lived, but I don’t know if it’s immediately needed, and it’s just a boring, generic, white-walled apartment, so its only interest is where it contrasts with the cooler houses Liss remembers. I do have a spot it could go, though, so I’ll reign in my enthusiasm until I get there. ((I’m glad I just started the editing on the first half of this. Just in time for the workshop, too!))

    I also went back and took a better look at all those long sentences and … well, And’s. lol Is it too late to re-post that edit? I don’t want to bug people with too many revisions.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kathy Strobos Homework Thread #42837
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Hey Kathy!

    The only real backstory I saw was when she talked about Rory and the whole “Sunday Brunch” thing. I think with the first person present that things still feel pretty immediate (one of the perks of present tense) so that paragraph doesn’t seem like an issue to me. If you wanted to change it, I’d break it up a bit. This part stands on its own:

    My best friend Zelda, who also knows Rory from college, was like: “Well, he obviously likes to hang out with you, but you’re solidly in the friend lane with this Sunday brunch thing.” It’s not that I thought I was changing lanes and moving to the speeding girlfriend lane. I just wondered. Trust Zelda for straight talk.[/quote

    The rest can probably be peppered in elsewhere, especially as a reason for calling Rory to the dreaded meeting with her Ex.

    I’m loving the callout of the trope, especially since it’s pretty clear 1: this is what’s probably going to happen, and 2: Rory already likes her well enough to hang out with her a lot AND is willing to read her genre IN PUBLIC as a guy. If it was just homework for editing purposes, he probably wouldn’t do it in public. And he probably wouldn’t do it exactly when he KNOWS she’ll show up and see him doing it. That’s… more than just a friend thing.

    …. I’m gonna go marvel at the fact that I just recognized romance in action… And …. right, there was another purpose to this homework.

    I don’t see a misbelief moment, really… I do see signs of insecurity. Careful attention to appearance (the battle armor of social situations) and dragging Rory to the meeting so she’s not alone. (though that’s not so much insecure as it is common sense social defense) I didn’t catch if she specifically asked him to be a fake boyfriend or not.

    If there is a misbelief moment in this first scene, I’d say it’s probably something like “Appearance is everything.” She’s careful with her clothes, arriving first, and brought Rory so she appears to be happy/has someone to balance things. Getting warm or have I gone into Arctic territory?

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Brenda Davis Homework Thread #42835
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Move it. Don’t take up the time and space others’ need.

    Sounds like a misbelief moment if you ask me. Hi! ^_^ I’ve seen Ellen and Kathy at the other workshops so I thought I’d pick someone I haven’t talked to as much.

    It’s a subtle drop, but that “taking up space” thing is a familiar childhood issue. I still have trouble with it and I need a lot more space than my husband. I have crafting hobbies. I don’t know if it features as prominently as the gloves do, or if it’s the misbelief you’re intending to focus on, but that’s what I picked up on, more than the “Safe is good” idea, which is probably another misbelief.

    The “Safe is good” one was repeated often, but the “taking up space” one was subtle and hit me on a personal note. Then again, nobody said they couldn’t be combined! Taking up too much space could be considered “unsafe” in some situations. Especially childhood emotional situations.

    I didn’t catch much backstory. What I saw was peppered in a bit, but the first paragraph…

    If Charlene was superstitious, she’d blame the cashmere gloves with texting fingertips in the gift shop for landing her in HealthVantage’s Human Resource’s office. She hadn’t been in the office since Blissdale added the new wing and had gone from a needs-improvement nursing home to a state-of-the-art assisted living community.

    I wonder if having her walk into the building, noting the changes and trying to reassure herself that her good friend is head of HR might be more effective? That would start with movement; DOing. We can see the difference between the new and old buildings, she’d have time to think about her breakup for a second, making Eugene’s comment a stab in the gut right after getting fired. We can even see those gloves firsthand if she passes the gift shop, maybe thinking of stopping in there to check on them again? Internal conflict: Go to HR when I really don’t want to go, or stop in just ooooone more time to check on the gloves. Temptation temptation. XD

    I have a scarf. Only the fact that I’d boil alive keeps me from wearing it in the summer. It’s still tempting.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42832
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Cron handout: “Yes, as in just about everything, coffee is key.”

    I should probably write those down. The origin scenes, anyway. I go through them in that movie theater in my head, or act them out to the walls when I’m home alone (which is probably why the neighbors look at me funny sometimes) so I’ve got a good idea about what happened. I didn’t want to write myself into a corner, though, because revisions are soul crushing. (even though the OS doesn’t go /in/ the manuscript, I may have a call back, flashback, or quote of it somewhere.)

    Rasley Handout: “A new writer often thinks, ‘I better tell why this person is the way he
    is early, or I’ll lose my readers’ identification.’ Or ‘I have to explain everything about how we got to this point, or the readers won’t be able to follow the events.'”

    Been there… done that… My t-shirt says “In My Defense, I Was Left Unsupervised” XD

    “We’re told of, not shown, her flight from the past.”

    Yup! Show, don’t tell, all over the place. It’s everywhere! But holy crap it’s good advice.

    Not leaving your characters/readers enough to DO really hit the mark with me. Yeah, I’m all about sitting around watching someone else play video games, or watching/listening to leaves rustle in the breeze, but I’m still watching them DO something. There is movement. And cussing when said friend gets the big KO after forgetting to save for an hour. XD

    The point of “Wait until the readers need to know it” though… I did an exercise with a friend a while back. We re-wrote the first chapters of our favorite series as a sort of style exercise. There was a bit of information about a world-specific law that was needed. The MC mentions the thing that makes her think of the law, then explains it. I took the information and put it in just a little earlier (because it seemed like an interruption to me) and my friend loved it, because … well I guess she got that hit of dopamine when the info was needed and she already knew it, but she called it feeling “in the know” about the world.

    From that experience, I’d probably adjust this to… Wait until just /before/ the readers need to know it, unless withholding it until THAT MOMENT is more satisfying or near the end of some buildup, or… well hell it was just the one situation with the one book but I’ve used it in my stories and never got negative feedback on those sections, so… yeah lol

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread #42831
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    To expand on that, the scene runs more smoothly (to me) with the dialogue broken up between actions, and the introduction of the chocolates, along with Edward knowing what they mean, is endearing. That calling her mother is a secret was a bigger hook for me than getting a problem call from her injured mother. Yes, both are problems, but keeping those calls a secret from her dad means drama as soon as he finds out. Either good drama or bad drama (it’s hard but works out, or it makes things worse, either way is good for a story, right?)

    My mom jokingly told me if I didn’t get there soon she might kill Betsy.

    Nice! Might add up to some internal conflict when Betsy ends up dead and she’s looking at her mom like “but did you do it?”

    Plus the tug-of-war between responsibilities and the upcoming talk with Daddy-o, which probably isn’t going to go so great. <3

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42829
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    This is even better than the first draft, and I really liked the first draft. The only thing that struck me was that if she just moved into a place, I would expect some sort of “exploring/this is new”feeling. I really loved how you wrote that you loved the descriptions of places in openings, and I feel like you could add a bit more of that here. Is there something she likes about this new bedroom compared to her previous bedroom? Does this room have a closet and maybe the last one didn’t? Or is there less space? Has she changed the layout of her furniture? She could even ask the stuffies what they think of the new room?

    I had a bit of internal dialogue that talked about how boring this room was compared to some of the other houses she’s lived in, but it got smooshed out during edits because I couldn’t manage to fit it in right. ((Plus the complaint involved a lot of repetitious words and it annoyed me XD )) I spread the introduction and details between action, over the course of the whole chapter. I have more details, along with a confrontation with Linda to illustrate their dynamic and a calming exercise that introduces the functional magic in the world.

    I really want to go back and return the house descriptions, though, if I can do it without slowing everything down a whole bunch. There was one with really nice fireplace mantles, one with a wraparound deck (shared by the other tenants), a trailer rocked during storms and felt like a cozy cradle if she closed her eyes. Oh! I could definitely add that last one in, to show how she wishes she had a mom who could sing her to sleep. She has a playlist of lullabies for bad nights. ((Linda is her cousin, and would much rather be doing something else thankyouverymuch))

    There may not be room in these first 1000 words, but I think I’ve got a place to put it in the first chapter. Thank you, Kathy!

    Hi Kendra, As I said before I have never read your genre. I love what you wrote though, and it seems to me its perfect. I can’t think of anything I would change at this point. I got the “stuffies” right away but maybe that is because i was a major stuffed animal sleep in my bed kind of kid especially because I was never allowed to have a dog as a kid. I hope to read more…I’m intrigued!!!

    Thanks so much Ellen! I wanted to give her pets, but they move around so much, and the apartment is empty for most of the book, so that wouldn’t work. To be honest, Clan Stuffy is an author insert XD I don’t have a lion, but Biern, Ricky, Stuffy, Raine, and Lock are all staring at me from my pillows like “Yup. We’re gonna be famous.”

    Oh! and if anyone has an opinion/experience on this, what might make this sound less like a YA novel to start?

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by kendra.frost.
    in reply to: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread #42828
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    “Hold up.” Daisy stood up, walked around her desk and over to her door. “No way do I want this conversation overheard. She’d expected Edward would check in with her just not this early. Now she’d have to explain.

    Loving the edits!

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42748
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Opening Scene Revised

    Magic Mist–Kendra M. Frost–Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

    Aiming… honestly for MidGrade and above, though older YA is possible. Murder, human trafficking, lots of issues later in the story that wouldn’t work well for younger YA.

    I tried to keep it within my tone/voice but still address the comments. Thanks Linnea!

    ———————————————-

    I stacked the boxes of crafting supplies between the closet and the bedroom door and stretched out. The craft fair setup started tomorrow night, so there was no use unpacking them. My muscles ached from arms to feet. These were the last of the boxes, though.

    “Into boxes and out of boxes and into boxes again,” I murmured to the pile of stuffed animals on my bed. They knew my pain. They’d been through the moving shtick before. “My whole life is boxes, Biern.”

    At least my room smelled better than Aunt Linda’s. She’d shoved all her clothes, clean and dirty, into the same trash bags. I’d at least washed mine before bagging them, even if I hadn’t bothered folding. Ew, and I have to ride in her car again in the morning.

    “And there’s no time to unpack the rest of the apartment, Lock. You’ll help me decide which dishes deserve saving, right?” I’d eat a hat if Linda washed those before packing them up. I’d been busy with eighth grade exams. “And Stuffy, you’ll help me vacuum?”

    I hadn’t set up my alarm clock yet, but it had to be past midnight. Aunt Linda was supposed to drop me off at Rowan’s house at nine so I could go with them. Our annual summer trip this year was a big cat sanctuary Rowan’s dad had read about. Not much time to sleep, since we’d have to do the trip before the craft fair set up just before dark. I turned to the closet to pick out some clothes, save some time from the morning routine. I’d just found a shirt with dragonflies on it when a voice came from somewhere near my bed.

    “It could be worse.”

    I froze. The voice was gentle, conversational. I draped the dragonfly shirt over my arm but kept flipping through the hangars, listening as it continued. Please be sleep deprivation. Please be sleep deprivation.

    “You could have gotten an apartment close to the pool. There are always humans sneaking around there at night, trying to get in with the leeches. Or the night-Fae and elves in the courtyard. Back here all you need to worry about are those two-forms or the incubus next door. They’re quiet enough.”

    It kept going, commenting on my stuffy collection while I carefully closed the closet door. Invading voices or not, Linda would freak if I woke her up after yesterday. The voice fussed over messy fur. Probably the snow leopard, Biern. The lack of stuffing in some middles. Stuffy and Raine; they were the two oldest. They were all cats except for Ricky, my raccoon hand puppet. That’s how I spotted it when I turned around.

    It was easy to notice the second pointy nose nestled among my stuffies. A ferret. Or is it a weasel? Those were the wild versions of ferrets, right? Do we even have weasels in Ohio?

    It finished smoothing Biern’s fur, then adjusted Lock’s Lynx tufted ears with delicate finger-paws. The Clan had gotten pretty roughed up in the trash bag Linda had given me to put them all in. The ferret hopped over Biern, slipped around Stuffy, then paused to pick a piece of lint out of Leo’s mane.

    The ferret looked oddly at home among Clan Stuffie. Its brown fur was almost the same color as Ricky’s, and it was smaller than Biern. Except for the fact that it was moving, and the odd brightness it had compared to the rest of the dim room, I could have believed Rowan bought it for me. Nah, she’d get me another cat.

    “And it’s really quite likely you’ll find friends here,” the ferret continued. “That’s good. Half-children like you are such misery to be around when they’re lonely. There are several families with…” It looked up at me and I looked away. My pulse started jumping in my neck.

    “Boxes and boxes, Biern.” I folded the shirt, trying to pass it off like I’d been staring at the stuffed snow leopard. My palms were sweaty. Was that new or had I just not noticed? I tried to breathe deeply while I crossed the room to put the folded shirt on my desk.

    I’m seeing them again. Of course I’m seeing them again. As if eighth grade wasn’t bad enough after I’d wished them away. I cannot go through freshman year like this.

    Humans weren’t supposed to have natural magic. That was what the humans said, anyway. The elves knew better. I knew better. So did my best friend Rowan Ridley.

    Whatever powers humans could have, though, I still wasn’t supposed to talk to invisible animals hanging out with my stuffed ones. Or in trees, lakes, fountains, or berry bushes. I went over to my dresser and pulled out a pair of jeans.

    The ferret was quiet, still sitting among my fuzzy friends. I put the jeans on top of my shirt and went back to the dresser to dig for socks. There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s not there. I ran out of energy. I’m tired and imagining things. Ignore it. It’ll get bored and go away.

    Two-forms was what most of the smaller spirits called shapeshifters. I’d never heard that phrase anywhere else. It was better than leeches, at least. That was what they called vampires.

    A soft thunk hit the carpet. I bent over the drawer and focused harder on finding the right pair of mismatched socks. I had one in my hand that was black with neon stripes, and a little more digging got me a neon polka-dot from the same set.

    “Is it the spots or the stripes you see?” I sang the song softly, closing the drawer. I straightened up and came face to ferret face with the intruding spirit. Goosebumps stabbed my skin and I froze again.

    “You can see me.” Its little whiskers fanned out, tiny nose twitching.

    Cute! I thought, looking at its tiny round ears and smart black eyes. Then I realized what I was thinking and swiped at it.

    There was an actual, solid impact as my hand hit its side and sent it flying across the room to land back among the stuffies. I stared at my hand, then at the ferret. It shook itself and twisted upright.

    “How rude!” it said.

    I half hopped to the window above my desk and wrenched it sideways, then scrambled back until I hit the crafting boxes. I pointed at the open window and spoke as loud as I dared. It came out as a hoarse whisper.

    “Out! I’m not supposed to see you. Or talk to you. Or think you’re cute. Out!”

    The ferret stared at me for a moment, then hopped over to my desk and climbed up to the window. It sat in the sill for a moment, looking back at me. I kept my finger up, trying not to look at it. And definitely not thinking of hugging it. Finally, the ferret hopped out.

    Of all the times to get an apartment on the ground floor. I rushed over and slid the window closed. It stuck a little before snapping shut all at once. The rim bit into my palm and I shook my hand to take out the sting. I lowered the bar quietly into place on the other side of the window; an extra precaution. Only then did I notice the sky.

    There wasn’t one.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by kendra.frost.
    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42727
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    You had me fully engaged(hook) with the ferret. I had no idea what to expect when I started reading. This is my very first foray into Fantasy or Urban Fantasy, but you brought me right into the story. Sometimes when you read a new genre it is confusing to understand….not here.

    Thank you, Ellen! I’m finding myself crossing into odd territory, too. Here’s to expanding horizons! And I’m really glad it was understandable from outside the genre, and that the emotion came through. This one’s second or third draft.

    And Thank you Kathy!

    Gosh everyone’s being so nice. I can take it, guys, really. XD

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread #42686
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    That part about her having to leave the doggo was heart wrenching. I know the feeling. So you’re keying into a key concept your book will be about (rescue dogs) and giving the reader something to empathize with. Because who hasn’t felt that “Can We Keep Him?!” moment and gotten turned down, whether it’s a rabbit, cat, dog, or baby alligator.

    I do agree with Kate that mysteries usually start with something needing to be solved. There’s sometimes a little bit of an opener, like Clue before the first body drops, or a police procedural where the characters get introduced (or if it’s a series, the newest personal issue comes up), but they get to the dead bodies pretty quick. ((If I remember correctly from the other classes, this is the Becky that dies))

    The mother did hire Becky, and presumably fired her so the flower shop might end up in a little legal trouble, and the daughter is a lawyer… Would that be the call that got the MC down there? You could go the same route, too. MC is feeling burnt out, and while she /could/ refer her mother to some local help, this is the perfect excuse to get out of town. Even if she’s not needed as a lawyer, the MC’s mom needs help.

    IMHO, of course. Right now it’s just details, but you’ve got a good call to action. First incident is the issue with the Mother’s wrist. Second would be the MC getting the call, so it’s kind of an Opportunity/Crisis moment.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Rebecca Rector Homework Thread #42685
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    First incident is whatever’s going on with the Security people, but the inciting incident would be where our MC takes this package (I’m assuming he gets the job).

    What caught my attention was  that you don’t describe the MC directly, but the way everyone brushes him off, even before the security guys call him dirty, tell a lot. It also a somewhat vague hint of something wrong, especially since he’s not usually that clumsy. An orphan, unkempt, doing gig work in what feels like a big city (people don’t usually brush off a country boy in the country) plus the security guys that are clearly up to no good.

    Out of the categories, I’d say Action and Opportunity. The Change being that he’s a bit off his game, and he’s getting a delivery that usually goes to older coworkers. (Again, I’m assuming he gets it because he’s the MC.) Lots of room for mischief, and it looks like a fun read already. I’d like to see him get into a better situation, so you’ve already got empathy going.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42684
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Inciting Incident: The magical ferret BUT bigger the lack of sky. Now there’s a HOOK.

    Thanks, Kate!

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42678
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Lesson 4

    Magic Mist

    Kendra M. Frost

    Fantasy/Urban Fantasy (not Paranormal Romance)

    ————————————

    I stacked the boxes of crafting supplies between the closet and the bedroom door and stretched out. The craft fair setup started tomorrow night, so there was no use unpacking them. My muscles ached from arms to feet. These were the last of the boxes, though.

    “Into boxes and out of boxes and into boxes again,” I said to the pile of stuffies on my bed. “My whole life is boxes, Biern.”

    At least my room smelled better than Aunt Linda’s. She’d shoved all her clothes, clean and dirty, into the same trash bags. I’d at least washed mine before bagging them, even if I hadn’t bothered folding. Ew, and I have to ride in her car again in the morning.

    “And there’s no time to unpack the rest of the apartment, Lock. You’ll help me decide which dishes deserve saving, right?” I’d eat a hat if Linda washed those before packing them up. I’d been busy with eighth grade exams. “And Stuffy, you’ll help me vacuum?”

    I hadn’t set up my alarm clock yet, but it had to be past midnight. Aunt Linda was supposed to drop me off at Rowan’s house at nine so I could go with them. Our annual summer trip this year was a big cat sanctuary Mr. Ridley had read about. Not much time to sleep, since we’d have to do the trip before the craft fair set up just before dark. I turned to the closet to pick out some clothes and a voice came from somewhere near my bed.

    “It could be worse.”

    I froze. The voice was gentle, like it was having a conversation with a friend. I slowly moved the hangars like I was looking, but I was listening as it continued.

    “You could have gotten an apartment close to the pool. There are always humans sneaking around there at night, trying to get in with the vampires. Or the night-Fae and elves in the courtyard. Back here all you need to worry about are those two-forms or the incubus next door. They’re quiet enough.”

    It kept going, commenting on my stuffy collection. They were all cats except for Ricky, my raccoon hand puppet. That’s how I spotted it when I turned around with a random shirt.

    A second pointy nose was nestled among my stuffies. A ferret. Or is it a weasel? Those were the wild versions of ferrets, right? Do we even have weasels in Ohio?

    It adjusted Lock’s Lynx tufted ears with delicate finger-paws, then smoothed my snow leopard’s fur. Biern had gotten pretty roughed up in the trash bag Linda had given me to put them all in. His fur was longer than most of them.

    The ferret looked oddly at home among the stuffies. Its brown fur was almost the same color as Ricky’s, and it was smaller than Biern. Except for the fact that it was moving, and the odd brightness it had compared to the rest of the dim room, I could have believed Rowan bought it for me. Nah, she’d get me another cat.

    “And it’s really quite likely you’ll find friends here,” the ferret continued. “That’s good. Half-children like you are such misery to be around when they’re lonely. There are several families with…” It looked up at me and I looked away. My pulse started jumping in my neck.

    “Boxes and boxes, Biern.” I folded the shirt, trying to pass it off like I’d been staring at the stuffed snow leopard. My palms were sweaty. Was that new or had I just not noticed? I tried to breathe deeply while I crossed the room to put the folded shirt on my desk.

    I’m seeing them again. Of course I’m seeing them again. As if eighth grade wasn’t bad enough after I’d wished them away. I cannot go through freshman year like this.

    Humans weren’t supposed to have natural magic. That was what the humans said, anyway. The elves knew better. I knew better. So did my best friend Rowan.

    Whatever powers humans could have, though, I still wasn’t supposed to talk to invisible animals hanging out with my stuffed ones. Or in trees, lakes, fountains, or berry bushes. I went over to my dresser and pulled out a pair of jeans.

    The ferret was quiet, still sitting among my furry friends. I put the jeans on top of my shirt and went back to the dresser to dig for socks. There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s not there. I ran out of energy. I’m tired and imagining things. Ignore it. It’ll get bored and go away.

    Two-forms was what most of the smaller spirits called shapeshifters. I’d never heard that phrase anywhere else. It was better than what they called vampires, at least.

    A soft thunk hit the carpet. I bent over the drawer and focused harder on finding the right pair of mismatched socks. I had one in my hand that was black with neon stripes, and a little more digging got me a neon polka-dot from the same set.

    “Is it the spots or the stripes you see?” I sang the song softly, closing the drawer. I straightened up and came face to ferret face with the intruding spirit. Goosebumps stabbed my skin and I froze again.

    “You can see me.” Its little whiskers fanned out, tiny nose twitching.

    Cute! I thought, looking at its tiny round ears and smart black eyes. Then I realized what I was thinking and swiped at it.

    There was an actual, solid impact as my hand hit its side and sent it flying across the room to land back among the stuffies. I stared at my hand, then at the ferret. It shook itself and twisted upright.

    “How rude!” it said.

    I half hopped to the window above my desk and wrenched it sideways, then scrambled back until I hit the crafting boxes. I pointed at the open window. “Out! I’m not supposed to see you. Or talk to you. Or think you’re cute. Out!”

    The ferret stared at me for a moment, then hopped over to my desk and climbed up to the window. It sat in the sill for a moment, looking back at me. I kept my finger up, trying not to look at it. And definitely not thinking of hugging it. Finally, the ferret hopped out.

    Of all the times to get an apartment on the ground floor. I rushed over and slid the window closed. It stuck a little before snapping shut all at once. The rim bit into my palm and I shook my hand to take out the sting. I lowered the bar on the other side of the window to keep it shut and only then did I notice the sky.

    There wasn’t one.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42673
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Lesson 3…

    Life Happenings increased and Murphy’s Law decided my door step made a great place to sunbathe, but I got the Maguffin and banished the evil overlord. For now, at least. I sense a sequel in the works.

    Ah-Ha moment: Two of my favorite novels (the ones I’ll have to re-cover once their spines fail from re-reading so often) have a good bit of setting in their openings. The Hobbit (I’ve already re-covered that one after it ended up in three pieces), Magic’s Pawn, …. Well, I guess more specifically they start with houses. The Hobbit has a cozy house, Magic’s Pawn has a crazy one. Ashkevron Manor has been re-styled, remodeled, and added onto so much it’s like a maze, and I thought that was really cool. I guess moving 25 times really leaves a mark on someone XD

    The Hobbit resonates because it’s so quiet, so peaceful. I’ll go with Option B on the homework and pick Magic’s Pawn, instead. Mercedes Lackey.

     

    ———————-

    “Your grandfather,” said Vanyel’s brawny, fifteen-year-old cousin Radevel, “was crazy.”

    He has a point, Vanyel thought, hoping they weren’t about to take an uncontrolled dive down the last of the stairs.

    Radevel’s remark had probably been prompted by this very back staircase, one that started at one end of the third floor servants’ hall and emerged at the rear of a linen closet on the ground floor. The stair treads were so narrow and so slick that not even the servants used it.

    The manor-keep of Lord Withen Ashkevron of Forst Reach, was a strange and patchworked structure. In Vanyel’s great-great-grandfather’s day it had been a more conventional defensive keep, but by the time Vanyel’s grandfather had held the lands, the border had been pushed far past Forst Reach. The old reprobate had decided when he’d reached late middle age that defense was going to come second to comfort. His comfort, primarily.

    Not that Vanyel entirely disagreed with Grandfather; he would have been one of the first to vote to fill in the moat and for fireplaces in all the rooms. But the old man had gotten some pretty peculiar notions about what he wanted where–along with a tendency to change his mind in mid-alteration.

    ——————————

    Vanyel goes on to describe this crazy huge manor that kind of reminds me of the Winchester House with windows everywhere, hidden rooms, relatively inaccessible balconies, and my immediate thought is that I want to go exploring this place. Admittedly Vanyel only spends the first few chapters here and the rest of the book is spent in the capitol city of Valdemar, but the story part, the conflict and character-driven part, take completely over once Van and Radev are outside of the staircase. The crazy layout of the house is used to give Van a hiding place near the library later that’s not likely to be found out, but there aren’t wild descriptions later.

    The house caught my attention, but the story drug me off into Vanyel’s life, much like in The Hobbit where Tolkien started with Bilbo’s house and then went on an EPIC QUEST! Lackey’s story is more personal, more internal than Tolkien ((and a lot of hers are)) but they both start out with solid descriptions of a House, and those are really the only two books where I completely remember the first few pages. Most of the other books I’ve read, I remember climactic moments, little bits of scenery, and a general gist of the story, but those two are so firmly fixed in my mind that I can see them just thinking about the book.

    I’ve moved so much that I pay attention to places, and houses specifically, so that’s probably why they resonate with me, but it’s also the “here’s where you are” vibe that really grounds me into the story. It also might be why I’m disappointed in a lot of modern fantasy. (though that might be mostly due to the fact that I have to read a lot on Wattpad, which is mostly first or second drafts and not professionally edited)

    Apparently the going advice is to let the reader fill in the details, but we are more than just people walking around. We interact with our world and our surroundings and our surroundings shape us.

    Knowing Van came from this crazily built and re-built house makes it make a lot of sense that he doesn’t get lost easily. He’s not just blessed with a good sense of direction, his upbringing and origins shaped his character. Him being able to find the secret corners of the place that no one uses anymore also shows a lot about how observant he is, which comes in handy later in the story, and using those spaces shows his isolation, giving me feeling that he doesn’t feel welcome in the more trafficked parts of the house well before we see that in action with the rest of the family.

    Just like knowing Bilbo came from this secure, comfy, hobbit hole with lots of full pantries shows how much Bilbo grows through the story. From whining about a handkerchief to slipping through a cave and losing all his buttons.

    ………..I’m gonna stop before I go any further into soapbox mode. I really love scene and setting description and I’ll forgive a lot in a book that does good worldbuilding.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42429
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Can you see why I beat on your relentlessly in those courses when you (not you, Frosty) shy away from conflict?

    I mean, yeah me. At least before those classes.

    That kind of removes the whole “competition” thing when it comes to getting readers’ attention, though. Yes there’s still incentive to write/craft well, but genre fiction comes with an implicit understanding that you’re not trying to target the entire planet (as some people seem to insinuate). Just all the English speaking Fantasy nerds.

    (Speaking as an English speaking Fantasy nerd XD I’d love to be cool enough to read in other languages, but sadly that cannot be my main goal anytime soon)

    And even more specifically: All the English speaking (insert genre here) nerds who Like Your Style.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42408
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Lesson 2:

    But first, a comment from the other homeworks that made me laugh loud enough to scare my cat.

    some gals behind us were talking about trying to write a YA novel because “kids are stupid, how hard could it be?”.

    ~Linnea

    Mischief is giving me dirty looks for interrupting his nap.

    I think YA is even harder to write. It’s hard to find something that hasn’t been done to death, nigh impossible to keep up with the changing trends (thus I am convinced YA authors are mages and no one will ever change my mind) and adults might push through a few chapters if the beginning isn’t that great. (Had to learn that the hard way, and from other people, because a book has to be revolting before I’ll toss it.)

    And to bring this back here, since I kind of have a bad habit of dropping offhand comments instead of relevant things into other people’s homework threads.

    Not to shock you, sweetie, but way back when I was first published (1999-2000), the rewrite of fairy tales into everything from SF to romance to mystery was in vogue… It’s a twist we never seem to get tired of. But then, a lot of fairy tales are very primal.

    It’s not so much a shock as a “I wasn’t born yet so I didn’t read those” scenario. *cheeky youthful grin* lol Kidding Linnea, you’re awesome. But no, I am not surprised that it’s been a trend in all of modern writing history. (oxymoron much?)

    ————————— Okay now Actually Lesson 2  XD

    I had to pick A. Though, this sort of puzzles me. (Who am I kidding? I’m a masochist so I picked this one BECAUSE it puzzles me. At least in relation to the homework questions.) I’m not sure what the Change is.

    If it’s the fact that the chase is in a bordello, that I get, but it sounds like the situation the MC has dealt with in one way or another before. So I’ll go with the Change being the bordello, which puts a hilarious spin on the whole “being chased by a bad guy” situation.

    Are sarcasm and WTF? emotions? I mean that certainly caught my attention and made me curious as to what was happening.

    Within the story there’s a solid sense of humor and a bit of the thrill that running for your life gets you. So the fear of harm/death on behalf of the MC. Possibly the fear of embarrassment, though that ship has already sailed my friend.

    And I already mentioned the sarcasm, humor, and WTF? sensation that caught my attention. (Read: Curiosity) There are many reasons I love Deadpool, and you don’t seek out Deadpool for the explosions and bloodletting. Those are just added bonuses.

    Summary: Voice, Tone, and Situational Curiosity

    Hoookay, and C.

    Change: Obviously there aren’t alarms ringing constantly from any ship. That would just be annoying. (And an interesting form of psychological torture to file away for later)

    Emotions, fear (of discovery, since we don’t know the consequences of discovery yet), and a resigned sense of “Oh what /now/” (might be me reading into it, but the whole “this is the last thing I need” vibe was pretty strong)

    Catching my interest? It was a second-place tie with Wings (someone else said Angel, but I write shapeshifters and spirits so that wasn’t my first thought and it wasn’t explicitly stated) I’m more of a Fantasy over Sci-Fi, but I’m curious to know why this MC is in hiding. The ship seemed to be in a state of disrepair (tools lying around) so I thought it’d be neat to see what was next.

    Bonus: Wings caught my interest more from a worldbuilding perspective. I want to know WHAT the MC IS more than why they’re getting their wings cut off.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Joanna Kush Homework Thread #42407
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    I’ve always stared at her in a mix of total admiration and abject horror.

    That would be my expression, too. That’s usually how things come to me, but if I try to write like that things go a little nuts, so I usually make a note and go back to where I was.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Jessica Jayne Homework Thread #42406
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    Why doesn’t need backstory. You need the /why/ to keep the reader to find out the /why/. Of course, if you can’t emotionally get the reader emotionally invested in the opening scenarios, then the /why/ won’t matter.

    I think the clearer thing to say might be: You shouldn’t explain the Why with backstory, (No Lemming Talk) because you want to make sure the reader has a question that needs answered. The reader needs to be asking why. The writer already knows.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

    in reply to: Student: Kendra Frost Homework Thread #42275
    kendra.frost
    Participant

    I’ve read both of Cron’s books, but one thing that either wasn’t there or didn’t stick in my brain was in the PDF. Action. Reaction. Decision.

    I didn’t think to mention this in one of the other homework threads I read, but Jeanne pointed out one of those *facepalm* moments I keep having in these workshops. That of course they were there to actively solve a problem. That’s one of the reasons these workshops have really clicked for me. There are a lot of explanations, little sayings, and ideas that explain Story in a way that I’d always assumed, but never actually analyzed.

    The above is another one. Action, Reaction, Decision or If, Then, Therefore is similar (in my mind) to that plot outline I shared in the book club a while ago. Plan, how the plan fails, etc. But I couldn’t get one of my stories to work with that plot outline. This one feels closer to something that MC would work with.

    Author of Renn and The Springfield Chronicles
    https://www.wattpad.com/user/KendraMFrost

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