Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Week 26: Let’s Breakout Again
As many of you recall, earlier in the year, we spent time working our way through the first twenty-five sections of Donald Maass’ WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK. Let’s pick up where we left off and look at lesson 26, Moments in Time.
Maass uses one of my all-time favorite humorous reads, JULIE AND ROMEO, by Jeanne Ray, as an example. It’s a modern day slant on Shakespeare’s classic but with two feuding florist families and a sixty-something hero and heroine who fall in love behind their warring children’s backs. If you’re looking for a heart-warming and tickle-your-funny-bone read this holiday season, ask Santa to place it under your tree.
Pulling an excerpt from Ray’s book, Maass illustrates the importance of incorporating what he calls Moments in Time into our stories. He explains when writers allow their protagonists to capture the feel, the flavor, the special “something” that spotlights and clarifies a particular moment in the story, be it a kiss, a flash of time in history, a pause in war before the storm of the next battle, the reader is pulled more deeply into the story. In Maass’s words, the writer “heightens the reality of the tale” and “aids in the reader’s suspension of disbelief.”
The writing guru encourages us to pick six places within our manuscripts to “freeze” the moment through the keen awareness of our lead character's point of view. When our protagonist takes a closer look at his/her surrounding world, our readers do as well.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
PS: In this hectic holiday time, may we find peace, joy and love as we prepare for the birth of the Christ Child.