Posts Tagged ‘thematic significance’

Coach Teresa, How do I fix my children’s story? Agent says it’s too episodic.

In my previous blog post about how to remedy an episodic storyline  . . . here’s an argument from one of my clients who writes children’s books . . .

“But kids aren’t that sophisticated, are they? Shouldn’t stories for that age group be episodic?”

Coach Teresa here . . .  Kids know what a good story is, especially if they’ve read the timeless classics (to name a few:  The Hobbit; The Wind In the Willows; Charlotte’s Web; The Phantom Tollbooth; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. What are other memorable children’s books? Wordsworth the Poet by Frances Kakugawa is a contemporary favorite of mine )

Also, keep in mind that a children’s story has to hook adults (agents, acquisition editors, publishers, booksellers, reviewers, shoppers).  How do you hook adult-readers, even if you choose to be your own publisher?

Answer:  Create memorable characters and follow screenwriting teacher Terrel Seltzer’s advice:  “Someone we care about wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it.”

Here’s my post from May 26, 2011 about Terrel

I encourage you to set the stage.  Give the reader sensory details—not only sight and hearing but also taste, smell and touch.

To create a story with thematic significance, let your metaphors / similes / inferences move your story forward or provide clues.

 

 

 

Coach Teresa says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Want to attract agents  & publishers?  Want to be your own publisher?

Email:  writingcoachTeresa    at    gmail.com

http://writingcoachTeresa.com

Coach Teresa  LeYung-Ryan loves to edit:

  • novels & memoirs with feisty protagonists and universal messages;
  • children’s novels that help young readers understand their feelings and build self-confidence

 

Manuscript Consultant/Editor/Coach Teresa Loves to See the Words in Movies/Films

Coach Teresa here…  I love to study the dialogue in movies.  Oftentimes I turn on “English subtitles” so that I can “see” the words.   Such a simple technique to help me be a better editor for my clients and a better writer of my own stories.

Two of my favorite movies?   Bagdad Cafe aka Out of Rosenheim (written and produced by Eleonore and Percy Adlon; screenplay co-writer Christopher Doherty; stars: Marianne Sägebrecht, CCH Pounder and Jack Palance) and The Apartment (written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond; stars: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen, Edie Adams)

Listen and look for metaphors, foreshadowing, and thematic significance in the dialogue.

Of course the acting, directing, music, set design, costumes, filming, editing are superb too in both movies.

In Bagdad Cafe “Calling You” sung by Jevetta Steele (words and music by Bob Telson) is beautifully haunting.

In The Apartment, even the theme-tunes for the major characters follow plot points.

I’ll be blogging more about themes and archetypes in these two movies.

I love helping writers identify themes and archetypes in their manuscripts and make their names synonymous with the subject matters/issues they write about to a attract agents, editors, publishers, readers, and media attention before and after publication. Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!

Happy writing!

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Please visit my website http://writingcoachteresa.com

If you wish to email me, I’m writingcoachTeresa at gmail.com

Author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition $12.96  & eBook edition $9.81)

and the novel Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

October 18, 2011

Something fun going on right now.  A chance to help drive traffic between your site, my site, beloved teacher Martha Alderson’s (of Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple fame) and her publisher’s. Martha’s new book:   The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master

You’ve heard of authors going on book tours?  These days, authors go on blog tours too! Tonight Martha will be at Capitola Book Café, but, DURING THE DAY October 18, 2011, she’ll be touring here at my blog!!!  So, say hello to Martha, ask her a question about your plotline if you like… by submitting a comment to this post.  How to do this?  Follow instructions below photo of Martha.  Be sure to key in your URL to broadcast yourselves. I will conduct a drawing by the end of the week and one of you hardworking writers will win Martha’s new book.

Beloved Martha aka the Plot Whisperer! :) Thank you so much for gracing my blog today. I’ve been having so much fun inviting writers to join us today. I’m serving cyberspace green tea and brown rice toast with butter. :) I know you’ll be at Capitola Book Cafe tonight (in body), but, for the next few hours, we get to have you here!!!! Sincerely, Writing Career Coach Teresa

 

Writers, You go ahead and . . .

  • Click on the blue header (title bar) of this post
  • Scroll down until you see boxes and fill in the boxes (you do need an email address to submit questions/comments; if you have a website/blog, do promote it  by keying in the address)
  • After you fill in the boxes, you might want to keep a copy of your question/comment before clicking the  “submit comment” button.

If Martha can’t get to all the submissions on this blog today, I’ll keep track of your submissions and notify Martha so that she can respond within this week. On October 22, 2011 I will put your names in a drawing to win a copy of Martha’s new book!  The winner will get an email from me (at which time you can give me your shipping address).

I am so excited about Martha’s new book; I am a better manuscript consultant for having studied it.

And, Martha’s examples of Energetic Markers have given me the sparks to re-plot and rewrite my second novel.  If not for Martha’s teachings, my first novel Love Made of Heart wouldn’t be where she is today–in libraries; archived at the San Francisco History Center; chosen by teachers in colleges and universities as required reading; attracting a steady flow of readers/fans; being my passport to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves. Because I write about sobering issues (mental illness, stigmas, second-hand violence, physical abuse), my weaving the thematic threads and using the energetic markers to knot the threads result in delivery of a compelling story.  Plot Whisperer Martha, I humbly thank you!

 

This is the 5-star review I wrote on Amazon:

The Plot Whisperer is Martha Alderson is Obi-Wan Kenobi of Story-Plotlines

Whether you’re writing your first book or your tenth, you deserve tools to make your story engaging, from first page to last. Also you deserve to gain such tools from a seasoned teacher who genuinely cares about helping authors. In The Plot Whisperer, Martha Alderson (of Blockbuster Plots Pure & Simple fame) shows you how to create a sensational tri-level plotline that carries thematic significance. Obi-wan Kenobi showed Luke Skywalker how to trust The Force; Plot Whisperer shows us (writers & editors) how to grasp Energetic Markers. Alderson says: “Like signposts, Energetic Markers identify four major turning points in every story.”

In every story—be it a novel, memoir, biography, screenplay, essay, or picture book.

I am so excited about this book–for my clients–for myself. I recommend that you gift yourself The Plot Whisperer if:

* You have a story in your heart and want help in seeing the big picture
* You were on a roll writing the first half of your book, but lost energy or feeling overwhelmed in the middle
* You have the first draft or the umpteenth draft of the entire project; and you’re asking yourself “Do I really have a memorable page-turner?”
* You’re ready to pitch to agents or publishers, and, you want that last litmus test

This empowering book helps you acquire secrets of story-structure and gain personal energy in order to survive and thrive the writing journey. The Plot Whisperer gives you hope–after all, aren’t you the protagonist too? May the Energetic Markers be with you!

*****************************************************

Guess what?  Also, I use Martha’s plot methods for my prescriptive nonfiction (how-to books).  Build and sustain page-turning-energy for any genre.

Also visit The Plot Whisperer’s blog – what treasures!

Remember to click on the blue header (title bar) of this post to introduce yourselves to The Plot Whisperer.

You can get Martha’s book for yourself and your dear writing buddies by asking  your favorite bookseller, going to her publisher Adams Media, or from Amazon.  And, when you write reviews on Amazon and other sites, you’re helping yourself build  your platform and fanbase.

“Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”
Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

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