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Workshop Transcript

Building Believable Characters

with Miriam Hees

 

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*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Building Believable Characters

whatie: The workshop starts in 15 minutes!

whatie rushes to get ready

Verla puts out some more chairs...

And adjusts the microphone on the podium

Verla: tap tap tap

Verla: TAP TAP TAP

whatie: verla: oooooooowwwwwwww :)

NOTE: :) = A SMILEY FACE

Verla: Good. It's working.

*** Miriam_ has joined channel #Kidlit

Miriam_: good evening

Dani25: Hi, Miriam. Okay, class settle down

Shirley_D: Hi Miriam.

_Enchanted: Hi, Miriam

Miriam_: this is going to be so much fun!

Verla: The podium is set up and the microphone is turned on, miriam.

Miriam_: thanks

Verla: I set up extra chairs in the back

Verla jumps into the first row and saves a seat for lyra. HERE, lyra. By ME!

whatie: who wants to sit by me? :)

_Lyra: Okay, Verla...I got the seat!

Dani25: I'll sit by you

whatie: yay!

whatie sits next to dani

Verla: get up here, whatie...come on enchanted and dani and shirley

Shirley_D: sure whatie, I'll sit by you.

Dani25: Can I copy your notes?:-)

Verla: lets fill up the front row first!

Verla: You can copy mine, dani. I take lots of notes.

Miriam_: who's sitting next to me?

Verla: NO one, miriam. You are the SPEAKER

whatie moves next to verla and puts dani next to me :)

Miriam_: shake!!!

Verla: No shaking, miriam.

Miriam_: ok

Verla: Are you about ready to start?

Miriam_: ready

Dani25: yes

Verla: We may have latecomers, but they will have to learn to be here on time or miss out on the beginning.

whatie pulls out pen and paper and covers her notes so dani can't see :)

Verla: We start on time. You may copy MY notes dani. This is not a test.

Dani25: Hmmph!:-)

_Lyra: Lyra sneaks a peak at Whatie's notes....How can you SAY that???

whatie: lyra: like this: THAT :)

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Building Believable Characters Workshop in PROGRESS

Verla: Okay, Miriam. Go ahead and introduce yourself and let's start.

Miriam_: Thank you, Verla.

Miriam_: Hi. My name is Miriam Hees.

Miriam_: I write Middle Grade Fiction and am working on my first YA novel..

Verla: Whistle whistle STOMP STOMP STOMP!

_Lyra: yeah, Miriam!!

Miriam_: I have been writing for almost four years now.

Miriam_: Although I have two individual novels in progress, my main concentration is on two series.

Miriam_: My first series is a sister and brother adventure team (I have completed 5 novels in this series).

Miriam_: My second is a guardian angel series (I have completed 2 novels in this one).

Miriam_: I have an agent and my first series is being considered by 4 major publishing houses right now.

Miriam_: Ok, enough about me, let's jump in.

Miriam_: We are here this evening to build strong, believable characters together.

Miriam_: What I want to do is give you a brief outline of a story.

Verla: okay. then.....?

Miriam_: After that we are going to make it a GREAT story by building strong characters as a group.

Verla: Neat!

_Lyra: good plan, Miriam

Miriam_: If you printed out a copy of my character sheet, get that now, along with a blank sheet of paper.

Miriam_: If not, don't worry about it, just get two blank sheets of paper and a pen or pencil.

Miriam_: Ok, here's the story. Our title is "Hassle High". Put that on the top of your blank sheet.

Miriam_: We have a girl who is 12 about to turn 13.

Dani25: Got it

_Lyra: ok

Miriam_: She has just moved to a new state and a new school in the middle of 7th grade.

Miriam_: The girl notices right way groups, or clicks are already formed in this school.

Miriam_: Two groups catch her interest.

Miriam_: Group I: The Very Cool "in" group.

Miriam_: Unfortunately there is a conflict with the most popular girl in this group.

Miriam_: Group II: The Very Nice, but "not so cool" group.

Miriam_: Our story here is "Fitting In".

Miriam_: You may ask how we can write a whole book on this girl's struggle to fit in.

Miriam_: After listening to my teenager and her friends talk non-stop in the back seat of the car, I know we can.

Verla: Ha! You can spend your whole LIFE as a teenager, trying to "fit in"

Miriam_: Ok, that's our sketch of the story. Now let's get some characters going.

_Lyra: ready, set...

Miriam_: I just want to say one thing before we start to write this together.

Miriam_: To me, a writer should know their characters so personally that if they cry, you are sad.

Verla leans forward and plugs in her hearing aide

Verla: ah.....

Miriam_: If they are excited, you are happy for them. You ARE them.

Miriam_: Ok, everyone have their blank sheet of paper?

Dani25: yep

_Lyra: yup

Miriam_: On the very top draw a box and label it "Main Character".

Delta-: Yes.

Miriam_: Now, halfway down the page, and on the left hand side draw two smaller boxes.

Miriam_: Label them "Group I".

Verla: Clarabell Rose

Miriam_: These are your secondary characters.

Miriam_: One is a girl who has an attitude problem.

Miriam_: The other a boy that is nice but shy.

Miriam_: Still in the middle of the page, but on the right hand side draw one small box.

Miriam_: Label it "Group II".

Miriam_: This character is a girl. Very nice and friendly.

Miriam_: Under those boxes we can have minor characters, but we won't go those right now.

Miriam_: Let's start at the top. Our Main Character is a girl (We will name her after we know her).

Verla: I pick Clarabell Rose

Verla: She FEELS like a shy person to me...

Miriam_: Very quickly let's do her superficial traits (Remember to write these down on your character sheet.).

Miriam_: or your other blank piece of paper

hollyj: are we making them up?

Miriam_: yes we are now holly

Verla: Main character is shy

Miriam_: Very quickly let's do her superficial traits (Remember to write these down on your character sheet.).

Verla: she is not pushy

Miriam_: This is your signal to jump in as I call them out.

Miriam_: I'll take the first response on this one so we can move quickly to the more important traits.

Miriam_: Hair someone

Verla: She hates cokes

Suzy-Q: brown, stringy

Dani25: curly

Miriam_: brown

Verla: curly brown...

Miriam_: curly

Dani25: wild

ClaraRose: green eyes

Miriam_: write that down

Verla: yeah. shoulderlength

Suzy-Q: shoulder length

Miriam_: ok green eyes

Miriam_: great keep writing

hollyj: she pulls it back a lot

Suzy-Q: large expressive eyes

Miriam_: good

Miriam_: wonderful

Miriam_: how about her build

Suzy-Q: slight

Verla: freckled nose and cheeks

hollyj: skinny

Miriam_: ok

Miriam_: write write write

Dani25: too thin

zbell: hair she has to keep flipping over her shoulder cause it's so unmanagable

Miriam_: skin tone

Suzy-Q: olive

Miriam_: good descriptions

hollyj: she hates her nose

zbell: slightly hunched shoulders

Suzy-Q: it's too straight

Miriam_: great

Miriam_: Now that we have the superficial details, let's really get to know our girl.

Verla: she's VERY smart

Miriam_: This girl can have any personality, but let's think about the story. New state, new school.

Verla: extremely intelligent

Miriam_: ok smart

hollyj: She wishes she was as pretty as her best friend

Miriam_: nice holly

Verla: embarrassed about being so smart

Dani25: kind of clumsy

ClaraRose: has interest in music and science, but denies it because it doesn't fit in.

Miriam_: clumsey - good

Suzy-Q: awkward

Miriam_: music may be a great thing for later in the story

Verla: tall!

hollyj: She wonders if she will ever get a figure

Miriam_: this is all wonderful

Suzy-Q: she is a swan about to emerge.

Miriam_: Ok, let's create her! She needs a name. This is very important. Suggestions???

Verla: long fingers....plays the piano extremely well

Miriam_: nice verla

Suzy-Q: Tabatha

zbell: not able to interact well with others

Dani25: Amanda

Verla: Clarabelle

ClaraRose: Laura

hollyj: Jane

Suzy-Q: Tabatha Amanda Belle

zbell: Judith

Miriam_: I want everyone to put down the name they like best

Miriam_: but for now I will call her Amanda

hollyj: Amanda is good

hollyj: Not too cutesy

Verla: Amanda is a short plump blond to me! LOL!

Miriam_: now we will get back to her deeper characters.

Miriam_: but first lets get the other characters

Suzy-Q: You are describing my daughter now Verla

_Lyra: The Amanda I know is a tall hefty blond

Miriam_: now from group I

Miriam_: the girl that has a problem

Miriam_: group I is the popular group in school

Miriam_: we have a main girl and a main boy

Miriam_: the girl has a problem with other girls

Miriam_: why?

ClaraRose: insecure

hollyj: The one with the attitude

_Enchanted: Jet black hair , like satin!! --- blond bimbos are not believeable, not powerful!

zbell: She is tomboyish

hollyj: who are we describing now

Miriam_: now this girls is very popular

Miriam_: let's give her a name

ClaraRose: Shawna

Miriam_: ok shawna

zbell: I still like Judith

Verla: She is INSECURE and has to put other people "down" to make herself feel big/important

Dani25: I like Shawna

Miriam_: good verla

Miriam_: how does she look

Miriam_: character sheet please

Miriam_: hair

Verla: She is the dark haired pretty one

Miriam_: ok

Verla: dark eyes that flash fire when angry

Miriam_: body type?

Dani25: silky hair

Miriam_: good

_Enchanted: Yes!

Miriam_: write write

Verla: straight silky hair

Verla: moderate build...busty

hollyj: All the boys like her cause she is thin and is already has a nice shape

zbell: beautiful blue eyes that light up when happy

Verla: not thin, but shapely

Verla: dark eyes, zbell

Miriam_: ok shawna is the secondary character

ClaraRose: maybe grey eyes...

Miriam_: now the secondary boy. Remember he is nice

ClaraRose: sandy blond hair

Miriam_: how does he look

zbell: tall

Miriam_: ok blond

Dani25: blond hair

Miriam_: yes tall

Verla: muscular

zbell: What does he do to get muscles?

ClaraRose: he lives on a farm... has to work it .?

hollyj: He has too-curly hair, that he tries to comb down all the time

Miriam_: good holly

Verla: Oh, I like that, holly

Dani25: green eyes

Miriam_: love green

Verla: no...blue eyes.

zbell: impish grin

Verla: we already have green eyes

Miriam_: write write

Dani25: okay, blue

hollyj: He worrys about the acne he is getting

zbell: glasses?

Miriam_: could be zbell

Miriam_: we need a name

hollyj: Timmy

zbell: chad

_Enchanted: Rick

ragtimemar: Zach

Miriam_: ok I'll take the first for me

Miriam_: tim

Verla: chad! Yes! Oh. Tim...

Dani25: He can't talk to girls easily

Miriam_: good dani25

zbell: slight stutter

ClaraRose: he loves his dogs

hollyj: His face turns red really easy when he gets embarrassed

Dani25: He bites his bottom lip

Miriam_: very nice

Miriam_: now let's quickly go to group II the not so cool group

Miriam_: We have one character she is a girl.

Miriam_: how does she look

Verla: A tiny bit overweight

Miriam_: good

Verla: mousy brown hair

Miriam_: the character is a girl

Miriam_: very nice

Verla: she has brown eyes also

Miriam_: remember not so cool group

Verla: All you have to do is make her look like I did in high school, miriam!

Miriam_: brown

Miriam_: what else

ClaraRose: long straight platinum hair

Miriam_: nice clara

Verla: dresses a little bit "out of style" skirt too long

hollyj: Verla, the style is the skirts can't get longer

Verla: fine, then. A little TOO SHORT, holly!

Verla: hmphp

hollyj: braces

Miriam_: good holly

ClaraRose: large blue eyes.... almost too big.

zbell: brown eyes, brown hair, brown skin, blends in with the woodwork

Miriam_: what is her build?

Verla: stocky, miriam

Miriam_: good stocky

Miriam_: love the braces

hollyj: She wears her jeans too tight

hollyj: You know the baggie jeans are in

Miriam_: you guys are sooo good

Verla: VERY frumpy

hollyj: Thats why I gave her tight ones

zbell: She's frumpy

Verla: frumpy! Yes!

Dani25: bangs get in her eyes

 

Miriam_: ok, now a name

zbell: Dora

Verla: Patricia

Verla: Pricilla

Miriam_: ok, we'll use dora

Miriam_: all right now that we have the basics, let get to what drives them.

Miriam_: Amanda our main character, why does she want to fit in, why is she shy, what has happened to her

Miriam_: let's get into her head

Verla: she was teased a lot at her old school for being so smart

Miriam_: good

Verla: It made her draw into herself

hollyj: She is an army brat and is relocated a lot. She never feels she fits in anywhere

Miriam_: good holly

Verla: oh, GOOD, Holly!

hollyj: Because she moves so much

Miriam_: write write write

Miriam_: what else

hollyj: She feels that no one knows her true self

ClaraRose: her parents are enlisted... not officers...

hollyj: Or if they got to know her, they probably wouldn't like her

ragtimemar: Because she moves so much, it's hard for her to form relationships

zbell: She wants to have a confidante because her awareness of the opposite sex is just emerging

Miriam_: nice zbell

Miriam_: do you feel like you know her yet? If not let's keep going.

Verla: There was a big scandal at the last place they lived...and her family was in the news

Miriam_: nice verla

tinaeva1: Where does her piano plying fit in?

Miriam_: are you sad for her yet? Do you see a new beginning for her?

Miriam_: can you relate to her?

hollyj: The only one steady thing her mother has done for her is too always see to it that she has piano lessons

Verla: there was a concert/competition...and someone cheated - making it look like SHE cheated?

Dani25: she finds comfort in the piano

_Lyra: She could pour her feelings into the piano

Miriam_: you guys are great writers

Miriam_: I already feel as if I know Amanda

zbell: She's broken because her dreams of playing piano are ruined because of an accident to her hands

ClaraRose: her best friend was the daughter of a band officer -- she hung around the band barracks with her girlfriend?

Miriam_: like I have met her before

hollyj: Because her mother would have been a famous pianist, if she didn't get married so young

Miriam_: what are her dreams!!!

hollyj: So she wanted her to be as good as she should have been

hollyj: She is good at playing piano, but really loves to write

Dani25: she wants to be a journalist

Verla: she wants to be a doctor

hollyj: Her journals have been her best friend

Miriam_: ok, now that we have a piano player we will store that away for a part of the story

Miriam_: ok, let get to our lovely Shawna

Miriam_: what is her problem!

hollyj: She is the head of the tennis club

Miriam_: what has happened to her

tinaeva1: How old are these girls and boys?

ClaraRose: A big sister to live up to

Verla: 12/13

Miriam_: 12 or 13

Miriam_: nice clara

Dani25: her dad walked out on the family

zbell: Everything has been handed to her and she hasn't learned to appreciate her friends and belongings

Miriam_: good dani

ClaraRose: Perfect in her eyes.

Miriam_: very nice

Verla: I like zbell's answer

hollyj: Her parents are in a bitter divorce and are both trying to win her over

hollyj: They give her everything

Verla: she EXPECTS everything to be handed to her on a silver platter

zbell: Attitude problem with empasis on ATTITUDE

ClaraRose: that would fit with a divorce... 'play the parents'....

hollyj: She is an only child

Miriam_: from all of this, can Amanda teach her something? This is where you get to decide if she turns out good in the end.

Verla: She feels like she has two parents to me...

Miriam_: maybe a best friend

Miriam_: maybe only tolerated

Miriam_: ok, next is Tim

Miriam_: what is his life like

Verla: It's the girl in the "not in" group that feels like she's from a broken home. She can't keep up with styles etc, because they are short of money

ClaraRose: only child...

Miriam_: ok

hollyj: he's nice right

Miriam_: right

Miriam_: maybe kind of likes amanda

Dani25: good at math

Miriam_: good dani

hollyj: His big brother was head quarterback

Miriam_: nice holly

hollyj: He works really hard to keep up with him

Miriam_: I need you guys to help me with these characters

hollyj: His parents expect him to be just like him

Miriam_: is that why he is shy

Miriam_: a big brother

Dani25: he feels geeky compared to his brother

hollyj: He never feels as good as his brother. He feels things just come easier to his big brother

tinaeva1: No, he has a more introverted personality than his brother.

hollyj: He has to work harder

Verla: Yeah. His big brother was the STAR of the school....and he is wallowing in his brother's famous shadow

Miriam_: what has he got that amanda will finally notice????

ragtimemar: His brother is smarter, so everyone thinks

tinaeva1: He doesn't want to play football--kind of likes music.

Verla: No, HE is smarter, rag...

ragtimemar: ok

Verla: and he thinks music is "sissy?"

hollyj: She went for a walk and found him sitting beside a tree writing in his journal

Miriam_: what is going to impress Amamada

Miriam_: about tim

Verla: His honesty!

Miriam_: good!!!

_Lyra: that he likes music

Miriam_: nice

hollyj: She likes that he can express his feelings to her

_Lyra: and perhaps he seems to understand her

Verla: When Shawna starts playing "games" he won't play....

Miriam_: because she likes music!!

hollyj: He isn't just another jock

Miriam_: nice verla

Miriam_: write write

hollyj: And Shawna is "after him" because she thinks he is going to be the jock his brother is

Miriam_: nice holly

Dani25: lives on the poor side of town

hollyj: Only, Amanda gets to know the real him

Miriam_: good dani

Miriam_: what else

hollyj: Shawna is in love with his image, not him

Miriam_: ok lastly - Dora

Miriam_: she is in the not so cool group

Miriam_: what is she like

Miriam_: do you see Dora and Amanda being close??

Dani25: has 2 little sisters and has to spend all her time taking care of them

_Lyra: yes

Miriam_: good dani

zbell: Dumpy Dora plays off Amanda and makes Amanda look good

Dani25: eventually

hollyj: Not at first. Amanda doesn't want to be her friend

Miriam_: nice zbell

tinaeva1: In grade school, when Shawna was chubby, she and Dora were friends

hollyj: because she is too much of a geek

Miriam_: nice twist holly

hollyj: Amanda tries to keep her distance

Miriam_: Ok question!

hollyj: But realizes that by doing that she is no better than Shawna

Miriam_: can anyone see a story coming out of this character building??

Verla: Dora's parents divorced and she lost her social "status"....no more money for fancy clothes, etc

hollyj: yeah, this is fun

Miriam_: Lots of FUN!!!!

tinaeva1: Dora still wants to be friends with shawna, but Shawna ridicules her and is ashamed that they were friends.

hollyj: Good one Verla

Verla: yes, I can, miriam.

Dani25: Mother works all the time

Miriam_: good

zbell: Dora looks up to Amanda, Amanda doesn't want to play with Dora anymore, she want's to be accepted by Shawna

Verla: wait a minute!

Verla: Amanda just moved here!

Miriam_: true

Verla: and so does dora...with the younger kids

Verla: housework, etc for her mom

hollyj: Mine thoughts exactly zbell

Dani25: I'm starting to see more possibilities in Dora

Miriam_: if you wnat to go further you can say how they will react to friendship or betrayal

zbell: I identify with Dumpy Dora!!

hollyj: Doras family just can't afford to buy her the cool clothes

tinaeva1: Dora knows alot of things about Shawna

hollyj: Dora has a secret about Shawna that no one knows

Miriam_: now, who is everyones favorite character so far?

Dani25: Dora

Verla: hmmmm. could dora get jealous when Shawna begins to be friends with Amanda?

Miriam_: yes verla

hollyj: Amanda, but Shawna would be fun to work with

zbell: Dora is the key to Amanda and Shawna's relationship, since Dora and Shawna are neighbors and used to play together

Verla: And then Dora starts rumors about Shawna?

Dani25: No, she's not like that

Verla: the rumors take off and dora is horrified...

_Lyra: Amanda -- I can see possibilities in her "scandal" past, that could be an important plot

Miriam_: good lyra

Dani25: Shawna would start rumors

zbell: Things got out of hand

hollyj: Shawna can't stand Dora, but their parents have some connection and she is supposed to be nice to her

Verla: shawna sees the rumors as the hurtful things they are because of HER problems at the last place they were stationed....

hollyj: and it bugs her

Miriam_: I hope someone is writing all this down

Miriam_: it's GREAT!

hollyj: She hates Shawna for starting rumors, and sides with Dora

Verla: (my computer is logging it all, miriam....)

hollyj: even though she didn't want to be her friend at first

Delta-: I'm copying it to the notepad, every word.....

Dani25: I'm trying

Verla: And shawna tries to STOP the rumors...only...they get Worse instead of BETTER

zbell: The snowball effect

_Lyra: that's good, V

tinaeva1: We better get a football dance in here

Miriam_: good tina

hollyj: Then Tim really like Shawna, but he wonders if the rumors are true

Miriam_: I don't know about you, but I think we are ready to write a novel

Miriam_: do you feel it????

Dani25: Yes

Miriam_: we can go back and add more as we go

Miriam_: as our characters come to life we will build them high and higher

Miriam_: ok, let's stop a minute for questions about characters. These or your own. I would like everyone to help answer these questions.

Miriam_: what do you want to know about building charcters

Verla: Yeah, Tim doesn't play much of a part so far.

Miriam_: we can keep writing this story but I wnat a chance for questions too.

zbell: How do you integrate the guys with the gals?

ClaraRose: some classes..

Miriam_: I bring out the differences first

_Lyra: an example, Miriam?

Miriam_: then slide in the comparisons until they realize they are not so different after all.

Miriam_: amanda thinks tim is dumb

Dani25: Like Dora being from the wrong side of the tracks? (I'm taking Dora, btw)

zbell: Miriam, do you ever get a picture out of a magazine so you can see who you are describing?

Miriam_: yes zbell

Verla: I did that. Cut pictures out of catalogues and magazines of my main character...pictures of her at 8 & 9 and when she was older, 16 & 17. (It was a YA. She became VERY real to me.)

Verla: Hmmmm. So you show the reader first how DIFFERENT each character is...then show them what is the same about them?

Miriam_: but slowly she notices the music he is listening to on his hed phones

zbell: I like to set scene's that way

Miriam_: it's the same music she lives for

Verla: ah....

Miriam_: a conversation is started

Miriam_: a couple begins

_Lyra: IF you are headed for a romantic plot...

Dani25: Do you do characters before you think of plot?

Verla: and they find something they enjoy doing together.

Miriam_: yes

zbell: Is Dora a passive rebel?

Miriam_: I would think so

Miriam_: she has hidden strength

_Enchanted: Tim provides the reader with a male viewpoint. Also, reader gets to go some places that the girls couldn't take him/her because of Tim.

Miriam_: wonderful enchanted

Verla: hmm. I can do JUST fine without the men's room, thank you very much anyway, enchanted!

Miriam_: but then there are characters who will never become firends

Miriam_: and that's ok

Dani25: She's grown up faster, because of the responsibily

Miriam_: you can still show both their strengths

zbell: they can agree to disagree

Miriam_: good

Miriam_: you never know who will relate to who

Miriam_: readers that is

Verla: good point, miriam!

Miriam_: what else

Dani25: YEah, I thought I'd like Amanda best

Miriam_: share your experiences

Miriam_: do you have a character you would like us to help you with

zbell: Did we do physical gestures, such as nail biting, hair twisting, etc.?

Miriam_: good point zbell

Miriam_: that tells a lot

Verla: I find it helpful to stop and ask my character...what WOULD you do if this happened to you? Knowing the character's background...how old, what happened in the past, etc. helps me to find out how THIS character would react to THIS situation.....

Dani25: No, I've been avoiding novels, because I thought characters were too hard.

Miriam_: wonderful verla

Miriam_: not for you dani

Dani25: Picture books are a little easier

Miriam_: you have given great imput

Miriam_: I sometimes remember how I felt at this awkward age to build a character

Dani25: I have a hard time with dialogue

hollyj: Characters are fun. I take a noteook with me sometimes like in a hospital waiting room and listen and pay attention to a person. Then jot down things I assume about them, and make them into a character

zbell: I still feel awkward

Miriam_: or cut out a picture as someone suggested

_Lyra: A part of me stayed in teenage-mind-set when I'm writing

Miriam_: good holly

Verla: Does anyone else have any questions about how to build characters before we end the workshop? Or have a character they need help with?

Miriam_: why zbell?

Verla: Dialogue is a good idea for a future workshop, dani!

Miriam_: ok I understand

Dani25: I'm stealing Dora and writng spmething about her

ClaraRose: What do you do if you want to add a foriegn element...? ie, someone from another country?

Miriam_: clara rose I have only done accents

Miriam_: can anyone answer for clara

Verla: You would need to know a lot about the foriegn country, clara

IKeeper: I show the charactor in different ways. Maybe stilted English, mannerisms.

Dani25: their language could be formal. Not a lot of contractions

ragtimemar: I might read Nazi-associated books like L. Lowry's Number the Stars to get a foreign accent, Clara Rose.

_Lyra: I only do contemporary mid-grade books now...never tried dialects or even historical

Miriam_: me either lyra

Dani25: Will the foriegn characters be in their own country or someone elses?

ClaraRose: It is the character building of someone from another culture that seems like it would be difficult to me....

IKeeper: Historical is my favorite

Verla: If it feels too hard, clara, you should probably try something else for now.

Dani25: Because if you want them to have a foriegn feel, you should read books where they're not in their natural habitat

zbell: I think sometimes those feelings in adolesence are never resolved

hollyj: Dani, you liked Dora

Miriam_: I want all of you to feel free to take this story and GO!

Miriam_: write it and then let me read it!

Dani25: Yeah, I can see her right now

Delta-: Actually, there's the basis of two books here...group I and group II.

Miriam_: lyra

Miriam_: true delta

IKeeper: It's very hard to carry off an accent.

ragtimemar: The beauty of this, Miriam, is we would all end up with different books completely.

Miriam_: exactly rag!!!!!

_Enchanted: I think group 1 is a book all by itself!

zbell: I have a story I have written but the secondary people in it are more real to me than the main character

Dani25: Especially since we all identify with a different character

Miriam_: do you assocate with them more zbell

zbell: I think so Miriam, it's easier to put myself in their place

Miriam_: I always try and find a real person like the one I can't quite understand to help me out.

Verla: Get to know your main character, zbell. Find out what is making him/her "tick" and what that person's big problem is. Maybe you have TWO books and not one.

zbell: How do you get around the "trendy" element?

IKeeper: Dani, it depends on what you're writing.

Dani25: No, I meant for zbell

Miriam_: I try never to DATE myself zbell. I was told that was bad.

_Lyra: If you are writing current paperbacks, you can put in trends, but for heavier books, avoid slang, etc.

hollyj: You can hang around with kids the age your readers would be. See how they talk

hollyj: what their interest are

ClaraRose: I agree... I just have a plot simmering on a way, way,way back burner...

Miriam_: please feel free to bounce any of your characters off me anytime.

_Lyra: I mostly stick to words that are ageless like cool, etc.

Verla: Yeah. Like I had Freddy Cruger in my story. I'm changing it to Dracula. HE is timeless.

Miriam_: my email address ins hees@io.com

Miriam_: and you can get my character sheets from my webpage

Miriam_: http://www.io.com/~hees

Dani25: I think Silver Days by Sonia Levitin is a good book for that

Miriam_: maybe we can continue our story

ClaraRose: excellent job

Miriam_: thanks again

Verla: We need to do the next one like this on Dialogue

Miriam_: and thank you Verla for having me!

whatie: yay miriam!

_Enchanted: Thank you Miriam.

hollyj: That would be good Verla

Miriam_: I think it's a great idea verla

hollyj: Thats where I get scared. Dialogue

Dani25: Hooray for Miriam!!

Miriam_ is so honored by all the praise

Dani25: Me too. Dialogue terrifies me

Verla: Next week's workshop will be....

Verla: Lyras!!!!!

Miriam_: Yeah Lyra!!!!

Dani25: Woo-hoo, Lyra!

hollyj: Whats Lyras about?

hollyj: What's it about?

Verla: Next week Lyra will do: How to approach editors/authors and agents

ragtimemar: And the workshop after dialogue could be arcing the story, my big problem! Any votes???

whatie: I vote for that

Verla: arcing the story?

zbell: what's arcing?

ragtimemar: Development of the beginning, middle, end, like an arc or arch.

zbell: ok

Miriam_: I have a section on my webpage rag about Beginnings Middles and Ends

_Lyra: Miriams website is very nice

Miriam_: thank you lyra

Verla: Ah...okay, rag.

ragtimemar: I'll check it out, Miriam.

Miriam_: let me know if it helps rag

ragtimemar: I will, Miriam.

Verla: Miriam, this was a GREAT workshop! Thank you SO MUCH!

ragtimemar: I got your sheet in front of me, Miriam. Very helpful tonight!

Miriam_: I had a wonderful time!!!!

_Lyra: applause for Miriam!!!

Miriam_: thanks rag

hollyj: thanks Miriam. THis was fun

Dani25: This was cool

Miriam_ blushes

_Lyra: I can't wait to read your books (someday) Miriam

Verla: Whistle Whistle....STOMP STOMP STOMP! HOOORAY for MIRIAM!

tinaeva1: Thanks Miriam

zbell: Yeah Miriam, this was VERY helpful to me!!!

ragtimemar: Yeah, Miriam, and on such short notice, too! (:)

Miriam_: ya'll were GREAT!

hollyj: Cheers to Miriam

Miriam_: I hope we can do it again sometime

zbell hollers, "Way to Go Miriam!!"

Verla: Hey...where's sq with the silly string and water balloons?

ragtimemar: Hip, hip, hurray!

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