Monday, March 5, 2012

What Inspires You? Manuscript in Motion Mondays

Thanks to all of you who linked up your blogs to last week's Manuscript in Motion Mondays! It was truly a pleasure going around and visiting with you. A quick shout out of congrats to Jenni James for her Northanger Alibi launch this past week and to Janet Kay Jensen for winning second place in a national writing contest. Just goes to show that we have INCREDIBLE writers here at MMW, and dreams are coming true left and write! (Ha ha, get it? "Write"? K, I'm done now.)

Kathleen Brebes gets the nod for her fantastic post about an article called, "How Fascinating Are You?" I loved reading this and it definitely made me think about myself and a writer and my characters. Stop by Kathleen's blog and check it out if you haven't yet!

So here's the deal: I'm giving you a freebie this week! No link-up today, but it's because I want to give you a full week to formulate your post for next week. I've decided that you need time to put your best foot forward, so I'll give you a challenge one week ahead of time and then you'll have the opportunity to mull it over and come up with something brilliant that you can come back and link up to the following week. Here are some things I'd like for you to remember:

1. When you link up, use the URL from the link to your specific Manuscript in Motion Mondays post, NOT just your general blog url. That way I (and others) can read your post about the challenge without having to search through your blog.

2. Put the Manuscript in Motion Mondays button within your blog post, NOT just on your sidebar- this is really easy to do. Just copy the code from the window below the button, go to where you're editing the post on your page, click the "Edit Html" tab and paste it right in.

3. If you'd like to draw attention to your link, instead of actually putting in your name where it says "name" on the Mr. Linky form, put in the title of your post. You can even do like I did last week and place the title of your post with the words "@ (blog name or your name)" after it.

If you've been linking up the last two weeks and haven't been doing these things, no worries! It's a learning process for all of us!

Now on to this week's challenge: What Inspires You?

Have you ever read a portion of text in a book and just had a knock-me-over-with-a-feather kind of reaction? Have you ever read anything that just made you say, "Oh, wow. I wish I could write like that"? Well, I find myself having those moments often, and rather than drop our heads, scuff our feet on the ground and sigh that we'll never be that good, I suggest we USE those little textual gems and let them teach us how to be better.

Here is one of my favorite literary passages from "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski:

"And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn't acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her."
There is something about those words that just make my heart stop in my chest. Every time I read them, they just move me to no end. Part of it may be because these words are actually about a dog, Almondine, whose master has just passed away. These words are so deep, so full of emotion, as the author shows us that creatures are just as sensitive and aware of the world as we are, if not more so. I love that these words are for a being who has no spoken words, as they describe emotions that are more intense and more clearly defined than any human's. And if you have ever lost anyone close to you, then you probably are all-too-familiar with Almondine's expression of grief.

So how can I use this in my own writing? Well, I don't necessarily know that this would fit into my current WIP (a YA action/romance) but I think that I often try to conform my feelings about things into words that are conventional, rather than allowing them to speak through the more vague metaphors that I feel. I would like to start exercising this part of my creative abilities, and allow myself to express complex emotions in more abstract yet tactile terms...okay, that might not make any sense, but I know what I mean. :-)

So for next week, think over your favorite books and your favorite lines or paragraphs from those books. Why do you love them? How can you use that in your writing? Prepare a post for your blog, then be ready to link it up with Manuscript in Motion Mondays next week. Don't forget my 3 things to remember that I posted above...see you next week!

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