Hello, friends of Clarion! Week Two of the Clarion Write-a-Thon has begun, and it’s time for some new challenges to keep you on your toes. But before we begin, it’s time to honor those who have gone above and beyond so far in our fundraising effort. Our total number of participants has exploded to 147, and of those, the following ten people have risen to the top of the heap and are very much in the running for our top prize: an iPad 2!
- Ferrett Steinmetz
- Amelia Bruce
- Kelly Lagor
- Liz Argall
- Nathan McDaniel
- Keffy Kehrli
- Dallas Taylor
- Rachael Acks
- Donaya Haymond
Week 2 Writng Challenge
This week’s writing challenge is actually a revision challenge.
Look back through your work to find a passage that is mostly dialogue between two characters. Failing that, find a fight scene or other scene where two characters are acting and reacting against one another. Now consider both of these characters, and take a moment to write three to five adjectives that most completely and thoroughly describe each character.
This part of the exercise in and of itself should take a while, as you want these adjectives, as much as possible, to encompass the entirety of the character’s temperament and personality. This means they will need to be just the right combination of general and specific, and it would be best if the words do not overlap in meaning. Do not use both “moral” and “honest,” for example, since honesty can be considered a part of morality.
As an example, if you were using Indiana Jones, you might use “brainy, arrogant, passionate, and courageous.” The main character of my own novel-in-progress is “tough, clever, loving, and tactless.” Be sure there is at least one good quality in the list and one bad quality; if not, either your character may not be well-rounded enough, or you may not have thought fully through the whole of his personality.
Once you have your list of adjectives, look over your scene. Do these traits show up there? As an experiment, revise the dialogue or action scene so that each one of those character traits shows up at some point in the passage. Make Dr. Jones just a bit more arrogant in one line, and let his passion show through in the next. When you have done this for both characters, do you find it easier to tell who is saying what without dialogue tags? Does more conflict seem to bubble up between them? Post both versions, if you are willing, and discuss the results.
Week 2 Fundraising Challenge
Do you have a blog or web site? If you are not already doing so, post a fundraising goal for this week and offer a “reward” to your audience should you reach it. Last year one of our writers, a singer who rarely performs in public, offered to post a performance on YouTube. Perhaps you have an item of value that you could give away, or a service or skill you might offer for a lucky donor. Or dare you offer a critique of your own? Everyone needs readers. Mull it over and see what you can come up with to lure a few reluctant donors from your internet “fan base.” Good luck, and see you next weekend!