The winner of Ellen Jensen Abbott's WATERSMEET novel is Sarah. Sarah, your comment was posted on November 19th: Would love to win it. It has been on my to read list far too long already. Please email Nancy: info(at sign)nancyviau(dot)com and give your full name and address. WATERSMEET will arrive at your doorstep soon.
Let's move on with a turkey-inspired tip. Take it away, Alison!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we all look forward to a great meal that day. When you hear about a new book from a friend or librarian, you look forward to reading it, too. Everyone loves reading about interesting characters, but the actions or "plot" characters experience is also important to create great stories. Actions (big and small) drive the plot in a story forward and keeps readers reading. Character actions might be huge, like facing an evil wizard, but other actions might be something small, but equally important to a story, like earning a special badge in Cub Scouts.
Let's gobble, gobble this fun way to help PLOT a story:
Imagine a character you are writing about or choose one of your favorite book or movie characters. Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz is the example used below for this exercise.
1. Use crayons or paint to make a turkey handprint on a blank sheet of paper. Let paint dry.
2. Write the character's name and what they want in the center of the palm of your handprint.
Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas.
3. On the thumb and each finger, write an action for your character which will help create an exciting and interesting story plot.
You can draw more feathers on your turkey to add as many actions as you can imagine
Five actions for Dororthy in Wizard of Oz
Runs away from home and tornado
Lands in Oz
Meets a good witch, a scarecrow, tin man, and lion
Arrives at the Emerald City
Defeats the Wicked Witch
4. Keep in mind what your character wants. (Example: Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas)
Now, write a story using the plotting actions you've imagined for your own character or write new story for a favorite character from books or movies.