It's Wednesday again, isn't it? It's hard to tell - I've got a bad case of applesauce-for-brains. Finishing up God Love Her, sending off my latest submission piece, helping my brother with a paper for college...and all the holiday crazy: I'm mentally wiped out. I need some serious R&R for my head. I had this neat idea for today...but it has to be pushed back, until I'm firing on all my mental cylinders again.
In my current vegetative state, I decided that the thing to do was not solider on and force any writing. I know what my next project is going to be, and I know that I'm in no frame of mind to go diving into it. So what's a gal to do? I think I'm going to do some journaling - and by "journaling," I mean write some essays and dive into all the geeky things I love and get super-into character study so that I'm fresh and sharp when I start writing my fantasy series.
Yep, fantasy series.
And also, yep, I love to write essays.
So, if anyone out there is in school, or has kids, nieces, nephews, friends, etc, in school, my Workshop Wednesdays are going to be my place for sharing essay-writing suggestions and strategies. The trick to an essay is making the material fun - and sometimes that's trickier than you want it to be, but it's possible. Next week, when I'm fresher, I want to dive into the paper I just helped my brother with, but for now, my brain dead advice is this: If there's a movie of the book, story, play...watch it. Always, always watch the movie; compare/contrasting it to the text is probably the most beneficial thing you can do. I had so many profs who would assign a novel, have us write a paper, and then show the movie after we were done. I think this is a mistake: visual learners will triple their understanding of the text if they see the plot unfold in vivid reality. And it cements, in my mind, the affection you have for characters - or the dislike - and you can't write a great paper without some sort of emotional investment.
I'll leave you guys with that, and hope to be feeling less zombie-like tomorrow. I plan to use a sequence of characters and stories/plays to demonstrate my favorite essay strategies.