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Pay Attention

Bridge in a field

 

Pay attention—two simple words essential to creative writing.

One definition of “pay” is to “give or bestow.”

The word “attention” derives from the Middle English word “attend” or to apply one’s mind—one’s energies to someone or something.

To me, paying attention means being present with a purpose.

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Dialogue and Shot Reverse Shot in Raising Arizona

Raising Arizona

My favorite Coen brothers’ film is Raising Arizona. It’s the story of a soft-hearted, ex-con husband H.I. McDunnough and his infertile wife, Ed, who decide to kidnap a quintuplet in Tempe, Arizona because his real parents already “have more than they can handle.”

It’s full of frantic fun and makes me laugh out loud and the dialogue is the best.

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Georgia O’Keeffe: The Ultimate Minimalist

Georgia Okeeffe Poppies

The way Georgia O’Keeffe lived her life inspires me—from her art to her clothing to her home design.

O’Keeffe was born in Wisconsin in 1887. Her family then moved to Virginia. She went on to study art at various schools, but it happened to be one particular art professor at Columbia University in New York who greatly influenced her.

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Boiled Peanuts

Joseph McDougall owns Forest Lake Produce

Joseph McDougall owns Forest Lake Produce in Columbia, SC. He makes boiled peanuts on site for his customers who love them.

A few fun facts about peanuts.

— They aren’t nuts. They’re legumes.

— Peanuts are originally from South America,

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Claire’s Knee

In 1987, I was studying art history at the École du Louvre when I met an older German man named Peter.

Peter was stern, didactic, exacting, prickly and super intellectual. He relished arguing loudly at dinner for the fun of it. Something a young twenty-three-year-old Southern woman wasn’t used to.

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The First Line.

The opening line. That ever important first impression. The way to draw the reader into your story. Those previous words were easy to write. But the real thing is not.

Every writer struggles with the first line of his or her novel, because they know that if that first sentence is killer,

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Query Letter and Synopsis

In a few weeks, I want to contact literary agents with my young adult novel. I wrote this post to wrap my mind around how to go about it, and maybe, help other people in the process.

Literary agents help navigate the business side of publishing a novel.

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The Hero’s Journey

Some say there are only two plots in the world—a stranger comes to town and someone goes on a journey.

My novel’s plot definitely falls into the latter journey category. So I decided to find out a little more about the Hero’s Journey.

I was familiar with Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero with a Thousand Faces concerning the journey of the archetypal hero in world mythologies and that Campbell made famous the term “monomyth.”

Interestingly enough,

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Caroline Lord Picture Of The Author

About Caroline

My name is Caroline Lord. I want to learn from the best storytellers. Join me on my search to find them.

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