Why Your Story Needs Flat Character Arcs
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
7M ago
By Chris Babcock, Student Contributor If you’ve ever read The Lord of the Rings, imagine a Sam Gamgee who starts out selfish, petty, and cowardly. Then, over the course of the trilogy, he becomes self-sacrificing, noble, and courageous. It’s hard to envision, right? And honestly, it makes Sam Gamgee less likable. He just wouldn’t be Sam if he didn’t start out with an intrinsic loyalty and childlike faith. His flat arc makes him a wonderful foil for Frodo’s tragic negative arc. But aren’t flat arcs inherently bad? Actually, no. A flat character arc is not the same thing as a flat character. A f ..read more
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5 Ways to Stop Hating Your Story
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
10M ago
By Lauryn Trimmer, Student Contributor Maybe you’re two-thirds of the way through your novel… and you hate it. Or you’re almost finished with the rough draft, but it feels like everyone else wrote a better story than yours. You wish you could just write a different story, but at this point, you feel you’ve come too far to start over. And if you decide to start over, you have no idea how to make it work this time around. It’s hard to finish a story that you don’t like. If you don’t enjoy writing your novel, you probably won’t stick with it for very long. So how do you deal with this? How do you ..read more
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Writing Evil without Being Overcome
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
1y ago
By Anastasia “Cnemi” McTague We have to be “mean” to our characters; their suffering and sacrifice prove the value of the Story Goal. But how do we avoid taking “mean” too far, and writing a story that overflows with violence and sorrow? I suggest empathy. “It is easy to opt for death until it has a name and a face—and a soul,” wrote Fr. Gordon MacRae on the blog Beyond These Stone Walls. This applies to more than just murder, though. Do the victims in your story have names, faces, and souls to you—even the villains? Or are they just bloodied notches in your characters’ belts? Sometimes we shr ..read more
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How to Direct a Super-Short Film from Scratch
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
2y ago
By Catherine L. Haws, Student Contributor Are you curious about making movies, but a bit overwhelmed when you think about where to start? Right here, right now, I’d like to awaken your imagination on how you can start making a short film TODAY. We’re going to take the pressure off, shoot small, and have some fun. Go ahead and crack your knuckles (or your neck if you’re one of those people) and get ready! A quick note about how making a film is different than writing a novel: Film is a visual medium. The pinnacle of Show Don’t Tell. Audio is also enormously important and not to be thrown aside ..read more
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Why Fanfiction Isn’t a Waste of Time
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
2y ago
By Kait Vincent, Student Contributor Fanfiction isn’t a waste of time. Not for young writers. (Not for old ones, either.) The first time I wrote a fanfic, I didn’t know what “fanfiction” was. I was about nine, and I’d just suffered the unexpected death of a favorite character from Artemis Fowl. In a fit of passion, I plunked down on a dinosaur of a pc, yanked open Notepad, and produced two, single-spaced pages of chaotic nonsense in an attempt to “fix it” in my brain. Then I printed it out, patted myself on the back, and moved on with my life. Recently, I found these pages in some old filing c ..read more
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So You Want to Write a Character with a Disability
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
2y ago
By Rachel Petri, Student Contributor As a visually impaired student, I know that stories about disabled characters always resonate very deeply with me. I love to see another person face struggles that reflect mine and watch a character fight the same way I do. Many stories about disabilities have impacted me greatly, but there is a right and a wrong way to write about this topic. Every story says something bigger than the actual events and characters. They each have a message. Recognizing and evaluating this is vital to understanding how to write about any raw topic, not just disabilities. Two ..read more
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Cyber Summer Workshop: In Their Own Words
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
3y ago
Since their genesis in 2010, the annual One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshops have been a highlight of many an “OYAN” student’s year. When COVID hit and workshop made the transition to an online-only event for the first time, everyone here on staff was determined to capture the liveliness, education, and fun of the in-person versions. It was a great time, and we are determined to improve upon the experience and bring even more exciting opportunities and ways for students to connect at this year’s Cyber Summer Workshop. Many people ask what a Summer Workshop is like, and the volume of queri ..read more
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Susan Sader: Interview With a One Year Adventure Novel Writer & Artist
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Tineke Bryson
4y ago
Interview between Tineke Bryson (Staff Member) and Susan Sader (Guest Contributor) TINEKE: Hi, Susan. It’s lovely to be featuring you on the One Year Adventure Novel today. For those who don’t already know you—you’re both a writer and an artist. Tell us a little about the type of art you do. SUSAN: Hey Tineke! Thank you for inviting me, it’s an honor. Right now, I work almost exclusively with digital media (though if somebody commissions a traditional piece, I still offer them) and my art style is heavily influenced by Japanese art styles. I do a lot of character designs and concepts and even ..read more
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How Genre Gave Me Confidence
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
4y ago
By Meredith Lundell, Student Contributor Did you know that “family saga” is a genre of literature? I didn’t until last month when a research project sent me into the world of literary agents. When I saw “family saga” listed among the genres a particular agent was interested in, it was the quintessential “light bulb” moment for me. I’ve been writing variations of family sagas for years, but didn’t have a way to describe what I wrote. To say I was excited would have been an understatement. See, I’ve spent most of my serious writing life as a “not-quite-this-genre” writer ..read more
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Peanuts Don’t Come Between Me and My Writing Workshop
One Year Adventure Novel Blog
by Student Contributor
4y ago
By Lela Grattet, Student Contributor Picture an unremarkable sixteen-year-old girl mowing lawns and babysitting children who never stop screaming, for an entire summer, all in effort to travel to Kansas. People laugh at her when she says she’s excited for this trip to Kansas where she will spend five days learning how to be a better writer, all in the company of students who have taken the same curriculum. She finally registers for this event, yearning for knowledge and connections. She is ready to travel with her mom at her side, her partially written historical conspiracy novel in hand, and ..read more
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