Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Braining Up My Novel: THE INK OF TIME Needs a little more ink!

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I recently found a podcast about authors marketing their own books, called The Creative Penn. The podcasts are about the writing process, creativity, author mindset, and a variety of other good stuff, along with the marketing side of writing. The creator, Joanna Penn, a huge proponent of self-publishing, has recorded over 300 episodes in the past few years.  I’m working my way through all them on my daily walks. Each and every episode has given me at least a nugget of information that is useful and applies to my writing life; however, one episode in particular, sent me directly to my Amazon account to order a book!

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Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (*Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere), by Lisa Cron is that book.  Besides having a whopping twenty-seven word title, it focuses on the science of brain and story-telling. Really cool and interesting stuff!

As a former (yet always) teacher, brain science and how the brain works and learns is an integral part of teaching. If educators can’t or don’t teach to the patterns of how the brain works, what is the point? I’ve spent a lot of time over the years learning (the little we humans really understand) about how the brain works and processes information.
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When you're hungry...
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It all starts with our NEEDS. Our need for shelter, security, and food, you know- survival. If any one of these things is not being met, optimal learning cannot happen. (Just the other day at my part-time job my boss wanted me to pick out some tee-shirts. I told her I couldn’t concentrate on that because I was hungry. Tee-shirts. I couldn’t pick out tee-shirts because I was hungry. It brought me back to the classroom in my mind and all of the times students came to school and told me they were hungry.)

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Telling stories is as old a time. And do you know why? Because stories give information of experiences and times past. Lisa Cron says, “…we come to every story we hear – not just novels, which, evolutionary speaking, arrived on the scene about five seconds ago -  hardwired to ask one question in what’s known as our cognitive unconscious: What am I going to learn here that will help me not only survive, but prosper?” (p.14)

I’m studying this book like it’s a college course. I’m highlighting and taking notes in a spiral notebook. I’ve created a table document for the ‘What To Do’ assignments where am creating new scenes for my two novels, THE INK OF TIME and my yet unnamed elevator/earthquake story.

 I’m excited to add more to Otto’s story (THE INK OF TIME), and I know I’m going to need some beta readers (again) for that story. I want to get it right before I publish- and yes, I think I might just self- publish.  (Scary!) If you think you might like to give being a beta reader a try, send me a message. Beta reading IS HOMEWORK!  I’d love a few more perspectives on this story.

Since this post is all about brain science, ask yourself this: Which way do I learn/remember best:
A)   I write everything down.
B)   I underline or highlight information.
C)   I use different color pens to stay organized.
D)   I listen to learn.
E)   I learn best when someone shows me how to do something.(Youtube?)
F)   I need a quiet place to think/learn.
G)   I need to move around a lot to process information.
H)   Music helps me learn.
I) I like to draw or read diagrams to learn/ figure things out

(Seriously, this list could go on and on. You get the idea… Now how are you going to USE this information about yourself???)

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself!


P.S. And think about being a beta reader for me :)

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