For Writers, Read Write Grow Book Club

Read Write Grow Writer’s Book Club: Story Genius

February’s pick for our writer’s book club was Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I really enjoyed it, and I feel like it ties in really well with our March pick which is Save the Cat Writes A Novel by Jessica Brody.

Here are the discussion questions for Story Genius (You can post the answers here in the comments, on your own blog, or even on the post over on Instagram.):

  1. Did you do some/all of the exercises in the book?
  2. If so, which ones did you find most helpful?
  3. Cron views “plotting” and “pantsing” as writing methods and says they don’t work. What are your thoughts about this?
  4. Which part of the book was your favorite or that you found to be most helpful?
  5. Do you have any other thoughts about the book?

I’ll post my answers/review within the next couple of days, and I’ll try to get the questions for Save the Cat up earlier. I was running behind with these questions. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories, as that’s where I’ll post the poll for April’s book pick.

Happy Reading!

For Writers, Read Write Grow Book Club

Introducing the Read, Write, Grow Writer’s Book Club

One of my goals for 2021 is to read at least one book on writing per month. To help me reach that goal, I’ve decided to create a writer’s book club – the Read, Write, Grow Writer’s Book Club.

Anyone who is interested can join in, just leave a comment here on my blog or on any of my social media sites letting me know you’d like to participate. Each month, I’ll have some discussion questions I’ll share here on my blog and on my Instagram page, and you can share your answers either on your own blog, your social media sites, or in the comments of my posts. You can tag me @charityrau on IG and @charityrau1 on Twitter and use #readwritegrowbc with your posts.

For February, I’ve chosen the book Story Genius by Lisa Cron since it has been on my TBR for forever. Going forward into the next few months, I’d love to have some input from others about book choices, so if you have a suggestion drop it down in the comments!

Here’s the suggested reading schedule for February:

I’ll post the discussion questions the last week of February so participants will have some time to post their answers before the end of the month. If you don’t finish until the very end of February or even into March, that’s fine. You can still post your answers once you’ve finished.

Want to join in on the fun? Let me know in the comments! 🙂 And if you want to stay up to date on all the book club news via email, you can sign up here.

diyMFA book club, For Writers

Creativity and Storytelling Superpower

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This is my second post for the diyMFA book club, and I’m responding to two different prompts. 🙂

The first prompt: What is your storytelling superpower?

storytelling superpower

I got disruptor.

Disruptor – You’re drawn to larger-than-life characters who rebel against the status quo. Your stories champion people who will do whatever it takes to change their societies, overcome all odds, and defeat tyranny. Whether your character makes a small but significant personal choice or starts an all-out revolution, at the core your stories are about sharing your ideals with the world.

I do love to write about characters who overthrow evil tyrants 🙂 , so I think this fits. This quiz is pretty fun, and gives you some insight on why you might be drawn to certain characters.

If you want to take the storytelling superpower quiz, you can do so here.

The second prompt: What feeds your creativity?

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So many things!

I find inspiration in art, nature, family and friends, people watching, books, and movies, to name a few. One thing that I found really helpful in Gabriela’s book is the idea of having an ORACLE (outrageous ridiculously awesome creative literary exercises). An oracle is a box or container filled with things that inspire you. Whenever you’re having an uncreative moment, you go to your ORACLE and look through it.

Up until this point, I had just been keeping a notebook with ideas, but I realized how helpful an ORACLE could be. So many times I forget things that have given me a moment of inpiration. So I have decided to start my own ORACLE.

oracle box

I found this box which I think is perfect. I love the color and sparkly mermaids! They fit fit right in with my genre (fairytale/fantasy).

Some things I’m including: inspiring pictures (a folder for character images, and a folder for setting images), story cubes, and a jar of writing prompts. I’m also including the my Writer’s Digest magazines, because they always provide inspiration. 🙂

oracle contents

The thing I really like about the ORACLE is that it can grow with me. As I find more inspiring things, I can add them into the ORACLE. This is going to be great for my creativity!

What’s your storytelling superpower? Do you have an ORACLE? What kind of things do you keep in it? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

diyMFA book club, For Writers

My Origin Story – How I became a writer

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am participating in the diyMFA book club, and this is my first official post for the book club. 🙂 If you want to join the book club, all the details are here. The first prompt Gabriela gave us was to write out your origin story – the story that led you to become a writer.

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As long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by books and stories. My parents are both teachers, so they understood the importance of exposing children to books at an early age. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that I decided to become a writer, but there are several personal experiences which led me here.

Some of my earliest memories include the stories my grandpa told me, my siblings, and my cousins. They starred a heroic coon dog named Cady. She defeated bears, took down mountain lions, and conquered evil humans, and I loved her. Soon I was making up stories of my own and telling them to my siblings. This was my first step into the world of storytelling.

Not much later, in about second grade, I discovered the book Little Women (the great illustrated classic version, which I still have). I carried that book everywhere with me and read it too many times to count. I even fended off a boy a grade above me who claimed I was too little to read such a big book.

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Jo March was my favorite character, and I wanted to be just like her, including becoming a writer when I grew up. And Jo March was only the first of a long line of characters (including Anne Shirley, Rory Gilmore, and Jessica Fletcher) who continued to inspire me to become a writer.

As I got a little older, I still continued to tell stories, often incorporating them into play. My sisters and I just didn’t play house with our Barbies. Our Barbies were on the run from an evil stepmother, solving murders, or trying to survive on their own.

(Scroll over the pictures to see the captions. 🙂  These are my actual Barbies from when I was a kid.)

But it wasn’t until middle school, when I took a creative writing class, that I began writing my stories down. I also started keeping a journal then.

My senior year of high school, I was editor of the school newsletter. I went to a small private high school, so it was actually pretty cool that I had this opportunity. I began contemplating a career in journalism, but really liked writing fictional stories best. However, I knew it would be difficult to make a living solely on writing novels.

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Once I got to college, they had already prepped a course schedule for me (based on the elementary ed major I had initially written on my application) and rather than go through the hassle of changing it, I decided to accept the schedule they had already set up. Lazy, I know, but I still had those doubts about not being able to make a living by writing.

I did add an English minor, and that proved beneficial as I learned so much in those classes, and there were several inspiring English professors who encouraged me to follow my writing dreams. I began writing my first novel while in college, but ended up shelving it because it was not good.

After graduating, I continued to write on and off. I had times when I was productive and other times where I didn’t write much. It was several years before I decided to take my writing seriously and start treating it like a job. I started this blog, created social media accounts, and began building my brand. Now I have four manuscripts with complete first drafts, but in various stages of the editing process. I am putting the final touches of one of those manuscripts and it will be published later this year!

What was you journey to becoming a writer like? Let me know in the comments. 🙂