Apr 09 2016

#atozchallenge H is for Heart #Writing #WriteTip Give the Hero more Problems

The craft of fiction writing is the Theme for the #atozchallenge 2016 on the blog of @JLenniDorner
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26 writing reference books containing 26 lessons leads to a month of #WriteTips and writing samples

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H is for “Heart”
Book: Writing the Heart of Your Story: The Secret to Crafting an Unforgettable Novel (The Writer’s Toolbox Series) by C. S. Lakin
My dice roll: 104 (of 204)
Lesson: Create a list of ideas to make the protagonist’s problems bigger. Use them to add another layer of plotting.

Oddly, the lesson uses a car breaking down as the example. The hero needs to get somewhere fast, but the car won’t start. I swear that I wrote this scene long before I owned this book!

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“I’m sorry, officer. My car broke down last night. I considered a walk to town, but there was something out there in the darkness that growled.” She pointed toward the trees.

“I see. Pop the hood please, ma’am. And I’ll need to see your license and registration, please.”

Wend complied with the request. She rifled through her bag for her driver’s license and then through her glove box for her vehicle registration. She produced both before traipsing to the front of the car to open it up, revealing the parts she wished she knew something about. The bright daylight had not made the problem any more obvious to her.

After the officer’s fiddled with the parts and failed to fix anything, he called a tow truck. Once it arrived, he gave her back her license and handed the registration to the tow truck driver. He bid her farewell and left her on the side of the road with a handsome young man with long, curly hair. He wore a dirty, striped shirt with the name “Hank” over one of the chest pockets.

She gripped her purse tightly as she sat beside Hank, who lugged her car into town. He was a chatty one, asking her all sorts of questions about where she was from and where she was headed.

“I’ve never been to California or to New York. Suppose you’ll get a chance to see two oceans, won’t you?”

“Yes, I suppose so,” she said. “Though the Atlantic will, technically, be the third for me; I saw the Indian Ocean when I traveled with my family to Bunbury, Australia, a few years ago.”

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Have you ever had your vehicle towed? How many oceans have you seen?

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Blogging from #AtoZChallenge April 2016
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    • tinbugs on April 9, 2016 at 1:17 AM

    Atlantic, Pacific (from 3 very different locations – the west coast of the US, Costa Rica, and Cambodia – actually the Gulf of Thailand but essentially the Pacific), and Indian Oceans, and yes I have had my car towed….more than once….
    ~tinbugs at Travelling Spoons

    1. Cool!

    • Juneta on April 9, 2016 at 1:17 AM

    Yup, been towed a few times over the years. The Gulf, The Atlantic and The Pacific. That gif is so cute. What is that? A baby armadillo?

    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
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    1. I believe so. I found it on Facebook.

  1. Hmm trying to count up, main one I haven’t seen is the Indian Ocean I do believe.

    1. Interesting.

    • Tasha on April 9, 2016 at 5:22 AM

    Well it wasn’t my car, it was my husband’s, who was my boyfriend at the time. Sitting beside the motorway was not fun :). How many oceans – the Atlantic and the Pacific since I’m guessing the English Channel doesn’t count 😉
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press
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    1. Pretty sure the English channel has Atlantic ocean water. So yeah, not on ocean by itself. Though, how they pick what’s what, I don’t know.

  2. Another good tip! It can get a bit boring reading or writing a piece where the characters have it too easy
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    1. True.

  3. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen any. I don’t think it counts if you fly over one…does it?

    Anyways I love this idea of listing out all the conflict. I’m heading into my first ever attempt at self-editing and revising. SCARY stuff. I’ve hyped it up for too long, that’s for sure. What I’m going to do is add this nugget of wisdom while I’m doing an outline of my first draft for the future revisions. I’ll compare all the conflicts that are thrown at the MCs to the ones I’d like to add (and the ones I may delete or alter).

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    1. Cool. I hope my blog can help you out this month!

  4. I often feel sorry for my characters, but I quickly get over that and hurl a few more rocks. I’ll treat them nicely later in the book.

    As to oceans, I’ll have to think about that one.
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    1. Ha ha ha. I think I love to torture Wend. A lot. Literally in some cases…

  5. I’ve seen some oceans. I lived in Monterey, California for a short while when Fort Ord still existed and I woke up every morning to the Pacific Ocean. When I first came to Europe, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean and I have been crossing it every time I go back to the United States to visit family.

    My car slid on ice once while on the way home from a concert that I had. Needless to say, I screamed and called on God for help and my car landed flew in the air and landed in a ditch. It was early morning and I was blessed that a car saw me slide and went for help.

    As for C.S. Lakin, I don’t have this writing book but I will get it. I believe in making my protagonists tough and complicated.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange
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    1. Very cool! Glad you stopped by.

  6. HA! I had my vehicle towed last summer when some crazy lady was texting and plowed right into it while it was innocently parked on the street. I was in the house sound asleep.

    And I live on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean–so I see it every day.

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    1. That’s messed up.

      Island living– nice!

  7. I’ve actually seen the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Strangely enough, not the Atlantic, though I’ve flown over it and the Arctic Oceans.

    Love the armadillo…
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    1. Impressive ocean viewing!

    • Joy on April 9, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    Three oceans 😀

    x Joy (The Joyous Living)
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    1. awesome

  8. I’m wondering what’s going to happen between the woman and the tow truck driver. 🙂

    We’ve always had older cars so yes, towing has been necessary, occasionally. Thank goodness for the auto club! As for oceans, only two. The Atlantic, in both North America and Europe and the Pacific, in southern California.

    Have a good weekend!

    P.S. CommentLuv still won’t work for me here. Getting the same message again:
    “Access denied. Your IP address [] is blacklisted.”
    That’s NOT my IP address. How strange!
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    1. You’d have to talk to CommentLuv about that. You’re right, that isn’t you. Your IP is — Maybe it’s how your site is hosted? I don’t know enough about this to be useful.

      Thanks for the comment. Hank is kind of her “wise old wizard” character that gives her good advice and offers her a nice way out of her journey.

      1. Stranger and stranger! That IP is associated with GoDaddy, but my hosting is by Bluehost. Oh well!
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        1. Hmm… due to a bargain deal, GoDaddy is MY host. Now it’s just creepy weird. LOL.

  9. I’m lost in the armadillo tickling pic. But heart is indeed important.
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    1. Yeah, that was a cute pic.

  10. Been towed twice. Neither was fun or cheap

    Love the baby armadillo

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    1. Thanks for stopping in.

    2. Thanks for stopping in.

  11. Towed? We had to be piggy-backed a few years ago when the timing belt on my wife’s car decided, very prematurely, to abandon its job. We hadn’t been living in France for long at the time, and our language skills were even weaker than they are now;. Added to that, we had my in-laws visiting, and were taking them for an afternoon’s sightseeing when the breakdown occurred. Add to that the eventual price tag (when we got the car back, more than three months later) of 2000€, and that doesn’t go down as a good day.
    Oceans? Atlantic (both sides, from Land’s End in Cornwall; Lagos, Nigeria; and a few spots in NY and NJ), Indian (from Dar-es-Salaam), and Pacific (Hong King, Philippines).
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  12. Good idea to complicate their lives.
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  13. I had my car towed when I was younger after I hit a deer. Man, those suckers can do some damage.
    I’ve lived in a couple foreign countries and ironically only seen two oceans.
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  14. Only had my car towed once, when it was totaled by a landscaping truck that ran a 4-way stop. Not cool man, not cool.

    I’ve only seen one ocean, but never been in one. Someday.

    1. Clear water ocean areas are better if you’re paranoid and need to know what’s touching your leg. Less clear water is fine if you’re an “it’s only fish” type and willing to risk it. (How much risk depends on the current jellyfish level of the area.)
      Personally, I’m a risk taker. That’s a New Jersey beach in my profile pic.

  15. I’ve heard that advice before. It boils down to: figure out how to torment your characters then torment them worse. LOL

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
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