Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vacation & Literacy

Vacation and Literacy

What am I reading now? WRONG NUMBER (Rachelle J. Christensen)
Annnnd. . . what do I think so far? Chapter 1--gripped. Middle--cried a few times and very nervous at others. Ending--satisfied

I'm on vacation this week. Woo-hoo! I know some of you are wondering what I do in my spare time, right? The rest of you are already answering, "Work." True. But only kinda-sorta.

I'm at Death Camp (a writing workshop by David Farland) in St. George. One of the ideas we talked about today is the concept of "character circuitry" in the role of crafting conflict in a story. The basic idea is that one character's actions or traits feed into the actions or traits of the next character. This happens on positive or negative interactions. For example: In one of my favorite YAs, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantasky (odd title but a FUN read--love Lucius's letters home--LOL) the main character, Jessica, is fed up with Lucius. He is pursuing her for an arranged marriage that she wants no part of.

His character trait of being arrogant repels her further away from him. The circuitry of he-wants-her-and-pursues-her feeds into her feelings of disgust toward him--so negative circuit. However, there is a positive circuit also--he's gorgeous and as soon as she decides she wants him, he doesn't want her. (No more spoiler; go read the book.) The switch is flipped and the circuit goes the other way.

Character circuitry keeps us reading--and maybe writing. ;)

Teaching Tip:
I've had a request from a few teachers in the last couple of weeks to know where I got my easel. My brother-in-law made it for me. I sketched out some plans and he made it work and I love it. Actually, it is twelve years old and we are still using it for inservice classes since I'm not in the classroom any more.

Click here for the plans.


NoSurfGirl said...

I like it. :) (sarah from crit. group. I'm kinda anonymous on the internet...)

Tell us more about death camp :) I love the circular characters thought.

NoSurfGirl said...

btw the word verification on that last post was "letspi." (hehehe. Sorry... a little immature, I know.)