Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spilling Ink: Day 7

"You know how you are supposed to wish on the first star you see at night?  When I was little, I used to wish for a trampoline." 

My daughter just said that.  Just now.  Wouldn't that be a great first line?  This actually doesn't have to do with Section 7 of Spilling Ink, but I had to write it down before I forgot it.  I'm berry pickin', you know. 

Speaking of berries, have you ever made a blueberry sauce?  It's pretty enjoyable and easy.  Just some water, the berries, some sugar, and a bit of cornstarch, I think.  They break down and start to thicken up into the most delicious sauce.  This is what happens with ideas, I think.  You throw some of them together, let them coagulate, and.... the plot thickens!   That's what Section 7 of Spilling Ink is about: plot.

Anne Mazer suggests that once you really know your character,  (Click here to see how Ellen Potter advises you get to know your character. So clever) the rest is easy.  She likens developing a plot to playing with stuffed animals or action figures.  Kids give their toys a persona and then send them out on adventures.  It's exactly what writers do with characters!  FABULOUS way to get elementary kids to understand character/plot development.

I believe my problem is that I haven't gotten to know my character well enough yet.  She's rolling around in my mind until I can sit her back down and interview her more extensively.  Maybe then I'll be able to plot a few things out. 

In the meantime, I will share another snippet of my day... The aforementioned daughter was sitting at the kitchen table, doodling away.  She was doing something akin to a "connect-the-dot", but her task was to find the dots by plotting out coordinates.  When she finished plotting the dots, she would then connect them to see a magical drawing appear.  She predicted that is was going to be an "old-timey telephone".  In my mind, this is what I pictured...........

and this is what it was.....

I'm feeling a little "old timey" myself right about now.  Kind of like when I hear radio stations advertising themselves as "oldie" stations, but they are playing music from the 80s and 90s.  I guess everything is relative, huh?

By the way, if you are at all curious to read any of my daughter's writing, she has her own blog.  It's called Doodlebug Writes.  She would be quite tickled to receive a few comments.  She loves to spill a little of her own ink from time to time...


  1. Hey I missed you the other day and then I got off track as well. I am working on my character and starting on plot. Wow I may have a story by the end of the month.

    Heres the link for today:

    I actually wrote yesterday about attending inservice and learning to use my flip camera I can't wait to use it with students next year!

  2. Yes, I am sorry I fell down on the job the other day! I am going to try to make up for it by posting two in one day soon so that they days match the days of June...

    Have fun with that flip camera! We use flips to video students and teachers and we share them with other teachers. You can really do some cool things in the library with it-- I'm thinking student book talks that you could post on a library wiki. Then students can come in and watch a book talk or two if they don't know what they want to check out. FUN!

  3. I can't wait to use it with students I am already planning a requisition for more to use with teachers and students next year.

  4. An actual made-up story (sort of)! This is a rare achievement for me. :D