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Showing posts with label character development. Show all posts
Showing posts with label character development. Show all posts

Monday, October 1, 2012

#GBE2: Exploring POV

As a writer, I love the challenge of taking a short scene from my WIP and changing the POV, but I wonder if there is any harm in posting this scene. My manuscript has not been sold, or even queried yet, but I will be in the process of sending it out this month. Would a future agent or editor object to my 250 or so words being published on my blog? I hope not.

Charlie Brown and my little Knob have a lot in common.


I'm in the habit of writing everything in first person, so it was a fun challenge to convert a scene to third; however, the first paragraph was not too different, so I didn't even bother to repost it.



Here is a first person scene from MRS. ZIMMERMAN'S DONUTS:


Slater’s mom pulled a chisel-shaped knife out of its top drawer and leaned her head back. With the precision of a surgeon, she gently slid the blade downward until it disappeared into her throat. Next she thrust it out with one gigantic swing. Blood covered the blade while red liquid filled her mouth. Her eyes rounded as her lips curved into a smug smile. She winked at me! Blood gushed out of her mouth, and she winked! While the room spun in oval circles, I couldn’t decide if she was crazy or if I needed the loony bin.
When a thick, red droplet dribbled down her chin, I squeezed the back of a chair and stepped backwards. My pulse pounded in my ears, and I worried that I might hurl at any moment.
“You’re b-bleeding.” I gripped the chair with my other hand too until my knuckles turned as white as Mom’s had when she drove me home after I’d gotten in trouble the other day. “Hospital. We need to t-take you to the h-hospital!”
Slater, Calfie, and Mrs. Slatker laughed so hard tears filled their eyes.
“What are you laughing at? I think she’s really hurt!” I plopped into a chair, put my elbow on the table, and leaned my head into my palm. “I don’t feel so good.”
“It’s fake, Knob,” Slater said in between chuckles. “She squirted fake blood in her mouth!”



How about a brush with third person?
 
Mrs. Slatker winked at Knob, whose face had transformed to a mixture of ashen and green. He squeezed the back of a chair and placed a wobbly foot behind him.  Spastic churning bloated his belly in an achy, sick sensation.
“You’re b-bleeding.” Knob gripped the chair with his other hand until his knuckles turned white. “Hospital,” he said. “We need to t-take you to the h-hospital!”
Slater, Calfie, and Mrs. Slatker laughed so hard tears filled their eyes.
“What are you laughing at? I think she’s really hurt!” Knob plopped into a chair, put his elbow on the table, and leaned his head into his palm. “I don’t feel so good.”
“It’s fake, Knob,” Slater said in between chuckles. “She squirted fake blood in her mouth!”


Friday, August 5, 2011

Integrity

Keys to Learning
This week I've been attending Teacher Inservice inorder to welcome kids back to a new school year on Monday. Part of our training involved Quantum Learning's discussion of Integrity. By definition, integrity means beliefs matching actions.


 
Align your actions with your values.
Live what you value.
If you value honesty, be truthful.
If you value keeping your word, follow through.
If you value being fair, do what you expect others to do.
Your identity is who you are. Your integrity is an expression of who you are.


I agree on a simple level, but life is not simple. What if one holds faulty beliefs? If one's actions match faulty beliefs does one still have integrity? Or, what if one's beliefs differ from society's? Does one place oneself in danger for actions to match beliefs? In other words, what does integrity really mean?

integrity |inˈtegritē|
noun
1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness  


I'll buy this, but folks disagree on what constitutes strong morals. For example, without taking sides I'll throw out words for thought:

hunting for sport
religious freedom
circumcision
euthanasia
abortion
white supremacy

I know where I stand, but do I have a right to judge your integrity if we disagree? It depends on the issue and circumstance. In a school, it's easy. We want our children to make good choices that will not harm other people or property. Hopefully, each and everyone of my students know right from wrong, but I can't help thinking about a haunting novel I recently read.
Helmuth Hubener, age 16

"The Boy Who Dared," by Susan Cambell Bartoletti tells the true story of a teenager whose belief system clashed with the Nazis, and he took action to do something about it. During WWII, Helmuth Hubener broke the law by listening to banned BBC broadcasts and secretly distributing pamphlets that alerted German citizens of Hitler's hidden actions. As a result, the Gestapo arrested the boy and he was later tried for treason and put to death at age 17.

Although Hubener's beliefs clashed with those of his countrymen, I imagine we'd all see him as having high integrity. At the same time, if one would ask a Nazi if he has integrity after murdering Jews, most if not all would say, "Yes." They didn't see Jews as people; therefore, they had no guilt in killing innocents. Remember Quantum Learning: actions following beliefs equals integrity.

Although I'd like to think most people follow positive beliefs through their actions, few would risk their lives to do what's right in a corrupt environment. Would you?

Thank you Helmuth Hubener. I believe there is a special place in heaven for rare jewels like you.

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