Weekend Workout: New Series Starts Next Fri

I’ve been behind all week, so it’s no surprise my Friday post is happening on Sat. It’s pre-launch season for The Ruins of Noe and things are heating up.

(Speaking of heating up, here’s a tip for you. DO NOT grab the handle of a pan that has just come out of the oven. It’s hard to type with blisters on your fingers)

Round Two of the 50 First Lines Challenge is still on!
Deadline to enter: Monday, March 5 (midnight PST)

Every entrant in each round gets their name in the prize drawing, every finalist each round gets an extra entry in the drawing, and the 3rd Round Winner wins their own special prize.

But really, it’s not about the prizes. It’s about participating in an inspiring writing exercise. I’ve already been asked if I’m going to run this again and I think I will after getting some feedback/suggestions on how to do it better.


I’ve done a few writing exercise series on my blogs before (see link list below) and I’ve been designing a few more. Each series is finite, so it’s like taking a class together with no long term commitment.

click image for source

Next Friday I’m starting a 6 week series called CHARACTER – ACTION.

It’s about creating character through action. You see, a character can think and say a lot of things, but in the end, it’s their actions that tell us who they really are, their actions that define them, and their actions that we care about. Characters can redeem or condemn themselves through their actions.

Here’s a little writing exercise you can do in the meantime:

Set your timer for 5 minutes. Start at the top of the page with the following startline: My character is called to action when . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 7 more minutes. Start with the following line: My character takes the call because . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

When the timer stops, Set your timer for 10 more minutes. Start with the following line: The scene where he/she takes the call is really about . . .

Write, don’t stop, don’t edit, don’t cross out.

Read your exercises, make notes, highlight what makes sense.


Screenplay: The Exercise
Writing the NaNoWriMo

From my original blog:

Objects, Images, and Incidences (prose and poetry)
Wishes, Lies, and Dreams (mostly poetry)
From Start to Finish (writing a screenplay in 10 weeks – good for novels, too)

COMING UP THIS SUMMER: I will be doing an 8 week Imaginary World Building series using material from my writing workshops.


  1. char
    Mar 3, 2012

    Sorry about your blistered fingers. I look forward to your character/action series.

  2. Thanks. And DUH, right? Instinctual response: see pan handle, grab it.

  3. Tamara Walsh
    Mar 3, 2012

    Sorry about the fingers! My whole family makes fun of me cause I can’t go into my kitchen without burning or cutting myself. I try to use it as an excuse to get out of cooking, but they’re unsympathetic to my clumsiness.

    On another note, I have a question about The Ruins of Noe. What would you consider the age range on this series? I read a ton of YA, but I don’t usually like stuff geared towards the 12-14 yr. old age range–I like the older YA. However, I have a thirteen year old daughter who generally loves books written for the younger end of YA. So…would you recommend this series for me or for her? Thanks for your opinion! 🙂

    • Gosh, it’s hard to say b/c it really depends upon your tastes. I will say that 1/2 my fans are adults. The first book is definitely upper Middle Grade and the second book drifts into lower YA simply b/c the protagonist has grown older and wiser. There’s a lot of action and adventure (even a battle scene in the 2nd book), but no graphic violence. Any romance is based on friendship, trust, and loyalty and isn’t central to the story.

      You can actually Look Inside the first book on its Amazon page to see what you and/or your daughter think: http://www.amazon.com/Brigitta-White-Forest-Faerie-Tales/dp/0975404296/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

  4. Deb Marshall
    Mar 3, 2012

    Oh man…sorry about the fingers! And thanks for the exercise.

  5. 4amWriter
    Mar 4, 2012

    Thanks for the exercise, this will come in handy. Take care of those fingers!

    I’m excited for your book to come out.

  6. tracikenworth
    Mar 4, 2012

    Great post.

  7. David P. King
    Mar 5, 2012

    That’s an awesome exercise. Putting yourself on a timer … I seriously need to try that out. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I gave you a Shout-Out on my blog today! 🙂

    • Hi David! Thanks for the shout-out. I am a huge proponent of timed writing exercises. I’ve been doing them since my junior high journalism teacher introduced me to them and they’ve been reinforced by other mentors over the years.

      I do them by myself myself, with writing partners, and in my classes. Invaluable material emerges when you simply allow yourself to write without stopping or editing.

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