New Beginnings – Part II


BB’s (possibly stolen) PROMPT for 3/31/15
Make a list of the books ABC Writers Guild Reviewed over its (two‑years’ activities) and add to my reading list. Pick one to read, and begin doing so. To pick The Perfect Book, look for

  • An interesting beginning with great hook
  • A well‑defined sense of place
  • Well‑drawn characters
  • Intriguing events/happenings rife with tension
  • The challenge of a “problem” to be solved
  • A satisfactory resolution of the problem at the end.

Not enough time to read a lot? Take my pick which meets ALL the above plus HILARITY all the way through: Rick Walton’s “Perfect Book”: Why the Banana Split

YES! I DID IT! And OMGoodness!   I had no idea we’d done this many . . . “we” meaning mostly my husband — Herb Arnold — a voracious reader, though our partners in crime contributed a couple, and I did an occasional one as well. 113 books listed in all. I’ll just pass along a VERY FEW. Want more? They’re still all up on the ABC Writers Guild blog. Most are on what we called “Saturday’s Softcover,” though a few were in other spots, like “Friday’s Friends,” where we interviewed or had guest bloggers and inserted info on their published books.

Below are just a FEW favorites:

  • Benotripia Books ‑ McKenzie Wagner (all three of them)
  • The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel ~ Michael Scott (I read the first two of 6…or 7? My choice this time will be Book 3: The Sorceress)
  • Evertaster ~ Adam Glendon Sidwell
  • The Kill Order ~ James Dashner Already read it
  • No Plot? No Problem! ~ Chris Baty (originator of NaNoWriMo)
  • Just in Time (series) ~ Cheri Pray Earl & Carol Lynch Williams
  • Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (27 books in all) ~ Barbara Park

What book list(s) do you go to for ideas on what to read next?

BB’s (possibly stolen) PROMPT for 04/01/15
From Carol Lynch Williams’ Throwing Up Words: I have some odd behaviors. If people knew them, they’d be like, “Why do you do that?” Truth is, I’m not sure. I think some of the things I do are carried over from my childhood as they happen as I get ready to go to sleep. What are three odd behaviors your character has? Ones they want to keep secret. In fact, what are three odd behaviors for ALL your characters? And it’s okay to not know why, but you’ll learn more about these people if you DO.

YES! I DID IT! I’ll only give a sample here of 5 characters in my faery tale, Twisted Oaks Hollow — I came up with a list of 21, though some will end up being “double cast”.

Lacklea (MC): Getting Ready for Bed

  1. Slides door from its place into groove in floor to close from outside intruder
  2. Blows out candle on metal grate by door (too risky to have it next to bed)
  3. Takes flying leap to curtained bed alcove in dark, so paws can’t grab legs


  1. Unties shoe laces while others are walking
  2. Unties corset stays
  3. Unstrings chandeliers’ holders

Princess #1

  1. Bites her nails
  2. Snorts before every sneeze
  3. Chews wheat grains & sticks resulting gum under table
  4. Spitting diamonds & rubies; roses

Princess #2

  1. Complains about P1
  2. Treats P3 like a slave
  3. Demands “servant” (sister) dig wax out of her left ear so she can hear
  4. Burping frogs & toads

Princess #3

  1. Counts everything: steps, stairs, people, flocks of animals, rocks
  2. Picks at her nails when nervous
  3. Gets tongue‑tied when confronted

The prompt really DID help me to discover things I hadn’t thought about for my MANY characters. Try it — You’ll Like It !

(Feel free to re‑use my prompts, modified to YOUR specifications ‑‑‑ I “stole” them too from Carol Lynch Williams, AnnDeeCanDee, Cheryl, The ABC Writers Guild and others . . . )



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