Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mo Maass

Wednesdays are dedicated to posts related to the craft of writing, so for your viewing enjoyment today, more quotes from the fabulous book pictured over there to the right:

Chapter 4 -- Time and Place

  • "How does your setting make people feel? That is the key, not how a place looks but its psychological effect on the characters..."
  • "You can deepen the psychology of place in your story by returning to a previously established setting and showing how your character's perception of it has changed."
  • [...for making place an active character, you can try:] "...marking your characters' growth (or decline) through their relationships to their various surroundings."
  • "...go inside your characters and allow them a moment to discover their feelings about the place into which you have delivered them...[this] demands that you be writing in a strong point of view..."
  • "As important in a story as a sense of place is a sense of time..."
  • "Setting can also be social context. Social trends and political ideas influence our real actions and thinking..."
  • "Your characters live in society, but in which strata? At what point is their social position most keenly felt? At what moment does it change?"
  • "A setting cannot live unless it is observed in its pieces and particulars."

So, how's the writing project(s) coming along?


Janna Qualman said...

Such good, good stuff. I'm horrible about letting non-fiction books fall to the wayside - this one sits on my nightstand now, untouched for a few weeks, and I need to pick it up again. Thanks for the reminder!

My WIP is really doing okay. I'm getting into that groove that (I hope) will sustain me through the whole thing, because now I have the feel down, I know the direction I'm taking things. We'll see if the characters agree!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Probably if I turned off e-mail and stopped reading blogs, I'd actually WRITE. Probably, but almost afraid to find out!

jinksy said...

'Observe pieces and particulars' - like the sound of that...

Angie Ledbetter said...

Janna, sounds like you're on a good roll. Keep it up!

Hear ya, Carrie. (I've read somewhere that one of the big major agents advises against blogging because of its ability to steal the fire from writing.) excellent poem title or fodder!

Bella@That damn expat said...

Oooh more teasers!

Thanks, Angie!

Jessica said...

Great bullets! Thanks so much. :-) Writing is good. I'm working up the nerve to send a partial to an editor. (eek!) We'll see what happens. LOL
How's yours going?

Amy Nathan said...

I'm sniffly sneezy and tired...and now I have some stuff from an editor to consider...and wading through it to pull the shitake away from the flowers is so darned time consuming and annoying. I don't have to agree with feedback, but it can still be good, well-done feedback, y'know?

DebraLSchubert said...

Time and Place? WTF??? Angie, could you please stop giving me more things to worry about. My whole story takes place somewhere at some points in time. Are you saying I need more information than that? OMG. I give up.

Melissa Marsh said...

Love the comment about having your characters perceive the same place differently at a different point in the story. Must keep that in mind.

Editing on the novel is slow, but that's ok.

Meredith Teagarden(The Things we Carried) said...

This was a very helpful post. Thanks for doing it.

giddymomof6 said...

Ooh! Super deep and thought provoking stuff, I like it. I like how he has us really get to the heart of our characters and why they are where they are. My little ten year old in Prince Tennyson (my new WIP) is having a meltdown right now.. and emotionally, i know when i'm striking the right chord when my eyes are so full of tears I can't type. Anyway, I was referring to her mental place that I've put her than the actual one of her room... LOL! But you get the idea! LOL!

Lori said...

LOVE these pointers! I especially love #1 because I have a setting right now that, thankfully, fits the mood of the people in the story. Amen, I've done something right!

kimmi said...

Great post, Angie! I'm into reading now... again. : D

Kathryn Magendie said...

Good points, Angie Bo Bangie!

Hope all is well - I've been a bit out of pocket today...

Anonymous said...

I actually just finished and article for Bugle Magazine. This is the official publication for the RMEF. Great conservation group that has conserved or maintained over 5 million acres nationwide since 1984. Catch you later.

JyLnC said...

I'm not a writer but the tips are spot on from this reader's viewpoint. :>)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Told ya, Bella! :)

Jessica, do it. It gets easier after the first submit. Mine's going real s-l-o-w.

Hear ya, Amy. (See longer note at JWC blog on the subject.) Hang in there!

Debra - L.O.L. Oh boy, I feel your pain.

You'll get there, Melissa. Determination wins out.

Ya welcome, Meredith.

giddy, you crack me up!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Lori, don't you love fining out you're on the right track?!

Go, kimmi! And read some for me while you're at it.

Kathryn, hope it was something fun and book related. :)

See, Oren, I knew you had a writer somewhere in there. *grin*

JyLnC, the whole book's like that. Good stuff on every page.

Helen Ginger said...

I especially liked the last one - "A setting cannot live unless it is observed in its pieces and particulars."

So true!

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