“Spreading your wings” in a challenging world
May, 2016 James Hurd
- E-zine subscription information
- How to purchase Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying
- New blog article: Learning to Love Manure Day
- Writer’s Corner
- Book and Film reviews
- Favorite quotes
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New blog article: Learning to Love Manure Day
I’ve always hated manure. So on my first day of work at the egg ranch, when Ron said, “the real fun here is manure day,” I thought he’d gone mad.
During high school, we worked on Marv’s egg ranch. Marv was the kind of guy who only washed from the waist up. A serious, bible-quoting Christian, thick-necked, bulbous-nosed, and rough-edged, he talked like someone had put sand in his toothpaste….
Read more here: https://jimhurd.com/2016/05/06/learning-to-love-manure-day/
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Term of the Week: backstory
Backstory refers to a flashback. A history of a character in your story. A recollected memory. An explanation of something that happened earlier that allows the reader to better understand the primary narrative.
A giveaway that you are reading backstory is the word had.
“Harry met Sally. Sally had been a dancer in the Starlight Club in the 50s.”
“Harry remembered the last time he had been there—he had become very drunk.”
“Harry had worked as a bartender in several bars when he was in his 20s.”
Beware too much backstory! The reader is impatient, and wants to get on with the primary narrative. Descriptions of people or places, flashbacks, mental activity—these are all wonderful and necessary, but if they obstruct the flow of the narrative they may frustrate the reader. If you must use backstory, feed it to the reader is small medicine-like doses.
Book and Film Reviews
*Alert: These books and films are selected. Some may be “popular and contemporary,” but most of them have been around for awhile.
The Intern. 2015. 121 min. Rated: PG-13. Robert De Niro and Ann Hathaway. A retired CEO interns under a beautiful young woman in a startup company, and saves her
Hornet Flight. Macmillan, 2002. A Ken Follett page-turning WWII thriller about the Allied underground at the start of the war. The fate of millions hangs on an intrepid crew of men and women running around Denmark under the noses of the Nazis.
♫ Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
♫ Thank you for sending me a copy of your book—I’ll waste no time reading it.
Moses Hadas (1900-1966)
♫ A story is the shortest distance between a person and the truth. Fr. De Mello
♫ God gave you two ends: One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends upon which one you use most —
Heads you win
Tails you lose.
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