My chosen skill is…
The skill that i have chosen for my in depth project is writing a fiction novel, some of the smaller areas under this large umbrella that I want to work on are adding details to fill out my stories and “transport” the reader to how I see the world in my story, character development, there’s a big difference between giving a character a name and a few basic hobbies or interests and actually making the character seem like a person with depth and emotions I want to work on creating a character that truly feels like a real person. The specific type of writing I want to work on is first person narration ( famously used in books like Percy Jackson) this type of writing has always seemed very difficult to me since the character ( or even multiple characters) in the narration roll have to be so incredibly developed you have to be able to write everything from there perspective and see the world through your characters eyes and not your own.
Why did I choose this?
I chose this because I’ve always wanted to try writing, I’ve always come up with what I think are good short stories but I’ve never really tried at writing a full length novel even though I’ve always wanted to. The in-depth project is a good way for me to really make the time for me to do something that I really, really enjoy
How can I learn this skill?
I plan on learning this skill through having conversations with my mentor (who writes stories and actually did a similar in depth project to me and utilizing several resources such as reading a lot more novels that fit a similar criteria to my project ( fiction, first-person narration and very descriptive) some books that I think fit this are every soul a star, any of the Percy Jackson books or spin off series and “me and Banksy” to name a few more popular books I will also use the creative academy of writing a website recommended to me by my mentor that has classes on writing skills, talks by writers ect.
How can others help and support me?
My mentor can continue to recommend amazing resources ( like the creative academy of writing) and teach me about some of the things she learned in her own in depth project as well as giving me tips and knowledge she has gained through here own writing experience. My peers could be “lab rats” for me to present small amounts of my book to and receive feed back and criticism ( I will be putting a page or two of a chapter from my book every 2 weeks on my blog). And society can just keep being the same society that gives me inspiration and real events to draw from.
As far as progress I’m working on a few rough drafts for a story Idea that I had to present to mentor so she can create a lesson plan based on some of the points I’ve specifically told her I want to hit. The rough drafts are coming along nicely I’m currently working on a basic over view of the first 8 chapters ( I plan to write 10+ but the plot dramatically changes around chapter 8 and I want to see how a few rough drafts play out before giving the last two or three chapters an over view) and a rough draft of the first time my characters meet and one of the first more dramatic adventure scenes as well as a very rough draft of the first chapter. I’m actually ahead of schedule for my rough drafts by a few weeks so I’m very happy with how my project is beginning. I am also currently working on some character development where I am essentially working on taking my characters from a name and possibly a visual plus a few hobbies into a person and giving the characters as much depth and backstory as possible. I believe that I’ve completed a rough draft of “filled out character traits” for 2 out of my 3 characters and am working on the third
Information on my mentor and how the mentorship is going
My mentor actually ( as mentioned above) did a similar project to mine for her in depth project and is a TALONS alumni, so far we’ve manly had conversations over email working out what I need to get prepared for our first video chat and just generally what I should look into for writing tips, so far I think all of our email conversations have gone well.
Honestly no. The project is going beautifully so far I’ve loved the little bit of writing I’ve been doing, my mentor seems great and has given me some awesome resources so I’ve had no frustrations so far.
What about obstacles?
I’ve been very fortunate in that I don’t think covid-19 will affect my in-depth to much given that so far it seems most of the discussions can be done virtually quite well, me and my mentor are working well so there are no obstacles there,. So far I think the biggest obstacle for me is being new to writing I don’t necessarily know what chapters to write first initially I’d just planned to write rough draft chapter one, finished draft chapter one, rough draft chapter 2, finished draft chapter 2 ect. But upon further research I found that many books are written from the end to beginning or from the middle out so I am trying to balance out which chapters I should write first.
Evidence of progress
Here are some character detail on my main character from a character development work sheet ( not the whole sheet I don’t want to give away to much) ( the person narrating)
Character “ pitch” safina is kind of your classic “quite kid in the back” who also is really, really smart and has a semi photographic memory, once you get to know her better she is a very different person and can be out going and adventurous.
Name: Safina Annmarie Dupont
Birthday: march 23
Height: 5 feet 4 inches
Hair: waist length, wavey, light brown often dyes temporary streaks of bright colors
Eyes: dark amber
State of health: severe almond allergy but otherwise healthy
What does there voice sound like: relatively monotone a tiny bit low pitched
Nickname: no, reminds her of how much she was teased
Town where they were raised: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Moved to: black pine Wisconsin
School: straight A student very nerdy, hated all of her peers for teasing her
Ethnicity: half Malaysian quarter Spanish quarter French
Relation ships status: single
Do they have a job: occasionally babysits for neighbor
Greatest failure/regret: not trying harder to follow her passion for song writing
Greatest success: getting straight a’s four years in a row ( school record)
Best and worst memory: worst getting beat up and left in a forest by her peers. best memory going to Disney world as a really little kid
Favorite music type: alt pop
As mentioned in the obstacle section I’ve had to modify the order that I’m writing chapters, but the project is so new that I think that is the only modification I’ve had to make so far.
Many of my resources were recommended to me by my mentor as things that she’d found success with in her own project, some are resources I’ve compiled through my own research, right now we are working on character development so many of my current resources pertain to that.
The emotional wound thesaurus ( website)
A thesaurus of sorts on how to develop tragedy into a plot or characters back story such as how to add bullying into a plot line: give the character(s) trust issues make them anti social, have them spend free time in non-crowded space I.e parks forests or there own home.
There are other scenarios as well that range from over protective family to deaths each with specialized tips from writers on what attributes and coping mechanisms to give your character.
The creative academy of writing
This website essentially offers advice and tips from people who have also written books in a master class format.
Several famous novels that follow the same format I wish to use
Percy Jackson, me and Banksy and every soul a star are definitely my favorites from what I’ve read so far.
And several ted talks including
How to build a fictional world by Kate Messner
What makes a hero: Matthew Winkler
a character development sheet ( the same one as shown in the evidence of progress section ) which I will be using for all of my characters.
I am continuing to add more websites books ted talks ect. to my resource collection these are just the first few I’ve had success with.