Story Building with Imagination
In the words of Aristotle, "happiness is self contentedness helping to make children deeply and quietly glad that they are who they are, and gives them a priceless legacy: the strength to meet life's stresses and the courage to become committed, responsible, productive, creative, and fully human adults... Helping a child is the greatest gift you can give in the language of the human heart. It spells love in the most profound way."
Elements of Storybuilding
"HOPE YOU ARE READY!!!! I AM GOING TO HELP TAKE YOU ON AMAGICAL RIDE CALLED STORYBUILDING"
There is something that belongs to you and nobody else - something that you can always keep a secret. There is something so special that it is priceless, and yet it costs you nothing. This is something that can never be taken away from you, but is yours to share with as many people as you choose. This is something you can keep for a lifetime and use anytime. Do you know what it is? Do you give up? This is your imagination.
What does your imagination look like? Where is your imagination? Close your eyes, and try to see it - try to feel it. It's alive - and yes, it's active. Has anyone ever commented on your active mind? No? Yes? Well, it's natural for you to have an active mind. The thoughts that keep your mind active are important because like your imagination, they are your very own. In fact, they run straight from your mind to your imagination, and keep on running around once they team up with your memory. Your memory spends a lot of time with your imagination. Mind, memory, and imagination form important triangles that make even everyday happenings worth writing about.
Remember today, did you make you bed? Did you walk to school? Did you ride your bike? Did you do your homework? Did you watch TV?
I can't hear you, but I am going to imagine you can remember making your bed. You continue remembering whatever it is you choose. Follow my example, and answer my questions with your own information.
How did you feel? (When I made my bed, I felt angry)
Why did you feel that way? (I was late for ball practice)
What did you hear? (My mom was waking up my little brother)
What did you smell? (Breakfast cooking - I was too late to eat)
Close your eyes, and remember your very own experiences.
Recite your answers aloud. Listen, when you remember, it will be your imagination reciting to you inside your head. If you don't hear anything, that's okay, I'll bet you can see pictures - describe them out loud. Recite the description to yourself or your helper.
"I'm making my bed. Yeah, yeah, and I see something - look, there's something there. I can hear voices and I smell something and I'm feeling angry - I'm late, and I'm hungry."
Be patient, just muter out what ever your imagination brings into your mind.
If you don't like to write, don't go away; just ask someone to write down, or record you thoughts for you. Get them down on paper - record those memories, or even record them into a tape recorder, if that's what you prefer.
When you've finished, you will have built a beginning to a story! Hmmmmm! Now I have to use my imagination to pretend I'm you because I want you to see just how this works.
If I write something like you did, don't say I copied! If I'm extremely different, you can laugh. If you read what I've written, or ask your helper to read it out to you, you'll see the kind of paragraph I am asking you to remember recite and record.
"Today, I made my bed. I was feeling angry, because I was late. I saw the baseball glove I thought I'd lost, and heard my mother calling my brother. I smelled bacon - my favourite, but I wouldn't have time to eat. Baseball practice was in ten minutes. At least I'd found my glove."
Is yours like that? I can't believe that it is, because your memories are special, unique and different. But I'm sure your paragraph is very interesting.
Special? Interesting: Sure it is! This paragraph of yours is a wonderful beginning for a story. So, what's next? Well, this is where the magic really begins, because you are moving away from your memory into imagination. Do you remember where your imagination is? When you find it, ask it a question. "Imagination, what if?"
Here's what my imagination might say to me about my example.
What if, while you were making your bed, there was an earthquake!
What if you fell downstairs!
What if your little brother ripped your bed apart!
What if an alien landed in your window!
You thought of own "what if", didn't you? Of course you did, because your imagination is your very own. Well, you can recite till it sounds okay, and then record what is going to be your second paragraph now - just you, your imagination and your helper if you have one.
How exciting it would be to read this new story aloud to family, friends or teachers - to an audience. Exiting? About making a bed? Did I hear you ask me if I were serious?
Yes, of course, I am. It's up to you if you feel comfortable, but I bet this good story of yours will have a great ending. How do you build that ending, anyway? Ask your imagination to suggest something. Recite it aloud, and then record it so you don't forget. Here are some examples for my story.
It was all a dream and you wake up - you're not really late?
You have to teach an alien race how to play baseball?
Your mother insists that your little brother has to make you bed for a week to make up to you?
Well, it's your story, and because it comes from your very own memories and imagination, it's yours and extra special. We've built an exciting story together - you, me, and your imagination. It's a good story with a beginning, middle and end. There is some excitement - and it's based on a real memory.
We've decided that you have built an excellent story. But how do you know it's well built?
Good story builders build until they run out of ideas, and stop as certainly as if they've seen a red light. That's what you did. When the building stops is the time to check if it is as well-built as it can possible be. Checking and fixing is the part of story building called rewriting.
Pick up that story you've just built.Read that good story out loud to yourself or ask you helper to read it back. Read it proudly with a lot of expression.
Do you understand what you've recorded? Is it clear? In my example, if I said there was a moon shining through my bedroom window, but it's almost time for baseball practice, that's confusing for my audience.
Audience, yes, it's time to imagine you have an audience who cannot see into your imagination the same you can. Have you brought out all those good ideas and recorded them just so that audience can understand what you are saying?
If there's something confusing - rebuild, rewrite it, or ask you helper to rewrite.
Another example from my story is that I might have said "he" ripped my newly-made bed apart.
Who's he? Asks my imaginary audience. My little brother, or course, I answer. You didn't say so though, the audience complains. That's confusing!
It's time to rewrite, - fix it up.
Good writing is clear writing. Is you helper writing for you? That's wonderful! You can tell your helper words to record as clearly as if you were writing them yourself.
Did you know that many authors dictate stories into a tape recorder? Sometimes somebody else types them out to help. The stories always belong to the person who imagined them - who build them.
Imagine - even if you do not like writing, or reading, you can be a powerful story builder!
Did you use a lot of words in one sentence, so that when you or your helper reads aloud, the tongue trips, your imaginary audience is confused and bored?
Like this: "The baseball glove that I had lost was under the bed. I reached under the bed and pulled out the baseball glove that I had lost. I was very very happy that I had found the baseball glove that I had lost.
Don't worry. It only takes magic tricks to fix it up and rewrite. Magic - you don't have to really know the rules, you just make things sound right. Now, listen:
"My lost baseball glove! It was under the bed. I reached and pulled it out. Finding that glove made me so happy!"
Doesn't that sound like something you would say if you were talking out loud? It doesn't have to be different when you record it. Just imagine yourself telling the story out loud - yes, there's that imagination again.
Everything you do everyday can build a story with the help of your imagination.
Any story can be a good story. Any good story can be well written. Like riding a bike, swimming, or playing a sport, the more practice you give yourself, the better you'll become. Yes, I will tell you that building a story can be as much fun as playing, swimming, or riding a bike.
You have the secret power of your imagination that you can switch on anytime - even when you are alone, even when it's stormy outside.
For more information on Story Building with Imagination and the Imagination Series visit Designs by Debbie at http://www.designsbydebbie.ca. Here you will be able to see some of the artwork that was designed for the books in The Imagination Series.
Copyright © 2005, Debbie Long
Debbie Long is a writer/illustrator and founding member of 'The Muse Program', a literacy program for children. Debbie has spent many years writing curriculum for The Muse Program based on the Board of Educations curriculum units. She has currently published her first children's book, in the Imagination Series, 'Short Stories with Imagination. The second, 'Story Building with Imagination' is due to be released July 2005.
For more details visit http://www.designsbydebbie.ca
Finish Your Book Already!
I owe the completion and success of my book to a big cardboard box that saw me through the entire process. I found this box and filled it with any and all information I could find on my topic 'advanced presentation skills for speakers and business presenters.
Win More Clients, Projects and Freelance Jobs By Making Three Small Changes
Iā??ve spoken to hundreds of editors, employers, and project managers about how they choose a freelancer for a job. Whether they were reviewing job applications or considering project bids, they all had one thing in common.
Authors-Stop Expensive Mistakes Before you Spend on Professional Services
So many clients come to me as a book or marketing coach telling me how they spent and wasted a lot of money and time following different well-known gurus in the book and publicity fields. Debbie's Story A recent client, Debbie, already got her books printed--over 900 left to sell from the 1000 at too much cost.
Top Ten Tips (Part 1)
The following rules are essential if you want people to take you seriously.Be yourself Know your subjectBe interested Punctuate proudlyRespect the apostropheGet great grammarSpell well Keep to the pointRead and reviseSleep on itPay attention to detailBe yourselfWrite from the heart or the head or the gut, depending upon the type ofwriting you are doing.
Do I Have To Be A Good Writer to Market My Own Business?
Many of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies require writing. What can a small business owner do if they're not much of a writer? Can they still market their business themselves on a shoestring budget?Marketing is a form of communication.
Getting Published Is Different For Everyone: Two Paths Among Many
One obvious question that can get overlooked in the process of seeking publication is, Why do you want to publish this book, article, story or poem? Most likely, the answer involves some combination of artistic or spiritual vision, desire for recognition, need to communicate an idea or body of knowledge, feeling a compelling urge to shift consciousness around a particular topic, seeing a knowledge gap in the general society and feeling called to fill it, and of course receiving a little or a lot of financial compensation for one's efforts.As writers, as creative people, it can be difficult to join the artistic and spiritual sides of what drives us with the practical and business concerns.
Apostrophe Usage Made Simple
According to one of my previous articles, whenever a Southernersays "Y'all watch this," get out of the way because those areprobably the last words he will ever say.Well, I'm a Southerner.
Five Keys To A Successful Query Letter
Do you know what a query letter is? If so, you are of a rare breed-a writer. Most people don't.
Arouse Your Short Story And See It Published
Are you ready to abandon your short stories? Before you toss your newest story in the trash, revisit it using many of the same guidelines editors keep in mind when they review your work. If you follow these guidelines, you will be many steps closer to placing your short story in a well-known literary journal.
A New Way To Self Publish
More and more good authors are turning to the Internet to self publish. There are several reasons for that.
Leveraging Your Writing
A frequent conversation I have with my writing clients is how to best utilize their writing to gain more exposure and to create more income. If there is one thing that will accomplish both of these objectives, it's learning how to leverage your writing.
Editing and Polishing - How Much is Enough?
A few days ago, I critiqued a chapter for a writer I'd been working with for some months. The main thing we'd been working on was 'de-cluttering' her writing.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 1 of 6
ACCEPT, EXCEPTNot commonly seen even from unpublished writers, who are probably familiar with the difference because they're all waiting for an acceptance!"We accept your invitation to your party, except for Bill, who will be away on that day."ADAPT, ADEPT, ADOPTAdapt means to adjust, adept means skilled and adopt means to take as your own:"Some people cannot adapt to new surroundings.
Dont Rely on Your Spellchecker - or - The Importance of Good Proof Reading
Weather posting a page to your Website, writing a letter to a customer, or submitting an article for publication, it is extremely important to demonstrate how professional you are. Not only does a series of spelling and grammatical errors show a discourtesy to your readers, it makes you look amateurish.
How to Write Words Worth a Thousand Pictures
Our Image-Driven SocietyWe live in a new image-driven society. It can be hard on writers unless they learn to connect with today's readers.
Advice for New Writers
With the advent of email communications in the workplace, it's not uncommon to exchange dozens of messages daily. Sometimes, I sense a writer's "voice" in such messages.
Understanding Editorial Guidelines
Editorial guidelines, also known as writer's guidelines, are the rules set forth by publishers for contributing authors. In order to have your article taken seriously you must review the guidelines prior to submission.
Freelance Feast or Famine?
Sometimes a freelance writing career can feel very much like "feast or famine".At the very beginning, it's almost all famine.
How To Write More Powerful Reports
There is one key difference between reports and most other forms of business writing, and we get a hint of that in the word, "report." Whereas with many other forms of written comms you can be a little creative and put your own slant on your words, in a report you must not.
Critique Groups - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
What do people expect when they join a writing group?The list of anticipated benefits includes friendship, constructive criticism, support, encouragement, help with editing, inspiration, and advice on everything from plotting to possible markets. These expectations may or may not be met.