Ugly Baby Class

Ugly Baby Class
Image provided by
Davide @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/maedios/

During the last three weeks, I’ve subscribed to some blogs that I’m hoping will influence my writing skills, disciplines and motivation. I could just continue to write, hoping that what I put down in written words will sell. Others have done it before. But I was to feel confident about my writing. This in itself can make a difference on how well my stores and I are received by the readers.

Holly Lisle has courses at her site, How to Think Sideways Writers’ Boot Camp. Many of them cost, but not that much. However, because my budget is so tight, I just can’t afford them. She does have one course that is free, which will teach me how to write flash fiction. In addition, she offer the Ugly Baby Writing Challenge, which I’ve also joined.

I have yet to find out why she has put this title on this event. The only ugly baby I’ve ever seen was Benjamin Button. It did get my attention though and that might have been the whole point of title.

From what I’ve read so far about the class, it will go over things that I really didn’t expect to be covered along with material I already know. As much as I dislike (note that I didn’t say hate) doing anything associated with business, it does have to be dealt with as a writer. Otherwise no one is going to be reading what I write except for what is in this blog.

My first assignment revolves around how to create characters that will entice the reader. This is the part of writing that I have the most trouble with. This strikes me as being strange because I think of myself as a pantser instead of a plotter. Because a writer is evolving his or her story around characters or the plot, it seems logical that a pantser does the former. Yet, I go skipping down the writing lane by the seat of my pants (a pantser) but focusing on the plot. Is this really possible?

Even just skimming through class material, I have discovered that I’m going about creating a character with a backward process. I’ve been getting into the character’s head first, trying to explain his or her norms and traits. According to what I’ve read thus far, I should be on the outside looking in at the character.

I’m still on the first draft of two stories I’m writing. I’m relieved that with both it is just the first stage in the long process. It’ll be relatively easy for me to change my perception of my characters before starting the second draft.

I hope this course is going to help me as much as I think it will. I plan to share my progress once a month. I do this more for myself right now, but I think that eventually it will show you, my readers, what can be done without spending any money.

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19 Replies to “Ugly Baby Class”

      1. I saw one of the first videos she tried not that long ago. I had no problem with the glitches. She felt like a friend trying something new, and I like her because she’s grounded and doesn’t pretend to be above anyone else.

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        1. Yes, I noticed the same thing about her, Tess. Even in some of her emails, she has some glitches. That’s okay with me. The way she teaches makes sense to me and I can’t beat that.

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              1. Word dump on paper: getting the story down without editing yourself. I wonder if Ugly baby (your story is your baby, right?) is that first fast write.

                Even the ugly duckling grew up to be a fascinating swan. ❤

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  1. Those sound like good exercises, Glynnis. I’ve never considered creating the character the way they are suggesting. Everything I’ve heard wants me to build a character profile so I know exactly how s/he will act in any given circumstance.

    I look forward to how this works for you.

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    1. Oh, she want characters built so that the writer knows the character inside and out. But she doesn’t want me to put myself in the shoes of that character because that’s so close I would end up making the character just another form of me. Yes, a little confusing, but I am understanding what she’s getting at.

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    1. After doing come of the work for this month assignment, I believe I’m going to be stronger as a writer, at least for these 2 drafts. Making character sheets that are more complete sounds so right instead of developing so much of the characters as I go along.

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  2. That sounds good, Glynis. I think blogging is great for judging if people like what we say and how we express it in our writing. I’m not sure I’d have the patience for serious plotting or spending too much time on character building. I probably would need to do some kind of plan otherwise I’d lose focus easily, but beyond a visual description early on, I might be tempted just to let the character develop with the story. Look forward to your updates.

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    1. Oh, she hasn’t touched the visual description. So far it’s been learning how to know your characters personalities. Those can always change as the story progresses because of what the characters experience. I’m not a plotter either, although I do make sure that I know what the story is generally about before diving in.

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