Living Beyond the Book

Emma Boone

Join Emma Boone, author and publisher, each week as we discuss ideas about writing, productivity, and finding wellness amidst the chaos of publishing. Learn more about Emma and the podcast at: www.livingbeyondthebook.com; Instagram: @livingbeyondthebook; YouTube: @livingbeyondthebook read less
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Ep. 6: Messy Mapping: Know Your Characters
Dec 22 2020
Ep. 6: Messy Mapping: Know Your Characters
Characters are the heart and soul of your story. They are who your readers identify with. They’re who we cheer for. You can have the best plot in the world, and if we don’t care about the characters, we’re not emotionally engaged in the story. Falling in love with the characters is what makes a book last in our memories and become one of our favorites. In the book Building a Storybrand, Donald Miller says: “If three questions can’t be answered within the first fifteen to twenty minutes, the story has already descended into noise and will almost certainly fail…”We’ll talk about what these three questions are and how to apply them to our own characters. We’ll talk about a few creative ways to develop great characters, but however you develop them, my one piece of advice is:  Know the basics, but then treat that character like someone you’ve just met that you’re going on a road trip with. Get to know them organically. Move forward and feel the story. Don’t get stuck in the stage of trying to overdesign and overthink them. Characters are the final tool in our discussion of Messy Mapping. After this, you’ll have a blueprint to create a unique and wonderful story. Are you ready to get started? *Note: I said in the episode that Brandon Sanderson said (paraphrasing) if you want to know who the bad guy is, have him kill a puppy. What I meant was KICK. He said have them kick a puppy. Killing the puppy is what happens in John Wick. My apologies!Resources mentioned:·      Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller·      The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide: Prompts and Activities to Create the Most Interesting Story for Your Character by James D’Amato·      The Emotional Craft of Fiction: How to Write the Story Beneath the Surface by Donald Maass ·      Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Ep. 3: Messy Mapping: Know Your Premise
Dec 1 2020
Ep. 3: Messy Mapping: Know Your Premise
December is a time when most people relax and take time to reset, which is important. But with minimal effort, you can also keep your momentum going so you’re ready to start strong, right out of the gate, in January with your new book ideas. Throughout December, we’ll be talking all about structure within your story. If we have a plan, it makes it easier to get into the actual writing. Messy Mapping is my favorite. It’s a loose, messy plan that doesn’t take a lot of time and effort, and it doesn’t suck the joy out of writing like strict outlines can. The basic details you need to get started writing a strong story are:·      know your premise·      know your conflict·      know your guideposts·      know your characters In this episode, we talk about premise, which is always the most fun part of writing! Who doesn’t love the premise of a captivating story? Whether it’s a movie or a book or gossip from a friend, we love the idea of an intriguing story and that’s what initially hooks us.We’ll talk about:·      famous premises that work well·      why restrictions within genres are helpful to add structure·      ways to find your own premise·      and a few methods for doing the work up front to save time in writing and revisions A premise doesn’t need to be complicated, but doing a little work on it before you start your writing can save you lots of time, help your momentum, and point you in the right direction to avoid a lot of time rewriting or digging yourself out of plot holes. We’ll see you inside the episode!