I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”
— Noah Calhoun from The Notebook
“But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, ‘The good outnumber you, and we always will.’”
-Patton Oswalt in reaction to the Boston Marathon bombings
“The cool thing is you’ve supported me in all my awkwardness and allowed me to grow into the kind of actress and kind of person I hope to be … So thank you for that very much. Becoming yourself is really hard and confusing, and it’s a process. … I was the girl in the front of the class who was the first person to put her hand up. It’s often not cool to be the person who puts herself out there … but I found that ultimately, if you truly pour your heart into what you believe in, amazing things can and will happen.”
–Emma Watson at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards.
At 23 years old…how cool is she?
Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat. –Joanne Woodward
There’s nothing like being with someone who totally gets your sense of humor AND makes you laugh every single day. Now that’s sexy!
One of my favorites.
“…in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.”
–President Barack Obama, Tucson Memorial Service (2011)
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails…explore…dream…discover.”
- Mark Twain
“Passion… it’s the atmosphere, the noise, it’s the time, the taste, the smell, and the sense of being. I think it’s being alive at a point where it’s so joyful it can almost be painful.”
The following was originally posted at Loose Ends, but I wanted to share here as well for all my writing followers.
Last year Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats tweeted 22 rules of storytelling. Now that I’m knee-deep into a first draft again (writing the sequel to my m/m/m menage MORE), I keep going back to some of those tips she mentioned when it comes to the basics of storytelling.
Two of my favorites are:
“Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.” — Emma Coats
“What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.” — Emma Coats
I think these go hand in hand when writing a first draft. I have to know the basics of what I’m trying to say and I have to be driven to share that story. I believe if the author lacks a passion for writing any particular story, the readers can tell.
When first starting a novel-length book, if I don’t have a firm grasp on the core concept of the story as well as the passion to tell that story, I stumble my way through the first draft, going back over the plot outline and who the characters are at their core until I land on the truth of what I’m trying to say.
Some questions I ask myself:
- Who are these men? What do they believe about love? What goals do they have in life? What are their biggest dreams? What are their biggest fears? All of these can help drive the plot.
- What are the basics of the plot in one sentence? One paragraph?
- What is the ending of the story? What happens just before the ending? How are the characters emotionally impacted by the conclusion of the plot?
- What in my own life (what experiences, dreams, hopes, imaginations) is influencing me to write this story?
- What is it about my own beliefs and passions about living life that stirs me to write this story about these characters?
For me the journey of discovering all this is what makes storytelling such a powerful, enjoyable experience. It may stretch out the process of writing that initial draft, but I think my stories would not be the same (and neither would I) without it.
You can read the full list of Coats’s tweets here:
The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar
“You may avoid suffering and sorrow if you don’t risk, but you simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live. The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing and has nothing. Only a person who risks is free.” –Bob Proctor
“He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song”
–from “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden