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Thursday Tip: Marsha Arnold’s Storytelling Secrets!

The reason this post came to life: making the transition between warm, comfortable family/gourmet food holiday time and work mode hasn’t proved easy. I heard some friends shared the same experience. I didn’t write much between December 24 and now. If you see Muse, tell her I’m looking for her. Oh, and if she could bring her friend Mojo, too… 🙂

One of the things I like the most about New Year is making sparkly resolutions and reading my fellow writers’ ones (click here to read Shelli Johannes’ straightforward honest and funny resolutions for 2010)

Writing the best story possible generally finds its way into the new year’s list, and I can think of two different scenarios involving the writer/illustrator/artist:

1-    Scenario one: You’ve made up your mind: this is the year you write the Great Novel, or produce a piece of art that will revolutionize the world as we know it today. You. Have. Heard. The. Calling. Welcome aboard. 😀 There is however one big challenge to overcome and that is, where the heck do I start?

2-    Scenario two: You ARE a writer (congratulations!), or an established artist (we all agree that stories can be told through various media); but you haven’t touched your brush, pen, keyboard (twittering doesn’t count) for the past few days or more, and you’re looking forward to reconnecting with your writing well of creativity.

At this point I need to pause, as I’m also thinking of writer’s block (I’m a recent victim): anyone who has experienced writer’s block knows what I’m talking about: the pulling the hair off, the nerves wracking-ness and the over the top chocolate indulgence.

I was strategically designing a creativity-friendly plan for this year, when I read Marsha Arnold’s blog.  My lucky break? Her post from October 4, 2009:

7 Magical Ways to Bring Out the Storyteller in you.


With her authorization, here is an excerpt:

“There are massive changes happening in the literary world, but no matter how things change, the world will always, in some form, have stories and storytellers. So, let’s spin some magic…and some stories.

MAGICAL WAY 1
Quieten
Hush-sh-sh. Be still
Let silence surround you.
Then shout out, loud and clear!
Can you feel it? Can you hear?

I talked about the importance of truly listening to the wonder around us and also the importance of reading our work out loud.”

Magical Way 2 focuses on giving your story an outer and inner adventure…

To learn more about the seven magical ways, I invite you to read Marsha’s post: click here.

Marsha Arnold is an acclaimed children’s books author living in Northern California.  Her diverse range of work includes the multicultural story Heart of a Tiger, set in India. An interview with Marsha will be posted soon!

If you have have any tips on how to conquer writer’s block, please share! 🙂

Edited 01/08/10

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Tip: Marsha Arnold’s Storytelling Secrets!

  1. Hi Nat, I haven’t quite experienced the dreaded “block” yet. So far, so good with the creative juices. But I have not yet been forced to write, no deadlines as of yet, so I guess I am an exempt example. So far, that is. 🙂 Suggestion: Listen. Something is happening around us every single second. Even in silence there is movement. Open up your mind and the first thing that explodes, the first word, the first idea, can be the next story. Or if you are lucky, like me 🙂 hang out with your child!!!!! Or someone else’s child. Again listen. Just listen.

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    1. Ah, Chery, lucky you! I experienced it big time this year in the middle of my novel. :$
      I think I misplaced the focus of the post by talking about Writer’s block. Marsha’s one really is about being aware of your surrounding, be in the moment, and tell the story.

      Now, may I sometimes pick your kid’s brain for idea? 😀 jk!

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  2. I haven’t really experienced writer’s block, either, but I’ve read if this happens to just WRITE anything, literally. A shopping list (maybe you’ll come up with a creative one 🙂 ) but just get those fingers tapping!

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    1. Linda, I’m so jealous! Never? *sigh & smile* I hope you never go through that experience.
      What you describe is what I do on the few times when I feel blocked. I just start writing, but then I have some heavy editing to do if I want my critique partners (those indomitable creatures) to take me seriously. 😀

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