INVENT YOUR OWN SUPERHERO:
THE ADVENTURES OF SUPER SUSAN:
To a great extent, that’s because I’ve been writing poetry for years. In high school, I kept journals that were nothing but poetry–and a few of those poems were included in my first YA (which was also my first-ever published book), A BLUE SO DARK.
Tangles is an adult collection of love poetry, but it would certainly appeal to teenagers or fans of YA, as well. And it most certainly will appeal to readers of sweet romance–these are emotional rather than erotic poems
Just the opposite. I’ve also been writing songs for years–ever since a member of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils taught me basic guitar-playing and songwriting skills. The love poems in Tangles certainly run the gamut–from more formal rhyme schemes to complete free verse–but they are also heavily influenced by songwriting. My goal wasn’t to write head-scratching, obtuse poetry, but poetry that readers could understand and feel and connect with instantly…just as we all connect with the lyrics of songs.
Tangles is available in both ebook and print formats. I strove to make the ebook clean and simple (and therefore readable on whatever device you have–tablet, e-reader, phone, etc.), but I designed the print version to be as visually enjoyable as possible. (And let’s face it–there’s just something about poetry that lends itself to print…)
I started a Tumblr blog a few years ago, but didn’t really do as much with it as I would have liked. Now, I’m revamping the site in order to use it to talk specifically about all things poetry. You can follow along here: hollyschindler.tumblr.com
I’ve also started a newsletter dedicated specifically to poetry releases–both adult and juvenile. You can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dmExEH
As always, happy reading!
Last year, I bumped into a real gem hidden away in the personal archives–a superhero I created (I think I was about 8 years old). The heroine, Super Susan, had a superhuman…kindness.
Susan served as the inspiration behind my writing journal, Invent Your Own Superhero. I even blogged about Susan as I announced the release. Response and interest in Susan was so strong, I decided to give Susan a book of her own! I even incorporated my original drawing of Susan into the cover.
Award-winning author Holly Schindler turns her attention to superheroes in this short adventure story. Using a character Schindler created when she was eight (a hero whose superpower is kindness), The Adventures of Super Susan offers a humorous, fast-paced read in which Susan is forced to face-off with a new arch-enemy, Blaze, a boy with super-jealousy who threatens to keep anyone at South Westport Elementary from outshining him…for good.
Can Super Susan melt Blaze’s heart? Or will he simply be too much for even the most powerful kindness on planet Earth?
A great read-aloud for grades 3-6, and a perfect companion piece for Schindler’s Invent Your Own Superhero.
As always, happy reading!
No, I don’t mean reading your work out loud. I mean telling the story. To another person.
“Sounds weird,” you’re saying. Maybe even, “What’s the point?” Or, “Nope. What I really need is an editor.”
Here’s the thing:
There are two main components of a story – 1. The story itself. 2. How the story is told.
No matter how beautifully your story is written, no matter how many literary bells and whistles you use, if the story itself isn’t sound, the rest of it just plain doesn’t matter.
Before you worry about rewriting–reworking scenes, rearranging the order of events–you need to make sure your plot, your storyline provides a solid foundation.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is to tell your story out loud, to another person, allowing them to interrupt you as you go.
Feel free to keep your manuscript in front of you to remind you of the turn of events. Tell the story simply, the same way you might tell an anecdote about something amusing that happened to you that day. But don’t feel as though you have to stick to simply the events. Tell your listener about your characters, too–who they are, what their desires or fears are, what their backstory is, etc. Whatever it takes for them to understand the story.
Let them ask you questions along the way. Things like, “Why would that character want to do that?” Or, “Why wouldn’t they just do __ at that point?” Or even make observations: “Come on! No way would that happen!”
Don’t take it personally. Bounce other ideas off of them: “Okay, so if you don’t buy that, what about…?”
It’s a much smaller job for your bouncee (you’re not asking them to read a manuscript), and it can be really fun. And of course, the best part is that you wind up with a sturdy framework where you can then begin hang all your beautiful turns of phrase!
Just a note to let readers of the blog know I’ve been listing my independent releases at Etsy. They’re all signed–just let me know in the note to seller who you’d like the book to be made out to.
So far, I’ve got six books listed, including HOW BIG IS A HEART?, which makes a lovely shower gift for a soon-to-be older sibling. (What is it about spring that just always feels like baby shower season?)
You can find the Etsy store here. Are you interested in obtaining a signed edition that isn’t yet available? Feel free to send suggestions to hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.
I’ve become a complete plotting method junkie. I’m always on the lookout for new technique books. A few of my faves:
Cron’s WIRED FOR STORY was one of the first plotting books I read, and I loved it. I still go back to this one every once in a while. An interesting look not just at a method of structuring story but at the purpose of storytelling as well.
I love Hayes’s ROMANCING THE BEAT. Like Cron, Hayes delves into the purpose of storytelling. This time, it’s the purpose of romance novels. A must-have for anyone writing a romance, of course, but I’d argue it’s also a great book to consult for non-love stories as well (particularly if you’ve got dueling or multiple narrators).
Truby’s ANATOMY OF STORY is one you’re going to want to read with a notebook and a pen. Actually, I’d suggest moving through this one when you already have a book in mind that you specifically want to draft. You can outline it while reading, putting Truby’s practices to work immediately.
Bell’s WRITE YOUR NOVEL FROM THE MIDDLE is worth a read because the premise is so interesting. Bell claims that each book contains a turning point in the middle, and that it’s possible to start with the turning point and work your way both to the beginning and climax of the story.
Part of the reason I find Bell’s theory so interesting is that, as writers, we all discuss “character arcs” until we’re blue in the face…Think about the shape of an arc. What does it have in the middle?
Yup. A turning point.
Nothing can freshen up your own storytelling quite like bringing in a new drafting technique, courtesy of a new plotting book. I’d love to hear your own favorites. Hit me with them in the comments below.
Warm wishes to you and yours this holiday season. May your days be filled with laughter, love…and books!