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You can get an AUTOGRAPHED copy of any of the Home Fire books by completing the attached  order form and mailing it along with your payment to:
Nancy Ann Books
PO Box 47392
Plymouth, MN 55447

Home Fire:  The Journey Home  is now on  Amazon!

ORDERFORM7.pdf
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Congratulations to Mary S.!  She is the winner of March's giveaway
Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White

My apologies for the delay and lack of an April giveaway.  Planting season has begun and I've been very busy!  The good news is that you can now enter for May's giveaway!

Go to the Fun and Giveaways page to enter to win 
May's giveaway:


Caddie Woodlawn

by Carol Ryrie Brink



 

Writer’s Workout

Building Your Characters

By Nancy Ann

When I started writing Home Fire: Sarah and Charlie, I had a good idea of who Sarah was—I knew what she looked like, I knew how she thought, I knew that she was strong.  But it surprised me when she broke down and cried at times.  It may sound odd that a writer learns about her own characters when she is the one that created them, but it’s true.  When you create characters and give them a life, they sort of begin to develop personalities ‘on their own’.  I know this was true for me.

Hank, for example, turned out to be more emotional than I had anticipated.  I originally had him down as just an old farmer who was quiet and kept to himself, yet it turns out that he is a lead figure and looked up to by his family.  He is the patriarch of the Jacobson clan.  He is strong.  He is wise.  He has a hard outer shell, yet he as a soft side to him.  This is a side of his personality that he doesn’t want others to see.  When I was writing Home Fire:  The Big Year, this becomes evident.  Part of me was saying, “Sorry, Hank, but I have to include this in the story,” when I wrote about his more vulnerable side.

Now I know that these are characters of fiction, but when you’re writing a story and creating characters, their personalities come to life.  The become ‘real’ people that you get to know as the story develops.  Particular traits, no matter how slight, become apparent.  It could be something as minute as how a girl has the constant habit of looping her hair behind one ear or as evident as an exaggerated limp.

When I start with my outline, it’s just that—an outline.  It’s there to guide me through my writing strategies, but I do allow wiggle room for change.

When you are building your characters, agree with yourself to have some flexibility and let them develop some traits on their own.  As your story progresses, you’ll see how fun it is to get to know the characters that you thought you knew!

Nancy's Notes

Temporary Setbacks
By Nancy Ann

April was an extremely busy month for me.  I fell behind on my writing, my newsletters, and my websites.  If I had fallen behind because I was simply doing nothing, I’d be very upset with myself.  The reason things got set aside was because of another passion of mine, and that is gardening.  I live in MN where the summers go by very quickly.  It’s important that I get my seeds started and things planted in a timely fashion.  My garden beds need to be cleaned up and prepared for planting.  April was very warm and mild this year, so I made hay while the sun shined.  I’m glad that I did because now it’s wet and cold, which is allowing me to catch up on my writing, newsletters, and websites.

There may be times when you fall a few weeks behind.  It’s important to recognize why and to see to it that you get back on schedule.  If you have multiple interests, be sure to make a realistic schedule that you can keep.  If you have a temporary setback, see to it that you get back on schedule as soon as possible.  You may have to devote an entire day or two in order to achieve this, but you’ll be so glad that you did!

THE WITH ALL DUE RESPECT PROJECT

FEEL FREE TO PRINT OUT OR SHARE THE GUIDELINES FOR THE With All Due Respect project WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

WADR_Intro_and_Guidelines__2_.pdf
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