Friday, March 4, 2011
8 Week Book & Body Boot Camp Begins!
Join me for an 8 week program (free of charge) HERE at the Night Writers Blog! Starting today, we'll be learning ways to trim the fat from both your book and your body. That's right, as a former certified aerobics instructor and a multi-published writer, I'll be sharing my tips with you every Friday for the next 8 weeks.
Of course, it is up to you if you want to join in on the pain...err...I mean FUN! Yay! :-)
C'mon you're worth it and your writing is worth it. If you're a reader and not a writer--why not do the exercises and improve your body (after all, bathing suit season is just around the corner)?
As a busy working mother of 4 children and a full time writer, promoter, designer, volunteer, and who knows what else--I find that I often put myself and my fitness goals last on my never ending "to do" list. But why can't we do both? Why can't we get ourselves in shape and get our manuscripts in shape at the same time?
The challenge begins....
If you're like me, you struggle with frequent back pain. It can be caused by many things but for me it is most likely from failure to strengthen my core (abdominal area) enough. For me it is also a result of lugging around 2 children (ages 2 and 1) who weigh 35 lbs. and 22lbs. respectively. Pretty hefty weight to be toting up and down the stairs and around the house all day long!
So, if you need some help with your aching back, I'm going to share 2 of my favorite back pain relief exercises with you now. I encourage you to try these for just 15 minutes a day for the next week and let me know if they are helpful to you.
The Pelvic Tilt
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Take a deep breath. Exhale as you flatten the small of your back against the floor. Use your ab muscles to push down gently. Hold for a count of five. Slowly relax back up inhaling as you return to your original position. Repeat 10 times.
Basic Spinal Twist
Lie on back, arms stretched out to the sides. Bend knees while keeping them pressed together and place feet flat on floor. Slowly lower knees towards the floor on one side as close to the floor as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side. Remember to keep your breathing slow and steady (in through the nose, out through the mouth). The goal would be to keep your upper body/shoulders flat on the floor an turn/twist only your lower body to the side but don't strain yourself to accomplish this. It will happen more naturally over time.
**Warning/Caution** As with any exercise program be sure that you are careful to prevent injury and consult your physician before attempting if you've had a prior injury or surgery to this area of the body.
Since we are working on our backs in the body challenge above, let's chat a moment about the "backstory" in our manuscript. We often hear the term "backstory dump" or receive critiques from judges or other critique partners which indicate that we've overloaded our story with too much backstory.
But don't forget that backstory is important to our story. Too little backstory makes our book seem superficial. While too much backstory can either bog down the story's flow or take away all the suspense or "what will happen next" in the book.
What should Backstory accomplish in your book?
1. Reveal important information about your leading characters.
2. Plug in crucial history necessary to making your story a complete picture.
Important tips on how to best use backstory:
1. Decide when and where to place your backstory. The reader doesn't want to read a biography of each character on the first few pages. Instead, you should sprinkle these pertinent details throughout the story. Working them into the natural flow of your writing.
2. When deciding where to place the backstory elements, consider carefully what your are attempting to accomplish with any given scene. Make careful choices about what to leave in and what to cut out.
3. Remember that as a writer, our character's world is a living thing in our minds but we often have too many details to share and spilling all the small details can make our story overwritten and sluggish to the reader.
4. My favorite use of backstory is to use it to assist me in revealing obstacles that my characters must face in order to be together. For example: When your hero and heroine must overcome a dark past to find true happiness--you'll need to clue the reader in on what that dark past was all about.
The bottom line is that you must carefully consider if each backstory detail you've revealed has really added to the story and accelerated the story forward or if the detail has only stalled out your story and left it broken down by the side of the road.
Hope you've enjoyed Week #1 of our Book & Body Boot Camp!
Until next week, I remain...
Posted by kerribookwriter at 8:55 AM