Rather than flooding your inbox, I’m sending out one blog post chock-full of important information, helpful writing tips, and an exciting #BookBirthday announcement! Hold onto your hats…
GUESS WHAT! GUESS WHAT! GUESS WHAT!
HOME FOR A WHILE is moving into bookshelves TOMORROW! I’m ecstatic to see this book make its way into the world! Click the cover for a sneak peek!
HOME FOR A WHILE is a book from my therapist’s heart! I wanted ALL of the children with whom I worked to see themselves in the pages of a book. I wanted to create a book that offered hope, positive emotion regulation strategies, and showed the impact we can have on others when we see their strengths.
It is tricky to create compelling characters, especially when we want to be realistic and hopeful at the same time. Here is a Quick-Read Crafty Tip to help you with this process..
In their book, Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions, Pat Harvey and Jeanine A. Penzo talk about the way temperament impacts children’s reactions (and adult reactions for that matter). This is one of the best books I’ve ever read as a parent and as a therapist. Their insight about children’s reactions are applicable to real life and to writing. They can help us sort out our characters and develop them more fully.
Here are a few examples of the way temperament might impact reactions (as adapted from Harvey and Penzo). Let’s think about a child who falls off a bike:
Child A: Initial Reaction: Gets up, brushes themselves off, gets back on the bike
Delayed Reaction: Talks to caregivers about what happened
Child C: Initial Reaction: Gets up, kicks bike, walks away, head down
Delayed Reaction: Doesn’t want to talk about what happened, might yell or “act out”
Child E: Initial Reaction: Cries, runs around screaming for help, refuses to get back on the bike
Delayed Reaction: Very difficult to soothe, cries inconsolably, angry at caregivers, but can’t explain why, might react in a “behavioral” way
This paradigm has not only helped me as a parent and clinician, it has also helped me as a writer. Who is your character? How do they react to adversity? How do they react to attempts to be comforted? What is their initial reaction? Delayed reaction?
These questions acted as a guide when I wrote about Calvin. He leans more toward the Child C temperament. His negative thoughts and feelings impact and fuel his actions. He doesn’t want to talk about what happens. His emotions are so intense at first, that he can’t access Maggie’s support.
He tries to calm his body, but his emotions get the better of him.
With patience, persistence, and positive strategies, Calvin is able to calm his emotions and accept Maggie’s concern and caring. Calvin is able to tackle his emotions like a superhero!
Thinking about Calvin’s temperament helped me make each scene more authentic, believable, and resonant. I hope this tool will help you develop your characters. What role will temperament play in your character’s narrative and emotional arcs?
And now, for the celebration…
I hope you’ll join Natalia Moore and me as we celebrate Calvin finding his home for a while on Sunday, February 7th at 2:00 pm MST. You can RSVP by clicking on the link below, or by emailing Lauren Casey (see email below). The event is free, but you must RSVP to attend. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-launch-with-lauren-kerstein-and-natalia-moore-tickets-136506601921?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch
And finally, here are the prize winners from our first #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day of 2021. Joana, Katie, Lynne, Michal, Shannon, and I had a blast revising with everyone! We can’t wait to see you for our next #ReVISIONweek Tune-Up Day on April 7th, and our full #ReVISIONweek September 30th-October 6th!
Congratulations to all! We will email you regarding your prizes.
I hope you have a wonderful, productive, creative week!
Feel. Write. Risk.