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Welcome

Hello, everybody. My name is Kiera-Lynn Hart.

I created this site with the hope that you, my fellow readers and writers, will be able to learn in good time and good health what took me a long time and some heartache to learn.

It is called Five for Writing because, as you will soon see, Top Five lists are my forte.

But even more awaits around the corner.

Come inside, look around, have some fun, and be inspired.

All my best,

Kiera-Lynn

Top 5 Cliffhangers that Pave the Way for a Sequel or Series

  1. A dilemma. Twilight: New Moon.
  2. A reveal. Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man’s Chest.
  3. A (dying) request/wish. An oath/vow that must be fulfilled. Spider-Man.
  4. A disappearance of a character or significant object. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  5. A historical event occurring within the same world as the previous movie. The Legend of Zorro.

 

Miscellaneous Post #1

Spy High

Intro: The spy genre is very popular. It is amazing how these characters are paragons of integrity, justice, and all that is good in the world. They are trained rigorously and ruthlessly to withstand great physical endurance, tasks that require mental agility and logic, don convincing disguises, speak proficiently in several different languages, and even endure literal torture. However, the genre would not exist at all if these amazing men and women did not from time to time make mistakes that cost them dearly.

Top 5 Spy Mistakes

  1. Falling in love.
  2. Entrusting somebody with a secret (a woman, especially).
  3. Not checking one’s cocktail for poison before drinking it.
  4. Not ensuring the safety of those whom he or she seduces, whether it was for information of just fun.
  5. Owing somebody a favor.
  1. Entrusting your heart to someone it the gateway to entrusting them with the secrets hidden in your mind, and caring for another’s well-being does nothing but put your own body, and therefore your life, on the line.
  2. Do not leave a paper trail; commit it to memory.
  3. If you do detect poison, play it cool. The potted plant in the corner won’t mind.
  4. Even if the spy is heartless enough not to care that the boy- or girl-toy is dead, it is still a huge calling card that will inevitably draw attention to them.
  5. You never know when they will demand it from or guilt-trip it from you, or its cost.

Note: All of these were mistakes that James Bond made in Casino Royale. But, to be fair, although it was the twenty-first film in the series, it was meant to be his first mission. Strong characters aren’t the ones who don’t make mistakes; they are the ones who learn from their mistakes.

World-Building Post #1

No Stage, No Play

Intro: All kinds of goodies can lie simply within the time and place in which your story lives. Commerce, religion, art. You name it, you can evolve or devolve any of them to the liking of the environment you wish to create, or find plot seeds through those aspects factually if you are doing a creating a story based on true events. Legendary Pixar writer and director Brad Bird says “Use every part of the buffalo.”

Top 5 Ways to Use a Setting to Dramatic Advantage

  1. A language barrier.
  2. Sticking out like a sore thumb among those of a foreign culture.
  3. Not enough space.
  4. Too much space.
  5. Superior, inferior, or simply new technology in the way of transportation keeping a character or characters stuck in a location.
  1. There’s no surer way to set the stage for tension than verbal miscommunication, but it doesn’t have to be clichéd. Maybe the hero lands in a world in which he doesn’t realize that his native language, though all of the citizens can understand it, has been banned for some reason. Maybe she can only be understood if she speaks in rhyme. Maybe he is only allowed to speak in double entendres, and they make him feel uncomfortable.
  2. I remember being stuck in a Japanese airport as a teenager with my redheaded friend. She asked me, “Why are they all staring at me?”
  3. Cramped quarters are an open invitation for physical as well as romantic comedy. Claustrophobia.
  4. Get lost in a wide field, can’t see/hear each other over sitting on opposite ends of a long dinner table in a mansion, agoraphobia.
  5. I knew of more than one person who, during their first year in Japan, made the mistake of thinking that they were supposed to board a certain train based on the color of the train itself, as opposed to the color of the character on their ticket that matched the character on the side of the train.

 

Character Post #1

Character

Intro: The hero has to do something early on or have the potential to do something early on that will make him/her indispensable, sometimes in order to get the chance to survive. If the other characters don’t think that she deserves to stick around, why should we?

Top 5 Things a Hero Can Do to Make Themselves (Temporarily) Indispensable

  1. Pretending or exploiting common interests/being a suckup.
  2. Showing off/making a statement.
  3. Having something invaluable that the others want but to which only the hero has the key/blackmailing.
  4. Being seductive.
  5. Guilt-tripping.
  1. In Aida, the titular character is captured and enslaved. When she is brought to her new master, Princess Amneris, she uses the first chance she gets to play to her greatest love (fashion) and her greatest fear (her fiancée’s well-being). Tension builds at first when Amneris is taken aback at how much Aida sticks out, but she eventually becomes so accustomed to her that she offers her protection. One might think that Aida thought that anonymity was more of a risk than not speaking up.
  2. In The Hunger Games, Katniss intentionally shoots the arrow through the apple in the pig’s mouth in hopes of achieving a good pre-games score.
  3. This point doesn’t necessarily mean that a character must have dirt on somebody, be tit-for-tat, or in any way mean-spirited. In Casablanca, Rick has the letters of transit that Elsa wants. He doesn’t want to put the woman he loves in danger, but she broke his heart.
  4. Sex appeal is a cheap trick for buying a person some time on their lifeline, but often comes at a huge cost.
  5. This point usually works best when the character finds himself unexpectedly in a position by or in front of people whom he admires yet for whom isn’t immediately ready to make a sacrifice.