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David A. Schwinghammer

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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Books
· Soldier's Gap


Short Stories
· Seminary Boy, a memoir

· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine

· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight

· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight

· Bereavement Blues

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7

· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'


Articles
· Another Planet, book review

· The Three Stooges, book review

· The God Particle

· Empire of Sin, book review

· Science at the Edge, book review

· Obama, a Modern Caesar?

· Americans Need to Pull Together

· Voices of the French Revolution, book review

· Great American Scandals

· Odd Man Out, book review


Poetry
· Fashion

· Widow's Peak

· Myth

· Alumni Game

· Stradivarius

· Snow-a-holic

· Girls Who Wear Glasses

· The Do Drop Inn

· Ode to Neve Campbell

· Jacks or Better 101

         More poetry...

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Soldier's Gap

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Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer

Rituals
8/20/2009 8:43:31 AM
Look for habits that have become rituals for your
protagonist, habits that have become almost obsessive/compulsive.



Ritual

People have certain rituals that mean more to them than their obvious purposes, such as gardening, fishing, knitting, or reading the morning horoscope. Then there are the obvious ones like reading the Bible or meditating. Whatever the activity, they tell you something about your character.

Arnie Vogel’s rituals

1. Smoking. Doesn’t seem much like a ritual, but Arnie never smoked until his dad told him to move out of the house after his high school graduation. His dad offered him a cigarette and he took it and he’s been smoking non-filtered cigarettes ever since, a kind of subconscious connection with the old man who also smoked unfiltered Luckies.

2. Shuffling cards. Arnie always carries a deck of cards. He doesn’t play solitaire, but he’s constantly shuffling the cards, trying to get as good as a professional dealer. He can make them walk like a yoyo.

3. Photography. Arnie has kept a photographic record of the places he’s been while working as a merchant marine. Arnie never went to college and the photos give him a sense of accomplishment that he doesn‘t have in his professional life. He can say to himself, “Look at where I’ve been,” when looking at a Norwegian fjord or the Brandenburg Gate.

4. Ice fishing. He almost drowned as a boy while ice fishing with his father, and ice fishing is like getting right back up on the horse after being bucked off.

Arnie’s dream next. When you give your character a dream, make sure it doesn’t solve any kind of conflict within the story (That would be a cliché). All the dream should do is tell you what is important to the character or what add something to your description of the character’s personality.

You might be able to break the rule about the dream not solving a conflict if your novel has psychic things happening all over the place. That way the reader can’t say, “Yeah right, that’s going to happen.” In most novels you always want to set a precedent, like planting a gun that your character is going to need earlier in the story. That way you’re not surprised to see it when it helps him get out of trouble. You’ve been screaming at him, “Get the gun out of the light stand, you big dummy!” when he faced with the knife-wielding intruder.


Comments (2)

More Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
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• Worst President Since WWII? - Monday, July 07, 2014
• Tenure for Teachers - Thursday, June 26, 2014
• Koch Brothers Interfere in Local Election - Thursday, May 08, 2014
• The Wolly Mammoth - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
• Fran Tarkenton's political ad - Friday, March 14, 2014
• Propaganda vs. Legitimate Commentary - Sunday, February 23, 2014
• Porn as a Political Issue - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
• Drive a Stake Through the Vampires' Hearts! - Thursday, February 06, 2014
• State of the Union Stem-winder - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
• Ted Cruz - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
• Here We Go Again. - Thursday, September 19, 2013
• Reality TV - Friday, August 09, 2013
• Common Sense - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
• Skunks Believe Everybody Else Stinks - Thursday, May 16, 2013
• The Morning After Pill - Friday, April 12, 2013
• What Would Thomas Jefferson Say? - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• Boneheads - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
• Why Benedict XVI Resigned - Sunday, February 17, 2013
• Gabby Giffords Testifies - Wednesday, January 30, 2013
• Newspaper Caters to Gun Owners - Wednesday, January 23, 2013
• Piers Morgan Deserves a Medal - Monday, December 24, 2012
• The Red Devil and the Blue Devil? - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
• Is the new TV show, REVOLUTION, fantasy? - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
• Fanatical Moslems Aren't That Different From Our Fanatics - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
• We Need the United Nations - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
• Stop Catering to People's Basest Instincts - Monday, July 09, 2012
• Concerned Women for America political ad - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Independent Voters Need to Pick a Side - Monday, June 11, 2012
• Romney's Solyndra Appearance - Friday, June 01, 2012
• Single Issue Voters - Sunday, May 20, 2012
• Bully or Sociopath? - Saturday, May 12, 2012
• Tan-orexic Woman Poor Role Model - Friday, May 04, 2012
• So Far Right They're Almost Left - Sunday, April 22, 2012
• Dog Eat Dog - Sunday, April 15, 2012
• The Tea Party is Back! - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Gas Prices - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• "Doofus" - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• Contraception Blowback - Friday, February 10, 2012
• 800 vetoes! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• Issa Hounding Holder over GOP program - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Rick Santelli's Rant - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• Corporate Raider President? - Thursday, December 01, 2011
• Is This the Best They Can Do? - Thursday, November 17, 2011
• Tea Party a non-violent Movement? - Sunday, October 30, 2011
• Wall Street Protests - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
• Three new stooges - Thursday, August 25, 2011
• Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
• Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
• Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
• Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
• Scapegoating - Sunday, June 19, 2011
• The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
• We're Still Here! - Saturday, May 21, 2011
• Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
• Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
• General Electric paid no corporate taxes - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
• The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
• Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
• Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
• Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
• Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
• Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• 13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
• House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• The Blame Game - Friday, May 28, 2010
• National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
• Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
• Conservative psyche - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
• Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
• Fred Phelps - Friday, April 02, 2010
• Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
• Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
• Interview with SOLDIER'S GAP author continued - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
• SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
• Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
• Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
• Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
• Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
• Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
• Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
•  Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009  
• Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
• Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
• Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
• Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
• Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
• Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009


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