Friday, April 19, 2013

AtoZ Blogging Challenge and Back to Small Things.


The brainchild of Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out



Querulous is the word of the day!

A few synonyms: petulant, peevish, pettish, complaining, fractious, fretful, irritable, testy, tetchy,cross, snappish, crabby, crotchety, cantankerous, miserable, moody,grumpy, bad-tempered, sullen, sulky, sour, churlish, snappygrouchy, cranky.

I don't like to use this adjective in stories I write for young readers, but I like to use it as a springboard for characterization. How do you make a person in the story querulous without saying, "He was a querulous type of person." ?



Here's a stab:

When the door opened and Max blustered in, Josh tightened his grip on his book. Billy Willis slid low in his seat and Felicia Martinez tucked her homework inside her binder. Curtis Blatz set one pencil on top of his desk, folded his arms and waited. Max would break it in half just as he did on all of his "bad" days. Marshall Lowenstein left for the back of the room and stayed there reading the bulletin board as Max made his way down center aisle, rapping his knuckles on the desks or poking kids’ arms.

Is Max querulous enough? Did using other characters' reactions work to create querulous Max? How would you show a character is querulous?

Onward to R. Be sure to visit more of the intrepid AtoZ Bloggersyou read about these 

Small Things to Celebrate 


a pat on the back by a pal
an unexpected present for absolutely no reason except someone thought of you
the scent of the first rose in spring
a good burp after a splendid meal

Ahhhh, those small things!




49 comments:

  1. Oooh, yes, a good burp is amazing! :D

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    1. Just stopped by your blog to say hi and meet Lily!

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  2. Max is definitely "querulous," and it was very clever to describe him using the reactions of others.
    "A good burp"! You crack me up! :-D

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    1. A good laugh ain't a bad way to start or end a day, either, right?

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  3. You did a great job of making Max querulous. I've decided that an almost teenage boy might just be the epitome of being querulous. I can't wait for my son to get OUT of this character trait. :)

    TaMara
    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

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    1. I know about those stages. And we thought the 3's were a trial.

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  4. Great word, Lee..

    fun snippet... I think you captured him just in the right Mood.... LOL.

    It's all in the verbal tone for me. If the response is right, the reader will feel the emotion behind the words.

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  5. Querulous is a good word. My editor has been on my case to show instead of say. You've shown it well,and I'm learning.

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    1. It takes some drafts I think. I might have just said, "Max is querulous" at first, then I went back and showed what that meant. That's the fun part.

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  6. Great way to use other characters' behavior to illustrate querulous.

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  7. Good show not tell paragraph for querulous.

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  8. Querulous! Never heard it before but I like it :)
    I *think* I feel a bit querulous right now from the cold rainy weather... enough already.

    ahh, a good burp after a splendid meal... love it!

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  9. Grumps aren't fun- but the word querulous sure is. I don't remember ever hearing it before. Yeah! I love to learn something new. Great job showing how to describe it. :)
    ~Jess

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  10. somebody needs to spank that Max brute :)

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  11. Hi Lee .. I'm not sure if your comment was made in a querulous moment .. but I answered your help on my Pond post! I hope you enjoy - when the day gets longer I guess and it's nearer food time?!

    A querulous teacher is not a good idea!

    Cheers - and enjoy that lemon pond?! Hilary

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    1. Tomorrow more about my Pond Pudding caper!

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  12. Love this word, querulous. And love the pic you used with it. :D

    I totally forgot about the Small Things today. I think my mind is officially gone.

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    1. Yep. Sunday cannot come soon enough for this mind.

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  13. Love the word, querulous, and I love, love, love your small things! Have a wonderful day!

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    1. Thanks Tyrean. I so appreciate your visit.

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  14. It's a great word!

    And lol to the burps! Better out than in I always say.

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    1. And speaking of burps, I think it's time for a cold beer!

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  15. Never heard that word before...thanks for the education and I can now tell my wife I'm querulous and she may not know what I mean :)

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    1. Now go all smug and get yourself into trouble, Mark.

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  16. A good burp!! What an EXCELLENT small thing ;)

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  17. That is pretty darn querulous! And great small things this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Back at you, Christine. See you Sat, then not until Monday. Ahhhh. A whole day off.

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  18. Replies
    1. I'm still trying to connect with you. Are you hiding from me? :-)

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  19. I used to use that word to describe my son as a toddler...not nice of me, but he never got it!

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    1. A toddler and already querulous. That's something.

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  20. Introducing the character through behaviour is a great way to set the tone and show us the world we're in. Accomplishes a lot more than simply stating his mood.

    Mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. As mooderino you speak with authority! :-)

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  21. Aww, crap! I forgot it was Friday. Is it really Friday? Seems like I should get another day or two before that happens. Can I quarrel with someone that tomorrow should be Friday?

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    1. If you win the quarrel, call me. I need an extra day.

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  22. Showing the behavior is usually preferable. I think Mary sounds querulous over someone stealing her Friday, don't you? ;)

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  23. Max sounds very querulous! Nice job. :D

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  24. Quite effective! I got a good sense of how querulous Max was.

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  25. This is a terrific theme for the A-Z challenge.

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  26. It's a great idea to show the reaction of others.

    I don't enjoy querulous people in real life.

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  27. Another mighty fine word. You demonstrated it well. Poor Max.

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  28. Now there's a word I haven't heard in a while.

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  29. I wonder if I use the word in my presentation on Monday if I'll get bonus points...

    It's always worth a shot :)

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  30. Querulous does have a moody, grumpy, quarrelsome ring to it!

    Writer In Transit

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