More Work on Understanding Scene Structure

This week, I’m hoping to get through some chapters of Save the Cat. I just barely started on the structure section, where he shows the basic outline he uses and starts explaining both sections. So far, the things he says are making little bells chime in my plot brain, which is good. I managed to […]

Friday Five: 5 Quick Things to Remember When You’re Writing a Scene

I’ve been thinking about scenes lately, one of my favorite elements of writing, and thought I’d share. 1. Your hero has to be active. She has to want something and go after it. 2. Your antagonist has to be active. Just like the hero. Even if it’s from behind the scenes. 3. Both goals have […]

Giving Yourself a Little Push

When I plot, I have some basics I shoot for, in terms of each scene. Yes, I want to know things like who’s there, where are they, what are they doing. What I really want to know, though, is the conflict. The biggest thing I try to figure out when I plot is my MC’s […]

Cause: The All-Important WHY

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while know I’m a plotter. I had to “pants” for a while on the first draft of this WIP, and it was not a happy place for me. Effective, yes, but not happy. So, of course, I’m in love with being back to plotting as […]

Tension: What Is It & How Do We Write it?

I don’t write suspense thrillers. I haven’t (in a while) worked on a murder mystery. My characters don’t usually have guns, spaceships, or fast cars. (There were no fast cars in 1913!) I still need tension. But if tension isn’t a chase scene or a shoot-out, what is it? My dictionary has a lot of […]

What Would Caro Do?

Today, I will get closer to Caro, the hero of my YA WIP. Well, that’s the plan. I’m still plotting into the middle. I’d say “through” the middle, but not yet feeling that optimistic. And I’m realizing that part of the problem I’m having with the current mish-mash of scenes is that I haven’t honed […]

Triangles-More Angles and Sharp Edges

Geometry? I don’t think so. Triangles, in math, hold no appeal for me. Triangles in fiction, though, are a whole different subject. The picture book I’m working on has three characters. Okay, well, four, but one’s a surprise, and I’m not talking about that one yet. But the family–three members. I knew what the son–the […]

Thursday’s Target-A Rainbow of Sticky Notes

Yesterday, I reread Robin LaFevers post on index cards. Then I went out and bought some sticky notes. Two packs. Five colors each. Because I’m confused. Not from Robin’s post. From my own plot. Too confused to know what to write next. So I’m trying something that occasionally works for me, but only occasionally–going visual. […]

Writing Out of Order

Yesterday, I typed up a quick “summary” of my story, for a critique partner who’s coming up today to do some talking & brainstorming. Summary is in quotes there, because, well…there are lots of gaps and “I don’t know yets” along the way. But what I really noticed missing is any real sequence to the […]

Amping Up Character Tension

This summer I will turn forty-mumble-mumble years old. At this time in my life (says the old, wise one), I have built up a community (or a tribe, as my friend Terri Thayer calls it) of friends with whom I am comfortable and happy, and who help me keep my life interesting and my brain […]