Putting Your Novel Out There

When I fell in love with writing fiction, I fell hard. I sold my clinic for children with speech, language, and learning disabilities. I said good-bye to the kids and their parents and teachers, the five therapists working for me and one psychologist on staff. No more euphoric moments watching the children's joy in their accomplishments. Gone with the power lunches with principals of private schools. No need for the latest fashions picked out by a personal shopper or -- new at the time -- my car … [Read more...]

Thematic Significance Statement Defines Every Story Decision

After big storms where I live, waves leave behind layers of sand that create a soft, smooth beach. As the tide ebbs sand is pulled back out to sea. What is left looks more like the surface of some alien planet than where you're apt to sun yourself. The view of the sandy beach offers little clue of what is hidden beneath the surface. This is often the case with stories and art, too. Define what is beneath the surface of the story you're writing. Write that as a statement that your story proves. … [Read more...]

The Emotional Ebb and Flow of a Creative Life

I rub the gem, like a mermaid's jewel in my pocket. We're asked to pick a gem we gleaned from the books we read in the On-Line Transformational Book Group. There are so many to choose from in our first book selection -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh's timeless Gift from the Sea. The one that fell in my pocket is ebb and flow. The emotional ebb and flow of a creative life "We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships," Anne writes.  When stuck in an ebb in our creative … [Read more...]

Plot Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels to Emotionally Engage Your Readers

Plot springs from characters in conflict. Readers emotionally connect and turn the pages of your story more quickly when reading scenes with tension, conflict, suspense and that create curiosity and pose the question -- will she or won't she succeed? This is true for every genre and especially so with middle grade and young adult novels. Plot middle grade and young adult novels to emotionally engage your readers. The more emotionally invested your readers are in your characters, the greater the … [Read more...]

Beginnings and Endings of Every Creative Effort

A writer friend comments that she doesn't believe many writers consider their ultimate readers when writing a story. She went on to say that most writers she knows spend all their time perfecting the beginning and not as much to the ending. The next day I received an email from a disappointed agent friend who had just finished reading a manuscript she was SO hopeful for and realized “at the last 60 pages or so there must be a book in there, somewhere,” but not in the shape she needs it to … [Read more...]

Writing Blockbuster Plots: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering Plot, Structure, and Scene

Daily, I walk along a path above the Monterey Bay or at sea-level along the shoreline. The tide determines my route. High-tide swallows the beach and waves crash against the cliffs. Low-tide brings a return of the sand and reveals treasures left behind.  Writing is like the tide -- a balance between planning at the overall plot of your story -- broad view or at the macro-level -- and incorporating the seven essential elements at the scene or at the micro-level. Writing Blockbuster Plots: A … [Read more...]