Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers

The following is a handout I used for a plot workshop -- Plot Your Story Scene-by-Scene to Emotionally Engage Your Readers -- for Middle Grade and Young Adult writers. The points serve writers of all genres and for all ages. Tapping into the ancient structure of the Universal Story leads to enduring stories.  Plot springs from character in conflict. Readers emotionally connect through tension shown in scene. Apply the energy of the Universal Story to the character emotional transformational … [Read more...]

Writing is Not for the Faint-Hearted

Writing is not for the faint-hearted. So, where does that leave writers who are timid, doubtful, nervous, and afraid? I recently received emails from two writers. One writer wants to give up. The other writer is in tears. Both writers -- one writing a memoir and the other a novel -- feel challenged beyond their abilities. Both convey a sensitivity that could be perceived as being faint-hearted. Are they doomed? Faint-hearted Take Heart Creative writing and writing a story with a plot are two … [Read more...]

What Determines Success or Failure?

By now in life you've likely experienced the elation of personal success and the crush of failure. In the best fiction and most successful films, you feel those same sensations for the characters. You cheer when they succeed. You mourn when they fail. So, what determines success or failure?  If you judge solely on your feelings, you may go wrong. But emotions don't lie, you say. Yes, often they do. Emotions can flair up based on other people's judgements -- reviews, comments, praise, criticism, … [Read more...]

Memoir or Fiction?

I recently received an email from a writer who is writing a Christian book that is personal. She is unsure how to write it -- as Memoir or Fiction? Several years ago, Adair Lara wrote a great article for Writers Digest that continues to be relevant today addressing this very issue: 10 Ways to Tell if Your Story Should be a Memoir or a Novel.  Memoir or Fiction? Beyond her advice and the insights from highly successful novelists and memoirists Adair shares in her piece, I'd like to stress -- … [Read more...]

Second Chance Lunar New Year

If you're like me, 2016 ended in a blur. Rather than jump on day one into 2017  with clearly defined plans and goals and dreams for the new year, suddenly, here at nearly the end of January, I've got nothing. Behind in making New Year's resolutions, woefully so, and looking for a second chance, I remembered the Lunar New Year.  Happy Lunar Year Year! January 28th is the start of a two week celebration heralding the Lunar New Year and year of the Rooster. Rather than drift through 2017 and let … [Read more...]