Women’s National Book Association San Francisco

At an event hosted by the Women's National Book Association San Francisco yesterday, I had an "aha" moment. At first, I hesitated. The last big "aha" moment was when I realized how many writers struggle with plot. Since I had spent 12 years studying about how the dramatic action works with character development to create a compelling story, I set out to help other writers find their plots and experience the freedom of structure. And, my life was transformed."Aha" moment Number Two feels as broad … [Read more...]

Finding the Story

All memoirists incorporate true events in their stories. Often, writers of fiction do the same thing. Using true events can lead to a richness of authentic details and emotional revelation. However, just because something meaningful and life-changing happened to you does in no way guarantee that the events will be meaningful to your audience. And, of course, the true events must contribute to the overall story plot, or these authentic details will end up weighing down the story.The events … [Read more...]

The End

THE ENDThe final 1/4 of the project.The protagonist now knows what's not working and goes in pursuit of what does.She is challenged every step of the way, only now in the End, she attempts to react in a new transformed way.Each scene shows her finding her power little by little.The ClimaxThe Climax comes almost at The End of the story itself.The Climax is the biggest scene in the entire story.The Climax is what the story is all about.Each scene in the entire book has worked its way steadily … [Read more...]

Getting Closer to the Character

People read stories and go to the movies 70% for the character. We love to peek into other people's lives, even if the other people are mere characters in a book or movie.This last writer's story was filled with dramatic action, which made for an exciting story. I found myself anxious to hear what happened next, and what happened after that. The writer masterfully provided more and more compelling action, and did so seamlessly through consistent cause and effect. The Dramatic Action plot line … [Read more...]

How Personal Themes Affect Your Writing

Mary Cronk Farrell posted a question on the last entry I made:Thank you for sharing your wisdom on theme and giving a story depth. I have just finished the first draft of my mystery novel and am beginning to revise using your plot planner scene tracker. I have no idea what my theme is. Can you give me some ideas about how to tease it out? The characters are working out some conflicts besides the mystery, so I know there is some kind of theme about relationships. But what?Thank … [Read more...]

Giving a Story Depth

Most writers have a preference for one plot line over another. Some are Character-driven writers. Others are Action-driven writers. Some have strengths in both. Not many are Thematic-driven. The deeper meaning of a story comes up out of the story itself over time. Thus, the Thematic Significance plot line is generally saved for the last or is either ignored or overlooked all together. The more aware a writer is about their own personal themes, the more attuned the writer will be in the search … [Read more...]