Reading Conference

Yesterday ended three days at the 40th Annual California Reading Association Conference.I presented as an author and a speaker. With a background in special education as a non-verbal dyslexia child and an adult speech pathologist and learning disability therapist, I brought my passion for plot to share with teachers. One teacher arrived; she was also an aspiring writer. The other attendees were my fellow author presenters, a testiment to comaraderie and all writers' hunger for plot.Writers are … [Read more...]

Cause and Effect/Beginnings

The first quarter of any writing project introduces the story's major characters, their goals, the setting, time period, themes, and issues. In the quest of accomplishing this task, many writers forget the importance of Cause and Effect. When scenes come at a reader one after another with nothing linking them together, the piece feels episodic and thus, off-putting to the reader.Consider instead finding ways to link the scenes by Cause and Effect. Ask yourself: Because this just happened in this … [Read more...]

For the Scene Only

Watch your delivery of backstory ~ the story of what, in the past, made the character who they are today (in story time). Writers want to cram everything right up front. "I know all their history, why would I want to withhold it from the reader?" "I wrote it that way." "It's the good part." Writers spend lots of time imagining and writing every little detail about a character's past, be it for a child or an adult. So, of course, writers would want to tell everything right away. Perhaps, in the … [Read more...]

What’s the Point?

Rarely do I read a writer’s work before a plot consultation, other than the Character Emotional Development Profile (on the Tips page of for the main character(s) and the Thematic Significance Statement for the project. So, I can't prove this impression. But, I wonder if the writers who start out really verbal and attempt to tell me everything at once, write that way, too. In other words, is the first 1/2 hour of settling down into the plot consultation process mirrored … [Read more...]

Historical Fiction plot

Authentic historical facts and details serve to ground the reader in another place and time. To find those just-right details, one must research. In researching, we writers uncover lots and lots of fascinating tidbits. One nugget leads to another which leads to the next. The more we find, the more we want to weave into the story. Today's consultation served as a prime example of when not to use historical facts and details.Rule of thumb: If historical facts and/or details serve to deepen and … [Read more...]