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...]

The Universal Story Works for Artists and Poets and Dreamers, too

Her studio is organized. Everything tidy and in its place. She states what she wants -- to paint again. Unlike lots of creative people who are wildly disorganized, she is compulsively fastidious. Her house is vacuumed... about 350 times. All the dishes, laundry and shopping are done. So why isn't she painting? I repeat back to her that she wants to get back into painting. To help bring order to the creative process and tame her fears, I encourage her to make a Plot Planner. You mean that … [Read more...]

Pros and Cons of Pre-Plotting a Novel before Writing

Do you take as much pleasure in planning your vacation as you do enjoying yourself once you're actually away? Or, are you apt to jump in the car and head out with only a vague sense of where you're going? Rather than bothering with the details of how you'll get there or when you'll arrive, you simply go? Perhaps you're a bit of both -- you enjoy putting a plan in place with enough flexibility to do as you please once you arrive. The reason I ask is because your answer may shed light on how you … [Read more...]