the 11 p.m. epiphany

The Moleskine etc. portion of my notebook collection.(No disrespect meant to Brian Kiteley's wonderful book.)One of the side effects I've noticed from trying to be prolific every day, all year, is that ideas rather bombard you. I'm constantly scribbling down snippets and fragments and possibilities. Most of them won't become stories but some will, and… Continue reading the 11 p.m. epiphany

a little bit of navel-gazing

Fiction, I once read in an old issue of Writer's Digest, is one damn thing after another. Things have to happen in order for the reader to stay engaged and interested. (I have read, as I'm sure we all have, novels that are mostly people thinking about things, but they're not ones that I've reread… Continue reading a little bit of navel-gazing

writing excercises: five characters

I treated myself recently to Tarot for Writers by Corinne Kenner, a book recommended by one of my writer friends. I've been fascinated by Tarot cards since I was about nine and made friends with an older girl in my neighborhood who had a deck that she'd let me look at sometimes. I learned to… Continue reading writing excercises: five characters

plotting: the 9-sentence outline

I like Joseph Campbell. I like studies of mythology and patterns in stories, and I like the Hero's Journey. I've used it to help me plot more than once.Of course, there are elements to The Hero's Journey that don't fit into every story (What if you don't have Shapeshifters? What does Return With The Elixir… Continue reading plotting: the 9-sentence outline

and they all lived happily ever after

One of my writing communities is having an "End it" challenge this week, and ever since I read the announcement I've been thinking about endings. Most of the time, when I begin I only vaguely know how a story is going to end--I know where I want the characters to be, as it were, but… Continue reading and they all lived happily ever after

happy, joyful and whole

The radio station I listen to most mornings has a feature every other Friday called The Painful Circle, where people can call in with their relationship problems for some unsentimental advice. Aside from the three DJs, there are two alternating special guests who help out with the Painful Circle, one of whom is a professional… Continue reading happy, joyful and whole

not for posies and potatoes

It's a funny thing, plotting. There are reams books on plots, arguments about plots. Some people say there are over twenty plots (man vs. man, man vs. God, man vs. self, man vs. society--I'm not going to list them all but you get the idea), some say only two (somebody comes to town, somebody leaves… Continue reading not for posies and potatoes

summing up: the synopsis and blurb

One of the most difficult steps in publishing for me is writing the blurb. (When you're playing with the big boys, I'm sure there's a staff to do just that. With a small press, it's up to the authors.) I found a good article on synopsis writing years ago that I still refer to: How… Continue reading summing up: the synopsis and blurb