Why Snow is Like Story

I’m sitting at my desk on a cold February day and it hits me how much stories and snow have in common. If you’ll indulge my little analogy, here’s why I think so. At the start, small flakes are falling in a quiet tumble. Little whispers of plot are coming out of the sky and…

The Math of Writing

Let me say that math was never my forte. I barely skimmed by in Algebra and for some reason I did great at geometry (still don’t know why). When I set out to write this post it occurred to me that writing can be shown as a form of math or presented within the parameters…

Page One… How to Start Your Story

I’ve seen the advice repeated over and over and over again: START WITH ACTION! Like books are: Lights! Camera! Action! Gimme a break. Books are not movies and that’s why we have both. They do different things. After listening to a dialogue from Agent Hannah Fergesen on Manuscript Academy, you don’t start with action… you…

Troubleshooting Stories

We’ve all heard about plotting vs pantsing but what gets overlooked is those of us who either start with a plot/world and those of us who start with character. Several of my writing friends always starts with character. I always start with a question that unravels into a plot and world. There are pros and…

Emotional Plotting

It’s that time of year again! The time to dive deep, start drowning, and scramble back up to breath by December. It’s time for National Novel Writing Month! If you didn’t read Samantha’s post about generational plotting be sure to check it out because I’ll be building off of her thoughts here. Character is sovereign…

Using Maps for Plotting

I have great writing friend who is brilliant with characters. Whereas my skills lie in the plot. We could learn a lot from one another. We tried the other day and came up with a functional medium, we hope. Here goes, if you start with characters or with plot try this tactic and see if…

Knotted: Plots & Rapunzel’s Hair

I have longer hair and on occasion (more than I’d care to admit) I don’t get a chance to brush it. While this isn’t a great place to be for my hair, it’s excellent for a story plot. No one wants to be board. No one wants to be able to guess the ending. Every…

Setting Up Setting

This is how the conversation in my head went as I sat reading Setting by Bickham over my holiday break: Chapter 1- Story setting is important.  Chapter 5- Super-duper important. End of Book- Crap, I’ve got to re-examine everything… Setting: the surroundings or environment of anything. For a book this can be anything from a…

Starting Fresh- A new book journey

  After getting my first fully edited book done and out there I’ve started working on something new. I will not be writing the same way this time. This time I will be intentional about all of it. This time I started with a question, something I needed to create an answer to in the form…

Kill Your Darlings: Revising for Exclusion

Okay so I didn’t actually kill off any of my characters, not yet at least. But they do get hurt. What we really need to focus on is not letting your personal goals, agenda, or outline mess up what your characters are really like or would really do. Just because you have a favorite part…

Plotting with Cell Phones: A Writer’s Guide

I’m sure you’ve heard it a fair number of times, “I write this genre/time because there are no smart phones to deal with.” It’s a tough fact, smart phones can kill your plot with a phone call or quick Google search. Here are a few examples. What’s a writer to do? You either fall into one…

Building a Frame, not a Cage

We are divided into one category of writers or the other; we are either pantsters or plotters. While I do not know for sure who coined these terms, the pantster writes by the seat of their pants while the plotter writes from an established plan. Etymology aside, I am a plotter and my plan usually takes the form of an…