Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roadblocks and Detours

AKA: Plot twists wrecked by reality

~~Have you found that one of your long-planned (and fully drafted) plot twists just can't be? Of course, this is a question for those of us who write reality-based stories i.e. contemporary or historical vs. fantasy and SF. I think the last two genre allow, for more creative license.

~~That's what's happened to me recently. You'd think I'd be wailing and gnashing my teeth or, at least, tearing up, but I'm not. Really. I'm quite happy with this turn of events. I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew the plot point that developed from this newly abandoned twist just couldn't happen that way. And now I know why.

~~What caused this outbreak of reality and the new, truth-based twist I'm now planning? Through a quirk of coincidence, I've been introduced to a current Department of Family and Children Services caseworker. She was thrilled to let me interview her and her reality-based information has created my shift in plot. Let's just say, I'm happy, excited, and plotting up a storm.

~~How to you handle this sort of plot upheaval? Tears or gratitude?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Terra Incognita

~~I know I've haven't been around much lately, but I promise I've been writing and I now find myself in a new place, one I've never experienced in my writing before. It's a whole new world and I'm still trying to get my feet under me and find myself on the map. Like the mariners of old, I'm wondering what sort of monsters I'll find and where the edges are.

~~I don't really write from an outline, but I do have a list of possible scenes in rough chronological order for my current work-in-progress, FRIENDLY FIRE. I write where ever the mood of the day strikes, or as Diana Gabaldon describes it, what I can see. In the last few weeks, though, I've been able to complete the first page of my scene list. Since I have the last page of the outline done already, that leaves me with the middle page, much of which I've never been able to see well enough to even take rough notes. Terra Incognita indeed! I'm feeling my way into the big middle of the plot and so far, so good. I have a plan for how to show the good and the bad that knits the start of the story to the end. Keep your fingers crossed.

~~Here's to opportunities you might be interested in:
  • If you'd be interested in submitting a story to Good Old-Fashioned E-Publishing Company's "Plot Beasties" anthology, go HERE for more info. I'm happy to say that my submission, "Of Books and Bunnies," is in the editing stage with editor/publisher Ron Wodaski.
  • Rachael Harrie has launched her Third Writers' Platform Building Campaign HERE. The second campaign was a hoot and a big boost for my blog, so come and join us. You have to sign up before August 31. 
~~I'll be here more often, I promise. Keep cool in the Shade.

Monday, August 8, 2011


"God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed."
~~Mark Twain

~~If you're as amazed by that quote as I am, you are looking at it and wondering just when on earth do you use adjectives? And adverbs for that matter. We've all heard the writing rule to cut adjectives and adverbs and "use stronger verbs and concise nouns." So I have a question for you--where do you get those stronger verbs and concise nouns? Is there a nifty little list we can consult or is it trial and error, learning by doing?

~~I'm a bit tongue in cheek, but sometimes I do find it hard to find the right word that makes the sentence say what I need it to say and cut to the bone of the topic at hand. Of course, Mark Twain has a quote for that, too.

"The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning."

~~So happy hunting, my fellow word sleuths. ; )