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Showing posts from October, 2014

'Twas the Night Before NaNo

Happy Halloween!  To get you (and me) in the "spirit" I'll tell you a little about the inspiration for this year's costume before highlighting what you can expect throughout the month of November.  Also NaNo memes because the internet.

This Halloween I have decided to dress up as Brighid, celtic goddess/Catholic saint.  Yes, really.
There are a few awesome stories about her, but my favorite one is when she pulled out her own eye to avoid being told she was beautiful so that people would stop giving her grief about not getting married.
She is associated with fire, the hearth, the forge, medicine, animal husbandry, poetry, motherhood, arts and crafts, sacred wells, spring, high places, lilies, the color white... basically if you can think of it I'm sure there's a way she relates to it.  I think she is a great muse to channel as I start on Spitfire tonight at 12:01 am, so I'll be dressed as her for our NaNoWriMo party.  I'll post a pic in the comments i…

Non-Traditional Plot Structure

Happy Friday friends!  This post is about plot:  what we traditionally think of as plot, and what other options exist in the world.

For starters, let's define the difference between plot and narrative structure.  Plot is (loosely) the events that happen in the story.  Narrative structure is the order readers experience the story events.  Ingrid Sundberg does a good job of differentiating the two here.  (May as well open that up in a new tab and leave it open, I'm going to be referencing her blog a lot today.  She's pretty much already done what I wanted to do with this post.)

If your public education was like mine, you were probably introduced to a figure similar to this somewhere in your English classes:
This is the standard plot that we can fit most stories into.  This describes a plot centered around conflict that follows a traditional three-act structure.  It's very popular.  In the Middle reviews a book that discusses using this structure as a form for your story, an…

Psych and Psyche

Happy Friday!  You still have until midnight 10/17/14 to enter the giveaway here.  The blog cleared 5k views this week!  Yay!

I've been prepping more for Spitfire, though not as much as I'd like.  Check out this awesome cover I made to motivate myself!
I used the wonderful resource of morgueFile, which lets you utilize photos for free on the condition that you edit them and give credit to the source (thanks superchappie for taking and uploading the original!).

 I've been focusing more on my characters.  There are tons of character questionnaires out there, most are either too superficial or too long for my taste.  One that's pretty down-the-middle is this one from the nice folks at NaNoWriMo.  I like to fill out questionnaires like I'm interviewing my characters before the story starts.  I try and get a feel for their personalities and temperaments by listening to them answering my questions.  (Although I think several of my characters this year wouldn't give…

Birthday Party

(It is night.  You are standing in front of a house.  The porch light is on.  You approach the door and ring the bell.
The door opens.  Madeline is standing on the other side of the doorway.  She is holding a tray of funny hats.  You can see other people inside the house milling about, each wearing some type of hat.)

MADELINE:  Hello!  I'm so glad you could come!  Here, pick a hat and I'll let you in.

(She holds the tray out in front of you.  There are six hats to choose from.)

(You select one and enter the house.
In the front room you see several people, some talking in pairs or small groups, others holding down the floor alone with their tiny plates of party food in hand.)
MADELINE:  It's quite a good turnout.  It's mostly writing buddies, but there's some of my family over there (she waves) and some friends of friends have come as well.  There's even a few people that found their way here from the other side of the planet.  (She laughs.)  That's the inte…

In The Middle

Howdy, Folks! (Shut up, I'm going to the State Fair of Texas tomorrow and I'm excited.)  
This week I'm reviewing a book I actually found on Pinterest of all places. They've been recommending things similar to what I pin as part of their whole metadata setup, and this one actually was useful. (Marketing. Sometimes, it does what it's supposed to!) This is the site it led me to. I was intrigued more by the title of the book than by what the blogger had to say. This is not to say anything bad about her post, but rather that I realized that all of the novels I had written (count 'em, three) had this one part in the middle where I kind of felt like I waved my hands and the plot moved on because I had no idea how to get the characters from half #1 to half #2. Things fell apart a little bit. So I looked up the book.
It was only a few bucks, and short to boot, so I bought it and gave it a read.  It made me think about my previous novels and Spitfire, my novel to…