Monday, February 28, 2011

Story Circle Posts

I am guest-blogging for Story Circle. Each blog is posted as one of a pair, and my posts are Prompts for Winter and Discipline for Spring.

My over-squeezed metaphorical mulberries
Jamie, you get a mention in "teachers and writers who have influenced me," which is at the bottom of Prompts for Winter.

Initially, the "Winter" post contained a little TOO much of an homage to Jamie and Joyce's wonderful Scene and Structure writing intensive. The plot section would have been better with their fabulous nine-point plot outline, but as I couldn't give them a proper attribution as a guest-blogger, I took it out.

My current novel (which I have somewhat wildly said I would finish by the end of March) is, however, greatly benefiting from the plot outlining.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shoe Fetish-ish

I was getting ready to work (really), when I was sidetracked by an email ad from The Village Hat Shop. There, I saw a cute men's fedora that made me think of White Collar, a show that has the most wonderful clothes--real clothes, like real people wear if they've got good taste and lots of money. (OK, maybe not that real, but ya know what I mean.) So I went to their style photo gallery. There, I noticed a pair of shoes, which made me think of the lack of good shoes at my local Ross, where I used to find expensive shoes cheap. That's where I bought my first pair of Børn shoes. I love those shoes, so I looked them up. Now I've got a problem. Look at these:
Børn to Love Shoes
$95. I may need a pair.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Getting My Writing in Focus

Focus is Crucial 
I have been a writer of poetry, stories, and novels for more than 35 years. I have read, at best estimate, 7500 books, and so I know about the turning point, the climax, the denouement, and the plot arc. But I couldn't connect them with my own novels.

Until last weekend.

At Joyce Sweeney and Jamie Morris' Next Level Craft Intensive, Scene and Structure, I spent three days discussing plot, structure, and scene with a small group of writers. What came to me by the end of the weekend made me feel like I did when I got my first pair of glasses:

"So that's why I couldn't catch a ball. I was BLIND!"

It's taking me a while to apply this new found clarity. All I've done so far is pull some extraneous material out of one novel, and reread the high points of another. 

I see now that I need to begin my current novel with an inciting incident that is just visible to the reader, but not to my protagonist. I can also see that I need to take out the middle section of the other, which interrupts the plot at an important point.

There's a lot to do. Thank Jamie and Joyce, I can see the way, now.