Plotting, Writing, Writing Resources

Plotting Systems—Part I

James Scott Bell's Plot & Structure
James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure

In his book, Plot & Structure, James Scott Bell talks about two kinds of fiction writers: OPs and NOPs. To outline or not to outline, that is the question. #amwriting #tooutlineornot Bell encourages new fiction writers to try a little of both. Continue reading “Plotting Systems—Part I”

Writing, Writing Ideas, Writing Resources

Research–Imperative for Writers

saloongunfight-280Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, research is the most important thing we do. Movies and television seem to be able to “get away with” not being accurate or getting their facts straight. And maybe in the past, writers could as well. Not anymore. But the thing about fiction is that you can away with fudging a bit, as I am in my novel. I’m fudging a bit on time, on how civilized my hometown was, shoot, I’m even fictionalizing the name of my hometown.

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Breakout Workbook, building characters, Donald Maas, Writing

Writing–The Mystery of Characters Part I

sheriff characterWhat is a character? An imaginary person we writers think up. How did I create Meghan Gallagher? She started out as a nineteen-year-old very unlikeable spoiled brat, which is what I wanted her to be, but soon learned no one wants to read about a spoiled brat, even though she was going to change drastically. A former Christian Writers Guild (CWG) mentor helped me make her more likeable, and it worked. Meghan could still exhibit immaturity and impulsiveness, but without the entitlement snobby attitudes that go with it.

How did I form her two suitors, Scott and Duncan? Well, they had to be similar, yet very different. Duncan the cowboy especially, had to be opposite of Meghan, yet in reality, had more in common with her than Scott, the doctor. I’ll deal with them in Part II, and some of my supporting characters in Part III. Continue reading “Writing–The Mystery of Characters Part I”

Encouragement, Inspirational, Spiritual Growth

The Power of Story

MegiddoStories have been told as long as mankind has existed. What is it about stories that so compels us to want to read, hear, or watch them? Stories keep our attention, our interest, and help us learn.

I once saw an interview with actor Michael York. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) had hired him to play the anti-christ for two films, “The Omega Code” and “Megiddo.” When asked about it, Michael said he found the role “life enhancing.” Of course, in his English accent, it sounded like “life en-hawncing.” He’s a great actor. How many actors can say they’ve played both John the Baptist and the anti-christ – but Michael York has. He played John the Baptist in “Jesus of Nazareth,” the 1970s mini-series. He recognized the power of story.

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Writing, Writing Resources

Writing Resource – The Scene Book

scenebook

One of my former Christian Writer’s Guild mentors is named Sandra, but she is the not same Sandra Scofield who wrote The Scene Book, A Primer for the Fiction Writer. My Sandra recommended it to me to help me craft scenes better. I haven’t read all of it yet, but I will be. The book offers examples and information on how to construct scenes in your novel. Every chapter has exercises to help you incorporate what you’ve learned into what you’re writing.

Let’s look at it.

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Encouragement, Spiritual Growth

Fiction or Non-Fiction – That is the Question

crossed swords 2

Today, we’ll digress a bit from process, but there is a process of choice in this post. Like Hamlet when he gave his famous speech, what you read took thinking, based on your preferences, your tastes, and your genres.

Is there a war between fiction and non-fiction? There doesn’t have to be. I’m encouraging you to read both in this post. It will help you to be more well-rounded.

Why do you read what you read? Are you a reader of fiction or non-fiction? Or both? I believe it’s important to know and recognize that at different stages of our lives, we concentrate on different things. To give myself as an example, I grew up reading fiction, and the probably the only non-fiction I read were biographies, and those were few. I’m gonna get spiritual on ya, but that’s just me. If you disagree, that’s OK.

Somewhere in my late twenties to early thirties – for a period lasting probably twenty years, I read a lot of Christian non-fiction. Why did I switch?

Continue reading “Fiction or Non-Fiction – That is the Question”