I'm new to this blog and am tonight staring down one heck of a rabbit-hole-disguised-as-deadline. Thanks for allowing me to disengage myself from my non-fiction work and return to a technique I use in fiction writing.
Certainly time is always pressing and I don’t read nearly as much as I’d like to, but I always use reading as a writing tool.
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion talked about how John Gregory Dunne would often read a novel several times “to see how it worked.” When I was working on my novel, I turned to my favorite in the middle grade-YA genre, Missing May by Cynthia Rylant, and charted the book out on a graph.
Along the y axis was the word count by chapter; the x axis noted where the various plot points occurred, when characters were introduced….the whole arc of the plot. It served as an invaluable road map because I was, and still am, a novice at plot development for anything other than a short story. I have a greater appreciation for Rylant’s craft and a graph of Missing May that is real purdy.
But, seriously, read the 'good ones.' Do this for a recent adult novel like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and learn how
and when a real pro inserts plot points.
Mary-Margaret Simpson writes for gardening and outdoor magazines as well as for higher education. And if you can make any sense of that, please let her know.
Are you struggling with a writing project that seems overwhelming? All writers go through this at one time or another. Usually it means ...
You may be an author or writer who takes the time to comment on other websites. This is an effective online marketing strategy. It builds br...
by Valerie Allen When naming your characters it’s tempting to give your friends, family, or coworkers a chance for their 15 minutes o...
I sometimes run Q and A a la Ann Landers columns in my SharingwithWriters newsletter using questions that my clients ask me or that subsc...