Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Up the Ante

One of my favorite books is ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ by Baroness Orczy. Recently I spotted it on Netflix, and my husband, who prefers movies to books, suggested we watch it. There are three episodes and we have watched the first two. Last night as we watched the ending (spoiler alert) I noted something. The informant told the revolutionaries – who control the government and ‘Madame la Guillotine’ – that the supporters of the republic (and the king), led by Vicomte Henri would attack Calais in the morning along with the Scarlet Pimpernel and his accomplice.

I expected that somehow the Pimpernel and his group would discover that the revolutionaries knew their plan. This did not happen. Morning came and they attacked Calais and a bloody battle ensued. That high stress situation was brilliantly played out on me, the viewer. I did not know how they were going to get out of the mess they marched into. As writers, those kinds of situations ‘hook’ our readers and keep them wanting more, wanting to find out how things work themselves out. So ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen to my protagonist(s) right now?” It makes for heightened adventures and I’ve-consumed-a-whole-bag-of-chocolates-without-realizing-it reading! Write On!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Critique Group

There are two things I do for myself each month almost without fail if I am in town. One is bunco and the other is my ANWA chapter meeting. This is my time out with my girlfriends and I love it. LOVE IT! Did I mention that I love it??? So, today we had our ANWA chapter meeting. What a great group of writers*! I came away energized and excited about writing, yet feeling like it's time to step away from free writing and do some plotting and a character bible. There are so many great resources out there for helping novice writers and I need to take advantage.

My father-in-law has a saying: "Pay me now or pay me later." Essentially, you have to pay one way or the other. I can either take the time now to plot and plan the basics or I can free write like crazy and spend a serious amount of time editing and re-writing and figuring out plot holes and what does/doesn't work in the end.

Why do I avoid it? I don't know the answer to that because the character bible class I took at LDStorymakers Conference was so much fun. Plus, I want a really strong character arc and I think that takes more planning than I have put in so far and I think it will be an aspect that is easier knowing up front. So much for being excited about my increasing word count... This week I'll be doing some of the "behind-the-scenes" stuff and hopefully it will turn an average story into a classic.

Dream Big and Write On!

*Check out the blogs of two of these writers: Tamara and Valerie. They rock!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One More Month

One more month of summer vacation. I loved summer vacation as a child. It meant the beloved bookmobile every other Tuesday. We would ride our bikes a few miles to the town park with our book-bags. We checked in our stacks and were so excited to see what new adventures would be waiting on the shelves. We left with lots of new stories to read. Mysteries and sci-fi were my favorite until I got older and then it was romantic suspense.

My parents had a pink over-stuffed chair that sat on the covered front porch. I loved draping my legs over one arm and lounging there for hours in far-away places with fantastic characters. Of course, none of that could be done until all my chores where finished. We lived on a small farm, so there was plenty to do, but I had great motivation for getting it done. It's hard for me to understand not loving books! I hope that what I write will someday inspire someone to read more and at least like reading. So for now, read on!