Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 23-29, 2016

The informal writerly learnings are here!

Your #NaNoWriMo round up for the week:

Danielle Daniel discusses her memoir, The Dependent, with the ladies of The Social.

Sudbury’s Poet Laureate, Kim Fahner, writes in defense of school libraries. The Republic of Poetry

K.M. Weiland: how to properly motivate your bad guy. Helping Writers Become Authors

Roz Morris shares some thoughts on book marketing. Nail Your Novel

Robin Lovett explains why deadlines are not your worst enemy. DIYMFA

James Scott Bell: writer, this is your job. Kill Zone

Barbara O’Neal explores writing with the knowledge of time. Writer Unboxed

Dan Blank: dealing with a slump. Writer Unboxed

Karen Woodward writes in defense of constraints.

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers in the Storm: how filtering point of view affects show, don’t tell.

Marcy Kennedy blogs about conflict.

Veronica Sicoe continues her storyworld design series with transportation technologies.

Chris Saylor returns to Marcy Kennedy’s blog with his monthly editorial clarification post: “I could care less.”

Jamie Raintree shares her path to publication (part two!).

Janet Reid addresses the issue of young writers. “Publishing will break your heart. Writing will fill your heart.” Truer words . . .

Joanna Penn interviews Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith on The Creative Penn podcast.

Tamerra Griffen unpacks a situation of academic racism on Buzzfeed: a professor circles the word “hence” on Tiffany Martinez’s paper and notes “This is not your word.” Bonus: here is Tiffany’s response to the incident (linked in the Buzzfeed article).

Foz Meadows explores the relationship between romance and queerness, and the difference between genre and device. Shattersnipe

Meg Elison: if women wrote about men the way men write about women. McSweeney’s

Katherine Langrish explores death in classic fantasy. Seven Miles of Steel Thistles

Sadness. 2016 has taken so many great creators from us. Sheri S. Tepper, 1929-2016.

Award news:

The Governor General’s Award winners announced.

The OAC presents its indigenous arts protocols:

 

Joseph Boyden speaks out for the #WeMatterCampaign

 

Baihley Grandison shares a lovely infographic with untranslatable words from other languages. Writer’s Digest

Rajeev Balasubramanyam states that the Nobel committee got it wrong: Ngugi wa Thiong’o is the writer the world needs now. The Washington Post

Christopher Marlowe will be credited as Shakespeare’s co-author in New Oxford editions of the Henry VI plays. Dalya Alberge for The Guardian.

Connie Verzak considers Tobias Menzies to be the Snape of Outlander. The Daily Record

And that concludes my first and last Tipsday for the month of November.

The next Tipsday will be coming your way on December 6th, after the furor of #NaNoWriMo has subsided.

Be well until then, my writerly friends.

Honour your creative path.

Virtual hugs to the awesomesauce that is you!

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 25-Oct 1, 2016

Yup. Lots of informal writerly learnings for you this week. LOTS!

K.M. Weiland answers reader questions about scenes versus chapters. Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, Kate invites Wordplayer, Usvaldo de Leon, Jr., to share his thoughts on setting up the potential for change in character arcs.

Lisa Cron guest posts on Writers Helping Writers: how your character’s misbelief drives the plot. Later in the week, Angela Ackerman provides this amazing list of resources for writers.

Karen Woodward explores C.S. Lewis’s writing advice.

Jo Eberhardt shares her lessons learned from watching Supernatural. Writer Unboxed

Kristen Lamb shows how Girl on the Train demonstrates the two elements that all great stories share.

Barbara O’Neal responds to the Merritt Tierce article I shared last week: money and the writer. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn interviews Toby Neal on The Creative Penn podcast.

 

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writers in the Storm: five reasons your revisions aren’t working.

Erika Robuck has a message for all of us about remembering why we started writing. Writer Unboxed

Steven Pressfield digs deeper into the reasons he writes.

Jami Gold explores how to strengthen your stakes. It’s not always about going big.

Veronica Sicoe discusses story world design and choosing the right time period.

Oren Ashkenazi lists six ways flight changes a fantasy setting. Mythcreants

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: on balance versus burn-out.

It’s NaNoWriMo prep season! Joe Bunting shares ten catalysts that will help you win NaNoWriMo. The Write Practice

Catherine McKenzie unpacks the issue of audience limiting covers for books by women authors. Writer Unboxed

More fallout from the Lionel Shriver keynote:

Stephanie Saul reports on how campuses are teaching freshmen about cultural sensitivity and microaggression. The New York Times. This was the kind of thing that Janet Reid ranted about last week.

Liz Dwyer closes the diversity gap in young adult literature. Take part

Tshaka Armstrong discusses Luke Cage, Black Panther, and why superheroes of colour matter. Rotten Tomatoes

Jenny Kay Dupuis shares her grandmother’s residential school story in honour of Orange Shirt Day. CBC

Heidi Ulrichsen interviews Danielle Daniel about her new memoir. Sudbury.com. Later in the week, Danielle was interviewed on CBC Sudbury’s Morning North.

Carl Slaughter of File 770 interviews Kelly Robson.

Haralambi Markov reviews Charlotte Ashley’s body of short fiction. Tor.com

Fran Wilde’s characters aren’t defined by their disabilities. Natalie Zutter for Tor.com.

PW Radio interviews Nisi Shawl on her novel, Everfair, and Writing the Other.

Rachel Cordasco reflects on the Three Body trilogy. Tor.com

Margaret Atwood writes about re-envisioning Shakespeare’s The Tempest in her novel, Hag-Seed. The Guardian

Laura Miller muses on the haunting of Shirley Jackson. Literary Hub

Michelle Fazekas and Tara Butters, the showrunners behind Marvel’s Agent Carter, sell series ideas to various networks, including a series based on Wesley Chu’s Tao series. Deadline

Susan Spann explains when you should walk away from a publishing deal. Writer Unboxed

Ed Nawotka of Publishers Weekly says the publishing world needs more Canada.

Wallace Immen visits the Penguin Random House offices where curling up with a good book is encouraged. The Globe and Mail

Award news! The British Fantasy Award winners announced 🙂

The Scotia Bank Giller Shortlist is announced.

Martha Schabas reviews Hannah Moscovitch’s Bunny and the play’s exploration of the double standard of consent. The Globe and Mail

Tori Amos: Trump is disrespectful to all women. The singer/songwriter talks about her response to Audrie and Daisy, the role of storytelling in her creative process, and accountability. The Daily Beast

And here’s her LA Times piece on the same issues.

Thu-Huong Ha lists 30 words and phrases that will soon be eliminated from American English. Quartz

Author Hannah Kent dives into the Irish world of faith and fantasy. Donna Liu for The Guardian.

John Plotz writes about the influence of Ursula K. Le Guin. The Guardian

Matt Santori-Griffith interviews Greg Rucka on Wonder Woman and queer narrative. Comicosity

Entertainment Weekly shares a fan-made mash-up between Stranger Things and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Awesomesauce 🙂

Anne Perry recommends five Stephen King books you should read if you liked Stranger Things. Hodderscape

Estelle Tang talks to Sam Heughan about sweat, sheep-dipping, and Outlander spoilers. Elle

Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly takes a first look at Outlander’s new season. Later in the week, Lynette shares some breaking news on another actor cast for season three.

Film festival audiences say Split may be M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie yet.

 

Whew! I’m exhausted.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Sept 11-17, 2016

Tipsday is chock full of informal writerly learnings!

K.M. Weiland digs into subtext and gives practical examples for how you can identify and apply subtext in your stories. Helping writers become authors

Later in the week, Kate shares more lessons from the MCU: how to choose the right antagonist for your story.

Roz Morris offers an exercise to show how you can shape your tone in your novel. Nail your novel

Vaughn Roycroft discusses the importance of storytelling in turbulent times. Writer Unboxed

Sara Letourneau helps you find the “why” behind your story. DIYMFA

David Corbett helps you fill linguistic holes with some super fun words. Writer Unboxed

Carly Watters shares four ways to write better dialogue.

Jami Gold: when is backstory necessary? Later in the week, Jamie returns with tips on balancing your story elements.

Margie Lawson offers her rule #17: finessing backstory. Writers in the storm

David H. Safford guest posts on Writers Helping Writers with advice on hunting down story holes using a novel journal.

Janice Hardy continues her blog tour on Marcy Kennedy’s blog. Create an editorial map to make revisions easier. This is, incidentally, part of my process 🙂

Karen Woodward explores short story structure.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Jerry Jenkins on DIYMFA radio.

Christine Frazier compares Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Better Novel Project

Janet Reid shares six reasons she said “no,” recently.

Frances Caballo guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog. A social media strategy that works: CARE about your readers.

Tim Grahl shares his perspective on the effectiveness of Facebook as a marketing tool for authors.

Authors offer their best writing tips. The Guardian

The Baltimore Sun shares John E. McIntyre’s “trigger warning” from his editing class at Loyola University, Maryland.

Moira Donegan covers the Emily Books Symposium session: what is women’s writing? The Awl

Kerry Gold’s L’affaire Galloway explores the UBC incident in its context and subtext (because there’s so much that hasn’t been stated). The Walrus

Janet Reid shares her thoughts on the difference between racism and using potentially offensive language in context in response to one college’s unequivocal idea of cultural sensitivity.

Mary Robinette Kowal offers a textile metaphor for cultural appropriation.

Jim C. Hines unpacks Lionel Shriver’s speech on cultural appropriation.

And here’s Foz Meadows’ response to Lionel Shriver.

Related (because it occured at the same literary festival): a journalist quotes a writer without permission. Liz Spayd for The New York Times.

Award news! Sunburst Award winners announced!

Literary Hub interviews the Biblioasis Bookstore in Windsor.

Wordstock, Sudbury’s literary festival. Nov 3-5, 2016. CBC

Canadian literati are coming to Sudbury for Wordstock. South Side Story

Last week marked the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth. Here are a couple of the articles that were posted in tribute.

Shane Koyczan: 152 (audio only)

 

Wasn’t sure where to put this mixed bit of news. Sad to have lost him, but end-of-life issues are never simple and I honour his right to make this decision. Author W.P. Kinsella ended his life last week under Canada’s new assisted dying legislation. The Guardian

Take a look at Salvador Dali’s paintings of Alice in Wonderland. The Earth Child

Seanan McGuire digs into Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin. Tor.com

Joel Minty offers advice to first-time readers of Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon. Tor.com

Alex Brown reviews the fall 2016 television SFF line up for Tor.com.

Germaine Lussier reports that Disney’s new production of A Wrinkle in Time has its lead. i09

The Curiosity is a fairy tale film about selkies 😀 Germaine Lussier for i09.

Connie Verzak offers some fodder for Droughtlander sufferers. The Daily Record

Hope you enjoyed, my creative friends.

See you on Thursday for some thoughty 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 24-30, 2016

Yummy, soul-feeding stuff this week.

The first post of the week for K.M. Weiland was intensely personal. It was also inspirational. It was exactly what I needed to read as the world around me seems to be falling to pieces (though that’s more apparent in my Thoughty Thursday curation posts, of late). Read it, my writerly friends, and take heart. This is why we write: five reasons why writing is important to the world. Later in the week she cautions us: don’t make this mistake with story structure.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. Once more with feeling: writing emotionally strong characters.

Chris Winkle offers five ways to restore tension in your novel. Mythcreants.

Two of my favourite writerly women: Joanna Penn interviews Roz Morris for the Creative Penn podcast. Finding your author voice.

Katharine Britton guest posts on Writer Unboxed. On the road to a first draft: when you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.

Marcy Kennedy is back with part four of her reading as a writer series.

Kelly Harms: writing a book takes how long, now? Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold shares more lessons learned from her recent RWA conference. Do you belong, or are you a fraud?

Shawn Coyne wonders if good enough is good enough . . . This post was a bit controversial for a friend. Yes, we need mentors; we need editors. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with learning through experimentation, practice, and study, however. The idea that writers aren’t good enough, that they can’t be good enough without the intervention of others can result in sensitive creatives believing that they are inherently worthless. Or, it can result in the following problems, which can be just as bad . . . Just sayin’.

Karen Woodward encourages us to let go of perfectionism.

Kristen Lamb explores stress and burnout . . . and how to get your writerly mojo back.

Heather Webb has some advice on what to do when you feel like you’re treading water. Writer Unboxed.

Kameron Hurley: the wisdom of the grind.

Jane Friedman offers a definition of author platform.

Constance Renfrow writes about the do’s and don’ts of query letters. DIYMFA. AND . . . I had the opportunity to guest post on DIYMFA thanks to my participation in Gabriela’s Street Team! Five things I’ve learned from being on the DIYMFA Street Team.

Camille DeAngelis says that having her book go out of print was a pretty great thing, after all. Publishers Weekly.

Lynn Neary: can serialized fiction turn binge watchers into binge readers? NPR.

Sudburian Matthew Heiti wins the Carter v. Cooper competition! The Northern Life.

Working girls: the Bröntes. Elizabeth Hardwick for The New York Review of Books.

Alex Kulaev for BookBaby: The Jungle Book is a beautiful film with flawed storytelling.

Orange is the New Black’s Samira Wiley joins the cast of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Amy McNeill for The National Post.

Katherine Trendacosta thinks Christophe Gans’ La Belle et La Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is the most beautiful thing she’s seen in ages. i09

We are not things: shining examples of women’s autonomy in science fiction. Delia Harrington for The MarySue.

Babylon 5’s Jerry Doyle dies at the age of 60. Sadness 😦 James Whitbrook for i09.

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, July 17-23, 2016

I am pleased to present your informal writerly learnings for the week.

K.M. Weiland: four ways to verify if your story concept is strong enough. Helping writers become authors. Also: four places to find the best story conflict.

You know what your novel means, but does your reader? Roz Morris advises that you approch the problem with two mindsets. Nail your novel.

Liz Lazzara guest posts on Writer Unboxed. Storytelling: an exercise in empathy.

Jeanne Kisacky: the synergy of the first draft, whether you trim or embellish. Writer Unboxed.

Dan Blank presents a hobbit’s guide to launching your book. Writer Unboxed.

Pamela Hodges lists fourteen books that should be on every writer’s shelf. The Write Practice.

Jennifer Louden guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog: five ways to develop your writer’s voice.

Karen Woodward: never give up your dreams.

Chris Winkle offers seven common causes of reader confusion. Mythcreants.

Gail Carriger lends her expertise to Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. How to write (and how not to write) an author bio.

Derek Newman-Stille interviews Kate Story for Through the Twisted Woods.

The Writer’s Block features Matt Murphy.

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab writes about the slow pursuit of overnight success.

Writing as resistance. Chris Hedges for Truth Dig.

Keeping up with the Wangs. (SF related.) The Economist.

Grant Munroe interviews Margaret Atwood for Literary Hub.

Gabrielle Bellot explains why Calvin and Hobbes is great literature. Literary Hub.

This live-action Futurama fan film is both incredibly impressive and creepy. Bryan Menegus for i09.

Coldplay and Michael J. Fox play a tribute to Back to the Future. The Hollywood Reporter.

The Vulture lists every major film reference in Stranger Things. This series is full of homage. Lurve.

John Squires shares what Stephen King thinks about Stranger Things. iHorror.

Germain Lussier presents the first Wonder Woman trailer. Yum! i09

Come back Thursday ya’ll and get ya’s some thoughty 🙂

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 11-17, 2015

I am so tired . . . but more about that on the weekend. In the meantime, enjoy some Writerly Goodness!

Agent Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary guest posts on Anne R. Allen’s blog: You may not need an agent, but why you may want one anyway.

Karen Woodward outlines her critique process.

The anatomy of a kick-ass query letter, from DIYMFA.

Eight query tips no one tells writers from agent Carly Watters.

Writing a synopsis. Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

How to turn a short story into a novel. Roz Morris helps you Nail Your Novel.

How to transition to your story’s climax with a gatekeeper by Christine Frazier of the Better Novel Project.

Advice about advice from Jamie Raintree.

Then, Jamie posted this over on Writers in the Storm: four steps to happy writing productivity. Who says you can’t be happy and productive?

Delilah S. Dawson guest posts on Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds. 25 lifehacks for writers from a hack writer 🙂

Nnedi Okorafor looks at why science fiction created by African writers is still considered alien.

Quill & Quire previews spring 2015 books.

Buzzfeed compiles a list of 33 of the creepiest lines in fiction.

From Elle: How many women does it take to create the perfect sex scene? You know which one we’re talking about, don’t you? Oh yeah. Outlander: The Wedding.

The latest Outlander trailer for the second half of season one:

 

And . . . an Outlander soundtrack! In case you love the music as much as the show (and the novels) 🙂

The science of Game of Thrones. It’s okay to be smart.

 

And that she be it for this Tipsday!

Buh-bye, la!

Tipsday

What a lovely way to start the New Year!

sunshineawardHey y’all!  Jay Morris of The Wayward Journey nominated Writerly Goodness for the Sunshine Award 🙂  As Jay says in his post, it was the result one of his resolutions: to encourage other bloggers and foster community online.  I think that’s a worthy goal.

First, thanks!  It’s nice to be recognized by your fellow bloggers.

Second, here are the rules:

  1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  2. Post the award image to your page.
  3. Tell seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 other blogs.
  5. Let them know they are nominated.

Numbers 1 and 2 are already taken care of, so without further ado, here are seven facts about me:

  1. I’m a writing geek (really?).  That is, I love words, grammar (yes, grammar), and the whole shebang.  I get excited when I write; I don’t even have to be writing particularly well.  Writing is my friend, therapist, and spiritual practice rolled into one.
  2. I’ve been married for eighteen and a half years to a wonderful man.  Phil’s my BFF, inspirator (conspirator in inspiration), and makes me laugh my hoop off at least once a day.  Yup.  I’m hoopless 😀
  3. I haven’t taken down the Christmas decorations yet, in violation of the standing practice to pack them away January 1st.  Maybe I’ll get to it by Ukrainian Christmas?  Sadly doubtful.  Before the end of January though, for sure.
  4. I need to know the rules, but often, once I’ve figured them out, I find my own way forward.
  5. I think my Mom is a “cool mom.”
  6. I’m terrible at traditional correspondence.  I have a friend who, without fail, sends birthday, anniversary, occasional, and sometimes just-for-the-heck-of-it cards.  I always get a postcard from her on every vacation.  I admire, and secretly envy, this friend 🙂
  7. After work, I transform into “comfort woman.” She’s a strange creature, who wears flannel and sits at her computer all night … writing, yeah, that’s it … writing.

Now, here are my ma-nominations (doo-doo-da-doo-doo!).  Yes, I’m a Muppet maniac 🙂

  1. Laura Conant Howard – Finding Bliss  Fantastic site with all kinds of interviews and book features.  Her new book, The Forgotten Ones, is coming out soon!  Also follow Laura on FB and Twitter.  She will often share when good books are on special – bonus!
  2. Khara House – Our Lost Jungle  Khara is fabulous, and so is her site.  She has led several great challenges over the past year that have kept me motivated.  Her current: I ❤ my blog.  Yup.  I’m in it.
  3. Karen Woodward  Karen is a prolific blogger and has a variety of good advice to offer.
  4. Kim Fahner – The Republic of Poetry  Kim is a poet and a teacher, and waxes lyrical on many topics.  Just love her 🙂
  5. Vikki Thompson – The View Outside  Vikki invites us to follow along on her writing journey.  There’s always something interesting going on at The View Outside 🙂
  6. Sarah Rios – Riosfan  Sarah is hilarious!  Become her minion on G+ too and get all the fangrrl goods 🙂
  7. Lara Britt – Writing Space  Lara is a working writer in Hawaii.  What a wonderful place to be 🙂
  8. Claudia Karabaic Sargent – CKSWarriorQueen  Another one of my Wordsmith Studio connections (as are Lara B, Lara S, and Khara).
  9. Lara Schiffbauer – Motivation for Creation  Her Funny Friday Photos are always a hoot and I love feeding her fish 🙂  Also, check out her book Finding Meara.
  10. Brian Braden  Brian’s WIP, Black Sea Gods is moving toward publication.  He’s been supportive of my project and I just want to return the favour 🙂

There were a lot of blogs that I wanted to feature.  If yours isn’t in here, I mean no disrespect.

TTFN blogging buds 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow with I ❤ my blog, and the Pupdate 🙂

Two approaches to novel structure I recommend you check out!

I’m no expert with regard to writing a novel.  Admittedly, I’m still revising my first one, and while I’ve had some modest success with my poetry and short stories, I’m a complete n00b when it comes to the mechanics of the novel.  I’m learning as I go and I’ll share these bumbling lessons in my Work in Progress category, but for this week’s Alchemy Ink, I thought I’d do a little curating.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve come across two of approaches that attracted me and that I intend to follow through to their blogging conclusions.

Why did I gravitate to these two writing bloggers?

The short answer is that I’m floundering.  I’m working with a peer group in Author Salon and part of that entails the presentation of my project in a formatted profile.  I’ve never queried an agent before, never participated in a pitch slam, or in a workshop that focuses on developing a pitch, hook, synopsis, or any of the other components of the profile.

In recent weeks, both the critiques of my peers and the advice of AS staff have brought several things to my attention:

  • My synopsis misses the mark.  The synopsis we’re asked to produce for the AS profile must be between 200 and 300 words and so is what’s been described to me as the short synopsis.  This is something that might fit into a query letter and could be analogous to the blurb on the back of a book.  The specific form still escapes me at the moment.
  • My hook line doesn’t ‘hook.’
  • My conflict statement isn’t well-defined.  My plot is very complicated and I can’t seem to distil everything into a concise, yet clear statement that addresses internal, interpersonal, and plot level conflicts.
  • I didn’t have a series title, and the title of the novel didn’t resonate with most of my readers.  This is still in flux.  I’ve chosen a series title and changed the working title of the novel, but there were reasons that I chose the original.  I won’t go into those here, but at least one peer thinks the original was better.
  • My original novel was far too long.  I’ve had to cut it in half and that’s changed a whole whack of things.  When initially confronted with this, I was defensive, and unwilling to move, but after my initial panic, I recognized that I didn’t have to take the scorched earth policy and destroy what was a 295,000 word opus.  So I’ve chosen to break the novel up, using the mid-point as the new climax and am editing down from there to a neat 110,000 words.
  • My climax and denouement are not well defined.  This owes to the above re-envisioning of my novel.  Reworking a mid-point to a climax has brought with it its own challenges.

Other issues have become apparent to me in the process:

  • My protagonist’s story arc is not dynamic in its early stages.  There’s a lot of internal conflict, and some interpersonal, but not much that relates overtly to the plot.  It all relates to the larger story arc, but that doesn’t become apparent until later on in the novel.
  • There’s a lot of disembodiment going on.  This is a tough one.  I can fix the POV issues that contribute to some of this, but dream/out of body experiences and shamanic journeying are central to the story.  I’ll have to let this incubate for a while and write through some of the possibilities.

I’m going to need some help working through all of this.

So what are the two approaches already?

Karen Woodward and the Starburst method

I caught on to Woodward with Part 3 and backtracked through her blog posts from there.  There are ten parts/steps to the process, so I’m going to be following Woodward through them from here on out.

Part 1 entails creating a one sentence description of your story.  This equates to what, in screenwriting circles, is called a log line, or what AS is calling the hook line.  That alone made my Writerly Goodness ears perk up (Didn’t know my authorial alter ego was a dog?  Take a look at the site mascot 😛 ).

Part 2 takes that one sentence and creates from it a five sentence paragraph.  This might make a zippy short synopsis.  Woodward discusses the three act structure here as well, another takeaway from the screenwriting world that has been successfully applied to novel writing.

Part 3 expands each sentence into its own paragraph.  By now, I think I have a decent idea of where the Starburst method is heading, but I’m still curious enough to follow through with it and see where it leads me.

K.M. Weiland and the Secrets of Story Structure

Late to the party with Weiland as well, I didn’t pick up on her series until part three, and was reminded of it this week when Porter Anderson reposted a link to part five in this week’s edition of Jane Friedman’s Writing on the Ether.

Why I like Weiland’s approach

What struck me immediately was that Weiland’s secrets are both organic in nature, having emerged from her own process and experience, and very clear.  Ideas and insight started to pop as soon as I read her first post.

Part 1 answers the question: Why should authors care?  It made complete sense to me.

Part 2 deals with the hook in its story structure form as opposed to the hook line that AS wants.   Still, the way Weiland describes the hook offers insight into what (perhaps) should and shouldn’t be present in a hook line.  It’s the question that the protagonist, and therefore the reader, needs to answer.  For the writer, it propels the plot; for the protagonist, it sets her feet on the hero’s journey; and for the reader, it keeps him or her reading until the question is answered.

Part 3 covers the first act.  How do you introduce your characters, the setting, and the plot stakes?

Part 4 defines and illustrates the first plot point.  What is the first major plot point and how does it differ from the inciting incident and the key event?

Part 5 goes into more detail with regard to the inciting incident and the key event.  At each stage, Weiland uses the same set of examples to illustrate what she’s talking about and solidifies the takeaways in point form at the end of her posts.  Excellent blogging form 🙂

These last three together are important factors to consider in writing the first part of your novel, what AS calls your “First 50 Pages,” but admits could be as many as 100 pages.  This is also part of what’s critiqued  in the AS process and something I may have to rewrite substantially.

I’ll summarize by reiterating my invitation to check out both of these blogs.

Have you come across any excellent online resources regarding novel or story structure?  Please share!