Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Character Names

I don't know about you but I just HAVE to have my characters named before I can start to get to know them. Of course, occasionally I have to change names in mid story but not often.

One way I like to come up with characters is to browse name lists. Not only is this a good way to discover characters but names often lead to ideas.

It's time to start coming up with names for our characters.

Here's a couple good names sites to spend time at.

Behind the Name

Mystic Names

Magical Names

20,000 Names

Seventh Sanctum

If you have any others, please share them in the comment thread.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Benefits of Reading

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write." Stephen King

When I was growing up I read all the time. During the hour ride on the school bus to school, when I should have been doing math and all the other stuff, again on the bus ride home, at night under the covers with a flashlight when I should have been sleeping and any other time I could sneak in a few minutes.

One of my favorite things about going to my grand mother's house as a teen was she had a huge amount of paperback books and didn't restrict my reading. In fact, I read things I probably shouldn't have, and that I'd not want my kids reading at the same age. But the great thing was we'd both get a book, settle in bed and read until at least midnight or so, have a midnight snack and then read some more. I read horror, fantasy, gothic, romance, thrillers, mysteries,westerns and even some erotica.

Not only was I exposed to many different genres, I was exposed to both good and bad writing. And because of that, (I think) good writing is easier to spot. It's not easier to do...unfortunately.

Saturday I had the chance to spend a couple hours at Books a Million. I studied some books in the genre I'm writing to see how my writing compares along with finding a new author I like.

Another benefit of being well read, especially in the genre you are writing is that you become aware of the things to avoid.

So...even though we're about to start writing like mad, take time to read a good book. Not only will you learn something, you might come up with an idea or two and besides, it's a great way to relax.

I'll be reading Green by Ted Dekker. I've promised to review it for the publisher. How cool!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just a reminder...

I've spent the last hour searching in vain for a website I had in my favorites on the old computer. But, I just can't find it. I don't know the addy, and can't come up with the keywords to locate it. I'm totally at a loss.

And I'm really annoyed. It was one of my favorite sites to pick fantasy names. I'm hoping to be able to put my hard drive into another computer and get the addy but that's not going to happen for a while.


If you have a favorite link...write it down somewhere. Don't rely on your memory or your computer. Something will happen and you could lose it.

Same thing with your writing. Please back it up on a regular more than one place and manner. If nothing else, at least email it to yourself.

I'm off to sulk and self-medicate with chocolate.

Write well!!!

Word Counts - Calendars - Schedules apology. I totally spaced on getting a post up last night so it'd be here this morning. We had a LONG Saturday and I'm still a bit sleep deprived. I didn't think about blogging until about an hour ago.

Now... During November, the goal is to write 50k in 30 days. That equals 1,667 words a day.

However, many of us don't get to write every day of the month. So, it's time to get your calendars out, count just how many days you'll be able to write and then figure out how many words you'll need to write each day to get your 50k.

Next, check your schedule. Make an appointment with yourself on each of those days. That's your writing time. No one can take it from you, no one is more important.

Me, I figure I'll have 21 days in Nov. since I generally don't write on weekends. I may on a Sat. or two but Sundays are just out of it for me. That means I'll need to get right around 2,400 words a day. And that's not out of reach. Several times the past month or so I've gotten that many down without working at it.

Don't let the number scare you. That's why we plan our novels in advance. We'll have a roadmap so we won't be wandering along not knowing where were going.

Have you come up with a general idea yet? Got a character or situation in mind? Start pondering cause it won't be long and we'll start the serious planning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Avoid negative sources, people. places, things, and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don't give up and don't give in.
Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.
Family and friends are hidden treasures. Seek them and enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to.
Hang on to your dreams.
Ignore those who try to discourage you.
Just do it.
Keep trying no matter how hard it seems , it will get easier.
Love yourself first and most.
Make it happen.
Never lie, cheat or stea, always strike a fair deal.
Open your eyes and see things how they really are.
Practice makes perfect.
Quitters never win, winners never quit.
Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.
Stop procrastinating.
Take control of your own destiny.
Understand yourself in order to understand others.
Visualize it.
Want it more than anything.
Xcellerate your efforts.
You are unique of all God's creation, nothing can replace you.
Zero in on your target and go for it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's all about attitude...

I found this quote the other day and liked it so much I just had to share it.

You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair--the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page. Stephen King in "On Writing"

So, how do you approach the act of writing?

I've decided to take the "fits clenched, eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take names" approach.

Watch out shoulder vultures. Writer at work!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Writer's Block

I don't believe in writer's block.

However, I do believe there are things that interfere with our writing if we let them. And sometimes, even if we don't.

For example, life tends to throw the enexpected at us when we least expect it, or when we least can afford to be distracted.

Pressures at work or with relationships can also interfere. Or, the fact that we've taken on too much.

And what about health stuff? Allergies, hormones (for us females) and even the amount of sleep we get can take a toll on our writing.

Sometimes our friends and family can be hinderances. Even our own attitudes can de detrimental.

As we begin to plan for NaNoWriMo, take a few minutes to think about things you can deal with now that will make the month of November easier.

Can you prepare some meals in advance and freeze them or perhaps bargain with your spouse or kids to take on some extra chores. And really, if things get a little dusty during November, who cares.:-)

Planning your novel in advance will help also. The first time I took part in NaNoWriMo, I did no planning and had to take a couple days about halfway in to do that planning.

Also, check your schedule now and see what things you can either move to Oct. or Dec.

Thanksgiving is the biggest distraction during November as we write. Is there another family member who would just love to have everyone over this year? Or, if everyone does gather at your place, how about having them bring parts of the meal That way you won't have to do everything.

Anyone else have any tips to make things easier?

Monday, September 21, 2009

POV - Which one?

The mystery novel I've been working on has really worked me over on POV. When I originally started the thing, I started out in third person. At the time, I'd never done anything in first person so didn't feel comfy with it. I was happy with the third person version of it but after playing with first person a time or two started wondering if I had the right POV.

So, I rewrote the start of the novel in first person and while I really liked it, I sent it to a friend who has more practice with first person to get her take on it. And, she loved it. To be sure, I gave it to my oldest daughter (18 and quite a reader)for her opinion. She loved the MC's voice and another writer who read it also commented on her voice and how fun it was. That was all I needed to start over in first person.

I got about 15k on the puter and started wondering if I'd chosen the right POV afterall. I told myself to suck it up, just finish the rough draft and that I could go back and change it back to third later during revisions if I thought I needed to.

But, I'm at right at 45k and still being nagged by the shoulder vultures on whether I picked the right POV. So, last night I chatted with my mentor about it and after much pondering decided that I was using the wrong POV.

This morning I started by adding a scene from a second character whose POV I hadn't been able to use since he wasn't the MC. This scene made up ch. 2 so I revised ch. 1 and started a new novel doc with it in third person. But as I worked on it, I realized he'd have ch. 2, maybe ch. 5 or 6 and then 10.

I also realized I was losing a lot of the MC's voice that I loved and didn't want to lose. So, I scraped all the third person stuff, (well, I saved it in a seperate file, I hate to delete stuff) and now I'm happy with my first person choice.

Not only does it feel right with me, it's the best POV for the story. And, when you get right down to's the story that matters.

I know y'all probably aren't terribly interested in my POV problems but I felt I needed to share this with y'all because it could happen to you.

Settling on a POV for your novel isn't a "decide once and that's it" thing. If the one you start in doesn't work, you can change it. You aren't limited to your original choice.

So, if you decide mid-novel that the POV you're working in isn't working, just change and continue on. You can go back during the revision stage and fix things.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Point of View - Whose

Point of View or POV as we shorten it to, is a complicated matter at times.

First...let's take about POV as it relates to character. The best way to figure out whose POV the story should be told in is to decide who has the biggest stake in the story.

Whether it's the most to lose, most to gain or most interesting story, who will be telling the story is an important decision.

This is something you really can't decide until you get some plotting done. You need to know at least a basic idea of the story and what's going to happen. It doesn't have to be a complete outline, but if you don't know the stakes, you can't know who should be telling the story.

Most of the time, once you get some idea of the story this is fairly obvious. But sometimes, another character may be more interesting or more fun to write.

Another thing to think about is how many characters you want telling the story and what each of them bring to the table.

I once read a novel by a best selling writer that had about ten different POV characters. By the time I got connected with one and into their story, he switched POVs and started with another character. It was seriously annoying.

So, how many POV characters do you like to work with? How many do you think is too many?

Be sure to scroll back to the post on Reliability Buddies and if you'd like to take part, leave a note in the comments. I'll give everyone at least a week or so before doing anything with those interested.

And last of all, be sure to set your daily word count goals but make sure they aren't out of reach. You want to be challenged, but not overwhelmed.

Have a great week and write well!:-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reliability Buddies this great post from Procrastinating Writers.

Then, if you'd like to have or be a reliability buddy leave your name in the comments. If we have enough folks interested, we'll form either a team or group of some sort. And don't be put off by the word group. I know y'all have more than enough on your platter and I don't want to add something that's going to tip the platter.:-)

When you have time, spend it over at Procrasting Writer and read the archives. They have some great posts.

Remember, if you don't get it on paper, you can't revise it or sell it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Link Salad

Here's a couple great links...

StoryFix - A new series of posts on characters has just started. And be sure to check out the series on story structure.

KillZone - This is a post by James Scott Bell on writing action scenes.

Lawrence Block on Writing This is such a good post. Even if you don't write mysteries, there is a great message for every writer.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Writers - How many do you have?

Steps to Plotting a Thriller

When a Scene Isn't Working


Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I read a lot of different writing blogs, agents, editors, and authors. Each one has different information. Some I use, some I ignore. Tonight, while reading an agent blog, someone in the comments mentioned the need for a mentor.

Mentors are great! I have a "part time" mentor of sorts. She's a very good friend, a published author with a major house, several times over and very knowledgeable in the craft. And while she doesn't mind helping me out when I ask, I seriously hate asking because she is asked so often and has to turn down many of those requests. Therefore, I save my requests for help until I really, really, really need it.

I don't know about you, but I'd love to have a group of mentors. Mentors who know all the things I don't such as grammar and punctuation.

This is where critique groups come in. A good critique group is priceless. And, they come in all different shapes and sizes. Many are specific to genre and consist of more advanced writers. Many are general, with all craft levels involved.

You can become involved in online critique groups or groups that meet in person.

A couple things to think about in an online group...

Are the submissions protected from the public? Many forum boards have critique areas and while many times it's not a problem, some publishers consider anything posted online and available to the public as published and you've lost your first rights.

If possible, read some critiques to get the feel of those doing them. Are they helpful or more of the ego-stroking kind? Or, even worse, are the critquers just showing off how much they know?

Remember, critiques are just opinions though. So, be sure to take them with a grain of salt. Consider the critiquer's knowledge and publishing history. any recommendations for good critique groups?

What do you look for in a critique group?

What would you hate to find in a critique group?

And, how do y'all feel about mentors? Would you like to have one? Would you like to be one?

I look forward to your comments!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The eyes have it...

Boy, do they ever!

Friday night, our local (well, not so local for me) writing group met. We had a nice meeting and then several people wanted to read things for critique.

Now, I'll admit, this is one of the things that may not bother others, but it drives me nuts.

Check these sentences out.

She rolled her eyes at him.

She caught his eye.

Here's what I think when I see these sentences.

She rolled her eyes. Across the floor, like dice? Hope no one steps on them.

She caught his eye. Good thing she caught it...I'd hate for her to miss and it get lost in the grass.

Yeah, I know, these are common in our writing but really, can't we say it better somehow?

One of the readers read "The lake stood..." Really? It stood? How'd it do that?

A friend told me she once wrote, "She pulled the throw up over her shoulder." Ewwwww!!!

All this ranting to say, be careful what you write. Think about what you mean to say and then say it.

Now, go write something!!!

Oh...Monday I managed almost 1,200 words. I'm officially over halfway at a little over 42k.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Getting Started...

I've been studying story structure for a while now and it's really very interesting. When you get right down to it, it's sorta like a jigsaw puzzle that just has to be put together properly.

I'm not going to even try to do a post on structure. I don't know enough about it myself and others have done such great jobs explaining it that anything I'd add would only take away.'s a great series on structure. StoryFix It's an eleven part series and he really breaks it down into easy to understand bites.

There is a LOT of great information on the StoryFix site. Next week, he's doing a seven part series on the art and craft of characterization.

Also...Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. I LOVE this book. It's one of my favorite writing books and has a special place on my keeper shelf. Though it does spend quite a bit of time in my stack of books I'm reading. This on is really nice because it has lots of examples along with exercises at the end of each chapter to put into practice the things you learn.

Remember to set your daily writing goals and make the writing a priority. If you don't take your writing serious, no one else will either.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


First the backstory...

I'm working on a mystery novel for a workshop in May of next year. I need a ready to pitch manuscript so I've been working like mad. It takes place from Halloween to Thanksgiving so I don't have that long of a time frame to keep up with.

To keep things sorta straight, I printed out a calendar of Nov. '95 (year novel is set in) and then added the major events to the day they happened. It worked out pretty good. Until I lost my calendar page and decided I really didn't need it anyway.

Today I realized I'd managed to screw up the timeline of events and spent most of the morning cutting and pasting scenes into the correct order and then having to tweak things to get back on the right track.

I've got a hole in the middle now that I have to go back and fix though.

So, the lesson I've learned is...keep the timeline handy and check it ever so often.:-)

There are several ways you can do timelines. I did the calendar page but if your novel spans a longer period of time, you might want to consider using a roll of butcher paper and making a scroll type timeline.

Some writing programs have timelines too. At one time, I had Liquid Story Binder which I really liked but lost it in the puter crash. I'm not sure about the others so if you use a writing software, how about letting us know.

Remember, this doesn't have to be a formal timeline. And it can change and grow as needed. It isn't a rigid guideline you'll be held to at all costs.

It's a tool to help keep the story on the right track.

For practice, timeline your favorite novel or movie.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inspiration Tips

Ever feel totally uninspired? Like your brain has taken an unscheduled vacation without letting you know?

I'm feeling that way tonight. It could be the fact I wrote over 2,300 words today on novel. And not easy words either. My two main characters are at odds with each other and it wasn't the easiest scene to write. Or, it could be I'm just tired. Heck if I know.:-)

So, tonight I'm taking the evening off. I'm going to take a long hot bath, have some chocolate and relax a bit. Along with a good night's sleep, that should recharge the batteries.

But I realized that as we progress through the coming months together, and especially during November when we're writing like mad, we're going to have days when we aren't inspired.

What are your favorite ways to recharge your batteries? Me, I like chocolate, some time away from the computer and driving as if I was on the NASCAR circuit. It's also helpful for me to change from computer to pen and paper.

Share your favorite ways to recharge? did your writing day go? Did you reach your word count goal? Have you decided your writing goals?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I am responsible...

I read a LOT of books on writing.  From basic craft issues to revising to promoting and while I may not use every suggestion, I do take a little from this book, a bit from this other book and some from that one over there and a smidge from this one here.  I then add it all together and get what works for me.  And that's what you should do too.

One of the books I've read lately is Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz.  I really like this book.  It discusses how to use your personal strengths to grow an author platform.  And it's actually something that we can start thinking about now so I highly recommend the book if you are serious about a career as a writer.

One thing I that really struck a chord with me is the fact that I am 100% responsible for the success of my writing career, 100% of the time.  There are so many things that I can control in my quest to become the best writer possible.  Yes, there are things I can't control such as the market and what's selling and what's not but my job is to write the best book possible, then find the right agent or publisher for it. 

If I've done the writing part correct, selling will take care of itself.

James Scott Bell wrote a post on The Kill Zone about this very thing not long ago.  Check it out when it get the chance...and if you write mystery or thrillers, then add this to your favorites list.  They have a LOT of great info.

My thought for the day is...decide what you want from your writing.  Do you want that brass ring, best selling novel or will you be happy with a small press or even self-publishing?  Set some goals.  Then, make your writing a priority.

Set a daily word count quota as mentioned in the last post.  Then stick to it.  Figure out when your best time to write is and set an appointment with your computer and write.  Tell those who would distract you that you have to write.  Don't let the day to day things rob you of your writing dream.

Monday, September 7, 2009


One of the most important things any writer can do is to commit to their writing, to make it a priority. It's also a hard thing to do since there's so many things demanding our time and attention.
So…now's the time to make that commitment.

When we tackle a 50k novel during the month of November, the daily word count needed to accomplish this task is around 1,700. But, instead of starting with such a mountain of words, let's start with something easier to swallow.

Here's the challenge.

Pick a number of words you believe you can write each day. If that number happens to be 50, then write 50 words each day. Heck, if it happens to be 1, 10 or 100, write them. Make the commitment to write each day.

This isn't a race to see who can write the most each day, but a way to get into the habit of taking that time each day to make writing a priority.

When I put myself on an internet diet, I decided 500 was a reasonable number to work toward. I call it my "First 500" and once I get them done, anything else is a bonus. But if I happen to get distracted and only get those 500, then I'm done for the day and don't have to feel guilty about not writing.

So, pick your number. Let us know your goal and then check in each day and let us know how you are doing in the comment section so we can cheer for and encourage each other.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Holiday Weekend

Yesterday we talked about discipline and writing on a regular basis.  Today I say...take a regular break from your writing.  By taking a break from writing, when you get back, you're ready and eager to get started.

I take the weekends off.  Sunday is spent in church so there's no time for writing then and Saturday between hubby, kids, errands and such, I'm not in the right frame of mind.  Normally I don't even blog on the weekends but everyone's still asleep  and the house is quite for a bit.

Weekends off also gives me time to do some reading.  And reading is so important for writers.  It gives us a chance to see how other writers are crafting their stories.  The more we read and write, the better our own craft becomes.

So, take the weekend off, enjoy your family or friends.  Read a good book, relax and get ready to write next week.:-)

Tell us what you're reading...

I'll be reading Red by Ted Dekker.  I found him last month while at Mom's and love, love, love his work.  He writes Christian suspense that leaves me speechless.  The first of his I read was Thr3e.  You can read my review of it here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I have to admit, I don't do discipline well. I think it has something to do with the time I spent in the military. I'm not very organized either, though I've gotten better in the last several years.
What's discipline got to do with writing you ask?

Just this…if you want to write a novel within a reasonable amount of time, you have to be disciplined. This means writing on a regular basis. It's one of the things that serious writers have in common. They write on a schedule. They make their writing a priority.

I had problems with this. Call it procrastination or call it lazy but it isn't a good thing. So, followed the advice of many writers and decided to make writing a priority for me. To make it something important in my daily routine.

About this time, James Scott Bell tweeted about completing his Nifty 350. Meaning, his goal for the day is 350 words, written in the mornings. I took this idea and ran with it, so to speak.

I decided on a "First 500" and put my self on an internet diet. Harsh yes, but it's really working. I take my laptop into the bedroom so first thing in the morning, I can fire it up and get to writing.

The first couple days, it took about 4 hours to get those First 500 words. Now, I'm one of those writers who tend to write, edit, rewrite and then revise each sentence as I go along so that's not a long time for me.

After the first week, I found myself looking forward to writing first thing in the morning and the word counts rising and not taking as long to get on the page. I've only been doing this for a little over a month now but for several days I've managed to get between 1,000 to 1,500 words in the same 4 hours.

I also learned that the internet won't wither up and blow away if I'm not there. I discovered that many of the things I did online, once thought of as necessities, really weren't.

And I've discovered I like writing more than reading many other writing blogs. Sure, I still have a favorite few I read on a regular basis but now I've gotten my priorities in the right order and when I spend some time online, I don't feel guilty because I haven't written.

I don't have any books to recommend to you however, if you have a problem with procrastination, check out Procrastinating Writer.

Then, take a look at your schedule and make writing a priority.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm so mad right now I could bite nails in half. And while I won't go into the cause, it gave me the topic for this post.

We must have passion in our writing…and for our writing. Our characters must be passionate. Without passion in our writing, it's meaningless.

I'm not talking about passion of a romantic nature though sometimes that can be good too but more of the kind of passion that moves a story, that connects the reader with the story and causes them to remember it long after the last page is turned.

I'm not sure exactly how to get that passion in the story though. Maybe be finding something the characters are passionate about and channeling (so to speak) our passion into them as we write? Or do we somehow fuse our passion to that of our character?

A while back, I'd lost the passion for the writing process and for writing in general. I'd begun to think of writing as work for the most part. It was something I had to do instead of something I wanted to do. And honestly, I wasn't having any fun.

I took some time off from writing, did some serious pondering and found my joy again. I'm having fun, the writing process is exciting again and I look forward to each day's writing time. In fact, it's gotten to the point I get cranky when I have to miss a day. Thankfully for the family, that doesn't happen often.

I think the thing I want y'all to take away from this post is what is your passion and how can you use it in your writing? Why are you writing in the first place? Heaven knows it's darn hard work, the pay is practically nil unless you manage to grab the brass ring and even if you do "make it" there will always be someone out there to put you down. You must find satisfaction in your writing, not for someone else, but for yourself. In fact, if you are writing for someone else, I sorta think you are doing it for the wrong reason.

Now that's not to say you don't have to keep your potential reader in mind as you write and revise, you must. But it's also important to take your own happiness in mind.

So…how do you impart passion into your story? And how do you keep that passion for writing and the process involved? How do you keep the passion you have for the idea throughout the writing process that may take months and months?

Share your thoughts in the comments for all of us. I'd love to hear from you.

I do have one book on passion in writing. I love really, really love this one. I'd say this one is on my keeper shelf but it's usually on the table by my bed where I can grab it often.:-)

The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Got Plot???

Plot is the "what happens" in your book and for most readers, the reason they continue reading. They want to see "what happens" to the characters they've connected with. They want to experience those events through the character.

When readers connect, they can become secret agents on a mission to save the world, or the hero who rescues the princess or, closer to home, the person who finds true love when all seems lost.

The thing about plots though, they have to go somewhere. They have to take the reader on a ride. Plots can't just lay around and do nothing. Plots have to challenge our characters, make them grow, cause them to doubt and usually, in the end to overcome an obstacle that seems unconquerable.

One of my favorite movies that shows a great plot is Dante's Peak. If you haven't seen it, you really should. The main idea is that the volcano is about to errupt and the town needs saving. Harry (our hero) and Rachel (the mayor) have to get her kids from home so they can leave town. Simple right?

But it seems the kids have gone up the mountain to get the stubborn grandma. (Personally, I'd have left her but I really didn't like her.) Okay, again no big deal. But the bridge is blocked with traffic so Harry drives through the river. (His vehicle has snorkle so it's cool.) But he gets stuck and water is coming in the truck. A car follows him, floats into his truck, bumping him enough to get unstuck. They drive out of the river, get back on the road, a helicopter crashes ahead of them, ash is falling like a grey blizzard, rocks and trees roll down the mountain in front of them and then the whole road behind them is wiped out in a landslide.

Eventually they get to the grandma's house but the volcano is spitting lava by now, which has flowed down the mountain and wiped out the log cabin and all the vehicles. Their only option is to take to the lake in a metal boat. However, all the volcanic activity has turned the lake to acid and the boat is leaking. Soon the propeller on the motor is eaten away.

I won't give away the end but you can see how each plot point builds on the previous one. The viewer is kept on the edge of their seat to see how
Harry is going to save them all.

We need to craft our plots in a similar fashion. We need to keep the reader engaged and caring about what happens to our characters. If Harry and Rachel had gotten home, picked up the kids and driven out of town...big deal. BORING!!! And not much of a movie either.

Plot is tied with structure in a big way and we'll get to that soon but this month, when you watch television or read a book, think about the plot and how it moves forward in the story.

I once heard someone say that plot is getting your character up a tree and then throwing stones at them. I kinda like that. Of course, it's often hard to throw those stones at characters we love but in doing so, we make them stronger, along with our plot and give the reader another reason to keep on reading.

I only have one book on plot and it's probably one of my most favorite books on writing. It's called Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. I think this should be a must read for every writer.

A special welcome to those who just joined us. So glad you are here. Take a moment, say hi in the comment thread and let us know a bit about you and what you like to write.