Tag Archives: Plot

BlogMash: Strong Daughters, Reading & NaNoWriMo

While I’m off traveling once more (to Oregon for a visit with my mother, this time), I’ve collected some cool stuff for you to read until I manage the next installment of our Irish adventure: *** We can teach our kids to be strong and stand up for themselves, but what about when they’re facing an authority figure?  Here’s Carissa Rogers on raising strong daughters. *** Myndi Shafer shares a heartbreaking post about the repercussions of calling someone fat.  And we should all shut up and quit asking women when their is due unless they’ve announced it publicly. *** Jenny Lussier sheds some insight on where she would be without books and reading.  What would your life look like? *** For a follow-on, Pragmatic Mom (aka Mia Wenjen) has some great tips for encouraging kids to read. *** If you’re a writer considering plotting vs. flying by the seat of … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts– Story Starters About Revenge

Do you ever dream of what you would do to get back at someone?  Or are you too nice?  Even if you’re an understanding person, your character doesn’t have to be.  What kind of revenge would he or she take to make someone pay for what they did? Wait!  Make it more interesting – choose a situation below, and then spend five minutes brainstorming possible scenarios.  Do NOT write about the first one or two you list – those are the easy ones.  For a more interesting story, go with a scene you had to stretch for, one toward the end of your list. What kind of revenge might your character take if:  A party guest stole money from them? Their best friend added to an untrue rumor about them? Their partner/lover cheated on them? Their co-worker stole their great idea? A friend “borrowed” something and then damaged it? After … Continue reading

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Using NaNoWriMo Lessons – Editing by Chunks

I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year.  There, I’ve admitted it out loud.  I’ve decided to spend my sanity on keeping up with my homework as a “returning mature student,” developing my blog, and finishing (yes, you read that right), finishing my current Work in Progress. But my past years of doing NaNo have taught me a lot.  In a nutshell: To turn off my internal editor (still a constant effort for me, though). To give characters the freedom to take the story in a different direction. To develop the discipline of daily writing.  (Read more at Lessons Learned from NaNoWriMo.) I’ve realized lately that I learned one more thing from NaNo:  how to chop big chunks of writing and rearrange other big chunks.  There’s no way anyone gets through NaNo without a big pile of crappy stuff.  We all know that going in, and we learn to go through our … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing – Story Starters that Ask What If

Here are five writing prompts that ask the classic writer’s question, “What if?”  Each of these could create hundreds of story lines depending on the writer’s choices.  Where would you take it? What if . . . your brother and his wife are killed in a car accident and you become guardian of the children from hell? What if . . . a couple of teens steal a car to go joyriding, and it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? What if . . . the mild-mannered guy three doors down begins stalking you? What if . . . the sun’s glare through the windshield is blinding you and you hit an elderly man because you can’t see him? What if . . . a guy is rough-housing at the pool, shoves his friend in unexpectedly, and the friend hits his head and is paralyzed? Choose one and see … Continue reading

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How to Find Story Ideas in the News

“Where do you get your ideas?” is one of the most common questions a writer hears.  The answer is:  everywhere!  Once you start writing regularly, you find yourself with more ideas than you can write about at any given time.  But one source of story ideas is to take something from the news and re-shape it for the beginnings of a story.  Here are some examples: Last month, a high wind from an arriving storm knocked down the rigging of an outdoor concert stage at our Indiana State Fair.  The band was being held backstage until the winds died, but that didn’t help the fans.  Tragically, seven people from the front-row area were killed by the stage collapse, with dozens more injured.  At the same time, individuals acted heroically to hold the collapsed rigging up and get injured people out to medical care, saving lives in the process. If I … Continue reading

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