Conflicts in Time

I am capable of holding space for many contradictory things and not having them feel at odds. This is clearly my problem with conflicting dates. I’m just not great at dates. Thankfully I married a historian and can normally assign date maintenance to him. But not this time. I’ve known, vaguely, in the back of…

In Caedmon’s Voice

I am taking Dean’s Advanced Depth class with a friend and we’re on the lecture on Voice openings. This is actually my third time dealing with this lecture, though just the second time officially. The first time I didn’t send any homework to Dean because I didn’t have time to deal with it. I thought…

Data Issues and an Update

It’s Sunday and like many Sundays since the pandemic started, my WIFI connection is down. For many years now we’ve chosen inexpensive options for both our internet access and our phones and banked the extra money: first to save enough for me to leave my job to write. And then once I had left, to…

The Slow Road

There is a myth in a lot of fields, especially from people looking in from outside, that you need talent to get anywhere. Perhaps talent helps, but I doubt it at this point. In fact, I doubt that anything helps except the grit to work hard and keep working hard at it while learning everything…

Masterclass Review: Dan Brown on Writing Thrillers

Another excellent Masterclass instructor. I would say the best so far, but I think that I am going to say that a lot with MasterClass. I signed up in November with the intention of just doing this for a year, but I often say to Steve when we finish a class, “You know, these are…

Lessons Learned: Reading

I read a lot these days. Last year was almost entirely books of short stories and books on writing or publishing. This year I’m transitioning to novels, but I find myself drawn to a different sort of novel than I have been in the past. I’m a lot less picky about genre and a lot…

Lessons Learned: Dare to Be Bad

I’ve tried to front-load the most important lessons learned that allowed me to write a short story a week. After learning what the parts of a basic short story is (see the 7 Point Plot Structure in earlier blog posts) the next most important lesson was to set expectations. Writing a short story a week…

Lessons Learned: Climax and the End

This will be the last post on the 7 Point Plot Structure. I’ve taken my time laying out the lessons because it was critical to know how to write a short story before it became possible to write a short story in a week. The final two elements are the Climax and the Validation. I…

Lessons Learned: Traversing the Muddy Middle

More on the basics I learned to allow me to produce 52 stories in 52 weeks. I’m working my way through the 7 Point Plot Structure because without knowing that, I couldn’t write a single story in a week. It took me weeks and weeks of trial and failure to get a single working story…

Lessons Learned: What’s the Problem?

I’m still discussing the basics I learned that made finishing a short story a week for 52 weeks possible. As a reminder, the 7 Point Formula for Fiction begins with a Character in a Setting with a Problem. Without a problem there is no story. It sounds simple. Just give the character a problem, the…