Category Archives: Plot

The Next Big Thing

Two dear blogging friends, Jo Eberhardt at The Happy Logophile and Anthony Lee Collins at U-town, tagged me for The Next Big Thing. I am excited to report that answering these questions shifted my brain back into novel-writing gear. (It has been … Continue reading

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Two Sides of a Writerly Conversation

One of my favorite things about Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life has been introducing writers to each other. Around when we launched the book in October, I connected Gigi Little and Sarah Cypher, two … Continue reading

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Writing Challenge #17: Cutting Back on Minor Characters

Writing Challenge #16 focused on using organic metaphors to lend your minor characters more personality. This one is about the opposite–dealing with too many minor characters. Is your novel-in-progress full of bit players who are sitting around doing very little … Continue reading

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‘My Words Don’t Seem Right’

As I was cleaning out old school papers at my parents’ house in May, I came across my eighth grade reading and writing journal. That spring we studied prejudice through reading about South Africa and slavery, plus Steinbeck’s Grapes of … Continue reading

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The Hunger Games–the Book Versus the Movie

I finally read THE HUNGER GAMES last week in anticipation of seeing the movie this past Friday. What surprised me most about the cinematic interpretation was its point of view. I won’t share any spoilers, but if you want to … Continue reading

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First Snowfall

We’ve had a few days of wintry weather here in Portland, including a lovely, swirling blizzard-like snowfall Tuesday night. The next morning, though, we woke up to slush and rain. My husband and I talked about that little-kid feeling of … Continue reading

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Interview: Speculative Fiction Author Duncan Ellis on NaNoWriMo Priorities, Plotting and Caffeine Consumption

In honor of National Novel Writing Month, and the bleary-eyed scribes who plan to hunker over their computers throughout November, today’s Seven Questions interview is with speculative fiction author Duncan Ellis. Duncan has completed NaNoWriMo seven times, which means he … Continue reading

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Getting Lost in a Novel: Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad”

My mom doesn’t read much fiction these days. Because when she’s fully immersed in a story, she doesn’t want to do anything but read. Everyday obligations become obstacles. They keep her from the page, and the next page, and being … Continue reading

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Giving Myself Permission to Revise

Once again I’m preparing to break the sacred first-draft rule: Don’t revise. I break this all the time, but don’t always admit to it. When I blogged about submitting my first draft to my critique group in mid-September, Jody Moller … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Plot, Revision, Writing | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

The Barbie Jeep Method: Part 2

After writing in high gear for the past few weeks and finding myself stuck, I thought about the Hero’s Journey workshop I took with Stevan Allred and Joanna Rose this spring. We had homework–making a giant picture of our character’s … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Plot, Revision, Writing | Tagged , | 12 Comments