DEVELOPING THE STORY

PANTSER, PLOTTER OR UNCOMMITTED

I belong to several fiction writing groups, both live and online. One question that always seems to come up is whether one is a pantser or a plotter. Often the answer leads to a heated debate over the merits of each position, with those who see themselves in both camps being as ostracized as someone who claims to be a fan of both the Yankees and Red Sox. For anyone who doesn’t know what I am talking about, let me explain: A pantser is someone who sits down either at their computer or in front of a blank piece...
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PUBLISHER

THE IMPORTANCE OF SUBPLOTS

Whether it is a desire to learn how to skillfully sail across the open seas or need to teach Messapian to a dozen reluctant students, subplots add depth to the characters who populate your fictional world and layers to the novel. A subplot can be about anything in the main character’s personal or professional life. Using subplots while writing fiction makes your main character seem real. Most people have more than one thing going on in their life at a time, so should the people that live in your novel. For example: you can write a novel about a...
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PUBLISHER

WELCOMING REESE MILLRIDGE TO NEW GRACE NEWS

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Reese Millridge to the New Grace News.  Reese will be joining our family; bringing recipes and cooking tips to the Home and Garden section. Many of you may know Ms. Millridge, she is the owner of Millridge Morsels, one of New Grace’s most delicious catering companies.  Her strawberry shortecake has won the blue ribbon at the South Carolina State Fair for the past three years.  After tasting a sample of her chocolate peanut butter brownies, Mayor Billy Clanton of Beaudeclaire successfully won a dozen of them at the Winter Festival...
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PUBLISHER

WHAT DOES YOUR BOOKCASE SAY ABOUT YOU?

I love books and I love reading, which is certainly is not surprising as most writers would most likely say the same thing. With that in mind one of my favorite spots in my home is my bookcase. I have books on the art of writing and creating fiction, books on crafting and DIY and, of course, books on the law. For me there is always another book out there in the world I might need. A little while back I went online to and did a search on one of my favorite topics, “books – writing –...
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DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING A SERIES – THE DECISION TO WRITE A SERIES

As a fiction writer the decision to write a series should not be made lightly. Writing a series is different from writing the standalone novel. It is a commitment to a set of characters and a pledge to portray them and their story through the series with the same diligence and enthusiasum as the first novel. Writing a series is a marathon not a sprint. With a single novel there is the beginning, the middle and the end, then you are done (wow if it were really that simple).  On the other hand, a series contains novels tied together by...
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CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

WRITING THE SERIES – THE CHARACTERS

THE CHARACTERS There are many decision to make when one sits down and begins to write a series, one of the most crucial decisions is who should be the characters.  It is important to write a character(s)  you believe the reader will find worthy of investing their time in. Reading a series is a commitment, your character must be someone your reader can relate to or route for. That’s not to say that the protagonist must be good and virtuous. Both Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan were main characters in popular fiction series and they were fastidious serial killers. And...
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DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING THE SERIES – THE NEED FOR BACKSTORY

For those of you who may not know, backstory is an integral part of most novels. Backstory is the history of either the character or the story itself. Each previous book in a series is backstory for the next. The question is how much backstory does the reader need to know to fully embrace the book they are reading. Where and how to include the backstory is a balancing act for many writers. I struggle with it constantly.  For the purpose of discussing backstory I would like to use an imaginary series, RUNNING WITH MARY SUE. The flames could...
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DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING THE SERIES – THE TIMELINE

As a fiction writer I have spent a lot of time learning the art of writing, including how to write a series.  It was not as easy as I thought it would be. There is more to it than simply having a good story: there is developing a character across several books, finding a setting that offers enough variety and deciding on the proper timeline. Today I would like to discuss timelines. What is the timeline for your story?  Will it extend over generations, last for just one lifetime or only a few weeks?  Will each book start where...
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