Scrivener and Scapple have improved my productivity 100%, too.

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When I first began writing seriously I thought all there was to it was to sit down and write. Right? However, I soon learned there was a lot more to it than that. I hadn’t taken into account all the planning and plotting that needs to be done before ever putting pen to paper. I floundered with the process and got absolutely nowhere.

Then I came across two little apps that changed the way I approached the process and my life. My writing life, anyway. A member of my writing group mentioned an app that allowed her to plan, plot…


The transformative experience in my writing journey, my first NaNoWriMo!!

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Do you know what NaNoWriMo is? If you’re a writer or want to be one, then you should check it out. Because it could make a great difference in your life like it did in mine.

I’ve written and been interested in writing since I first learned what writing was. But it wasn’t until I got involved in NaNoWriMo that I truly became an author. What’s the difference between a writer and an author? Some say there isn’t any difference and use the terms interchangeably. However others insist there is a difference. I’m in that camp.

“An author is someone…


Sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me. But life got totally out of control.

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Sorry! I know it’s been a year and a half since I’ve published anything on Medium. There have been a lot of reasons for the hiatus, beyond procrastination. None were my fault, or not so much.

It was just that ‘LIFE’ got in the way!

First, my health has not been the best. Beginning in early summer 2019 I had a problem with general fatigue. I was tired all the time. I didn’t have the energy to get the routine necessary tasks of daily living done, much less anything else. Any thought…


Sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me. But life got totally out of control.

Image for post
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ricardo-gomez-angel-sQxAv48QvTc-unsplash

Sorry! I know it’s been a year and a half since I’ve published anything on Medium. There have been a lot of reasons for the hiatus, beyond procrastination. None were my fault, or not so much.

It was just that ‘LIFE’ got in the way!

First, my health has not been the best. Beginning in early summer 2019 I had a problem with general fatigue. I was tired all the time. I didn’t have the energy to get the routine necessary tasks of daily living done, much less anything else. Any thought…


To Outline or Not to Outline? That is the Question!

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I write an outline for a book. The outlines are very specific about what each scene is supposed to accomplish. James Patterson from BrainQuotes.com

When I started my first novel I just sat down and started writing. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I mean, I had an idea, a great one of course. I knew vaguely where I was going to go with it, a beginning sort of, and an ending. So the writing gurus out there said, just sit down and write.


Plotting is Like Building a Maze, a Complex Puzzle

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“. . .writing is similar to putting together a puzzle.
That’s really all it is at it’s simplest form. A puzzle.” by Brian Kurian in
Writing Is All About Building The Perfect Puzzle

The plot is an intricate puzzle crafted by the author and deciphered by the reader. The building of the plot is like building a maze, difficult to create and even more difficult to keep all its twists and turns straight.

How do you keep things straight? Not give the secrets away before you need to in order to keep the tension high. How do you keep the…


How writing is like learning to cook in your Grandma’s kitchen.

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One cannot be a writer, a god one anyway, without being a great reader. The work of others serve as an example, a guide, for what writing is all about.

I don’t mean ‘how to’ write books or even blogs/articles like this one. I mean great books, great literature, the classics, and the not so classics. Just anything that you enjoy, that makes laugh, that makes you cry. That makes you feel empowered or even a little bit naughty. Read what moves you.

So why the reference to learing…


From Elevator Pitch to Complex Plot

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The Story is linear. It has a beginning a middle and an end.

When I ask myself “What is myStory?”, I need to make it short and sweet. Well not sweet perhaps but descriptive, certainly. I begin with a short blurb, the Elevator Pitch. This condenses the Story into 2 or 3 sentences. It answers the questions: What, Who, Where, and Why.

Example:

Dorothy runs away from home and finds herself in a strange, strange land. While trying to get back home she meets many interesting and sometimes scary creatures along the way. …


L. Frank Baum took us to the land of Oz and the Emerald City in his Oz series with only the written word.

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One of the most important skills we can learn as writers is to use words, clear descriptive words to paint a picture for our readers of the world we want them to enter. I have a 9 step exercise that helps me and might help you practice that skill.

But first, why is it so important?

“The key to immersive story experiences is convincing readers they’re right there with characters. They’re smelling the ash in the air…


Readers must identify with your characters to keep them reading.

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Some writers develop their characters as they write. I can’t manage that. I need to have my characters clearly in mind before I begin to write. I must be able to see them, hear their voices, know how they think, first. They must become so real to me they come to life

That doesn’t mean that they don’t change somewhat once I start writing. They can take on characteristics all on their own. That happens much more often with minor characters, seldom with my major ones.

Characters, after the story…

Patricia A Faber

When I retired I felt at loose ends without a job to go to each day. I needed something to do. So I decided to write a novel. But I didn’t have a clue.

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