"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Monday, February 26, 2018

5 Step Formula for Plot Structure

New writers are always looking for a formula for success. Experienced writers will tell them there is none. But, don't we all have our own formulas that work for us?

I'm working on some flash fiction again, and I thought I would update my own formula for plotting. I'm a pantser first, but I always go back in revision with a similar plot checklist. Even though I'm working on shorter works now, this formula is the same no matter the length of my manuscript. The movement just occurs much faster in flash fiction.

A-B-C-D-E Plot Structure
Let these occur in chronological order, unless you want things to slow down or become confusing to the reader:

A - is for Action. Open in the middle of it - this is the focus of my first paragraph.
B - is for Backstory. If it's flash fiction, this shouldn't last more than a few sentences or paragraphs. 
C - is for Character. If the reader isn't starting to connect with your hero/heroine by now, you are in serious danger. In flash fiction, I need to relate or empathize with the protagonist right away.
D - is for Development. What are the important details, or descriptions, needed to carry the reader through to the end? How are the five senses being employed here?
E - is for Elixir. Christopher Vogler refers to the ending of the tale as the elixir. In other words, what is the prize, or goal, achieved in the ending? Will your reader be happy they invested in the time with your tale?

So, try it out. Let me know how it works for you.

Do you have a formula or checklist you use when working?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Six Words Are The Way In

Six word story challenges have been around since well before Hemingway made them popular. 

Don't know that tale? Once asked to write a full story in six words, legend has it that novelist Ernest Hemingway responded: "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn."

In the many years since then, flash fiction has seen an increase in popularity. Even the "six word challenge" has seen a resurgence in demand.

In this spirit, Smith Magazine invited writers "famous and obscure" to distill their own stories into exactly six words.  See the amazing results in the video below for inspiration.

Have you written a six word story? Want to share? Did the video inspire your own writing?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

For Love

It's Valentine's week, and while I love flowers and chocolate my family and friends know my favorite gift is a good book.

Not sure what to get the writer in your life? Check out this list of suggested Valentines day gifts for writers or check out these 
Six Ways to Participate in Romance Week at 

This year's Goodreads challenge can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1161-romance-week-2018

Want to share the theme of love with children? Check out these 10 Best Children's Books About Love.

So many of us love reading and writing. We have favorites that we return to again and again. How about you? 

What is your favorite genre? Favorite author? Favorite book from childhood? Are you doing something special this week?

Happy Valentine's!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Savoring Single Tour Giveaway!

“Savoring Single is the perfect book for girls in this generation. Sometimes it feels like everything in the world just draws attention to our singleness resulting in us feeling even more alone. Shelley has written a book that exposes the truth about being single and leads by example how we can cherish -not waste- this important season of our lives.” – Kiara
Last month, Livy Lynn contacted me, requesting that I be part of an exciting Blog Tour, for Christian Author, Shelley Black! Shelley has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart.
Her debut book, Savoring Single, is such an encouraging offering for the young women of this generation. I was happy to get behind this book, and Shelley’s mission of helping God’s daughters truly EMBRACE the season they’re in.
For my portion of the Tour, Shelley is giving away 4 Autographed Paperback Copies of Savoring Single!
To enter, simply use the Raffelcopter form below, to follow Shelley Black, and the Tour Coordinator, Livy Lynn, on their Social Media accounts and get connected with both of their ministries.
The Giveaway begins February 3rd and ends March 3rd! Have fun entering and getting connected with these lovely ladies! (Oh, and good luck!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Coordinated By: Livy Lynn Blog! Are you a Christian author? Let me plan your next Blog Tour! Visit www.livylynnblog.com!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

IWSG: Love Your Genre

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive.Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

FEBRUARY QUESTION: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

MY ANSWER: Happy Endings. While I've written a few cliffhangers, or downright unsettling endings for my characters, I usually prefer the "Happily Ever After" conclusion. Real life is hard with many disappointments. Even though my characters struggle, I want them to achieve their goals and dreams - at least for a little while.

How about you? What is your preferred genre and what do you like most about writing it?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Bible Heroes Devotional

Valentine's is fast approaching, and I'd like to recommend a great book as a gift for your little ones.

My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional - I believe this book has been directed at children ages 7 to 10. However, depending on your child's reading interest and abilities, I can see this book being appropriate for both a few years younger as well as a few years older.

Easy to read with colorful and high-quality illustrations, this book can encourage young readers to spend time in the Word. 50 different heroes are mentioned each with full-color illustrations, accompanying bible verses, prayer starters, and life application questions for guided discussion with friends and parents.

While your child can certainly enjoy this on their own, and will receive a very basic introduction and outline of the Bible, this book can also be used as a family guided devotional for deeper involvement as well

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to leave a review.