Plotting Your Novel by Writing from the Middle

As a writer, I am always learning. I think that’s what I love most about writing — the learning never stops. I am either learning something new about myself and writing as I write, or I stumble across new information as I am looking to learn more about writing. This time it was the latter. Recently on Twitter, I ran across a book recommendation for plotting that I loved so much I had to share it here.

Write Your Novel From The Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers and Everyone in Between by James Scott Bell¬†is must read for anyone serious about writing. This book goes into detail about why writers should start from the middle of a story instead of the beginning or end (who would of thought!). And how finding a character’s “mirror moment” is essential to true character development.

I definitely believe character development is a key element in a story. The more a reader can relate with a character and feel for a character’s journey, the better the book becomes. And this method certainly will help with that!

This book also helped me realize that I’m a Tweener (I always thought myself a straight up Pantser). I do love writing by the seat of my pants. That’s how I get some of my best ideas, but I also know where I’m writing too as well. I have a loose idea of events I need to reach and about where I need those events to happen. Also, I find already knowing my ending is a necessity to writing, even if I don’t know specifics. Just having a good idea of where I need to stop gives me a clear goal to reach for. But after reading Bell’s book I have an even better way to approach my writing. Start in the middle and Pants my way to the beginning and end. I’ll still have those events and goal posts to reach, but I think it will be far easier to get there knowing exactly what the character’s journey should entail.

And you know this book couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve become somewhat stalled on writing the first draft of my second novel. I think this technique will get things churning quite nicely. Thanks Bell. ūüôā

 

Hello There, Stranger!

Wow! I just checked the date on my last post. March 30th. I knew it had been awhile, but I didn’t know it’d been that long. So sorry to you and myself. I really had not intended to stay away from my blog that long. What can I say? Life got in the way.

Two major things really.

One, in the last few months, I have been going through some incredible changes in my personal life (and in extension in my overall health as well). Some of it’s been easy (no not really), some of it’s been hard like really freaking awful hard, but all¬†of it has been very much needed and long over due. In doing all that soul searching and reflection, it’s left little time to do¬†well… a lot (and not just blogging¬†either).

In all my reflection, it’s also put things in perspective for me and made me see what was really important. And while I do like to work on my blog, in the grand scheme of things, blogging is down near the bottom of stuff I really should be doing (so¬†sorry, the truth hurts I know).

That being said, I do want to start working on my blog more regularly. And since I will be taking a break from major writing over the summer, I just might have the time to get back into the swing of things.

Continue reading

Book Review: Machine by Jennifer Pelland

starstarstarstarstar

5 out of 5 stars

Machine by Jennifer Pelland

Available on Kindle and on Paperback.

13418849Want to take a walk on the wild side? Then Jennifer Pelland’s novel Machine is for you, because that is exactly what Pelland’s main character Cecil does in this delightfully depicted science fiction world.

In this novel technology has advanced to the point of creating¬†artificial replicant¬†bodies for those who are unfortunate enough¬†to find themselves with serious injuries, or illness that can’t be cured right away. Cecil just got her new body after being diagnosed with a low priority incurable disease. She decides to copy her consciousness to a “new” body and wait for the cure. But Cecil’s life takes a sudden and horrific blow when she wakes up in her machine body to find out wife Rivka has divorced her during the copying process.

Continue reading

Series Review: Craig Johnson’s Longmire Mysteries Books 1-6

starstarstarstarstar

5 out of 5 stars (for the series as a whole)

The Cold Dish,¬†Death Without Company,¬†Kindness Goes Unpunished,¬†Another Man’s Moccasins,¬†The Dark Horse,¬†Junkyard Dogs all by Craig Johnson

Available on Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback

51iVAeShFCL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This Friday, I’m doing something a little different. I’ll be reviewing a series instead of just one book (because I didn’t want to sound too repetitive reviewing each book individually. I mean how many times can I say Craig Johnson is a super awesome writer? lol…). Also expect several more posts (once I finish the entire series. I just finished book 7) on this series as this post only covers the first 6 books of a 13 book series (and 1 of those 13 is a book of short stories, which will get it’s own post).

I first heard of Walt Longmire as his TV persona in his namesake show Longmire broadcasted by A&E. I watched all 3 seasons in two weeks and was dying for more. I also found out A&E wasn’t picking the show back up and that got me upset since season 3 was left on a hell of a cliffhanger. But then Netflix came to save the day and picked up season 4 (whoot Netflix!).

Anyways, I say all this, because I was so impressed with the television show, I decided to read the books the series was based off. And so began my delightful journey¬†through Craig Johnson’s amazing world.

Continue reading

Book Review: Sing Me Your Scars by Damien Angelica Walters

starstarstarstarstar

5 out of 5 stars

Sing Me Your Scars by Damien Angelica Walters

Available on Kindle March 10th 2015 (but can be preordered now)

SMYS_1024x1024

I can easily describe this book with one simple word… stunning. But even that one word does not completely do justice to this haunting and beautiful prose that plunges headlong into the deepest hurt of the physical and emotional. It is truly a book that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page of the last story.

This is a collection of twenty stories written by the immensely talent Damien Angelica Walters. Twelve stories are works she’s already published¬†and eight are brand new to this collection. And each of them tell stories that walk the world of horror and fantasy.

Continue reading

Book Review: Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

starstarstarstar

4 out of 5 stars

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Available in Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback

41g+rRWhjcL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Ever wondered how the gods of Olympus would act if they were thrown into modern society? Look no further, because Gods Behaving Badly answers this question in grand form. Be ready to laugh and appalled by the ungodly things these godly beings do.

Artemis is fed up with her twin brother Apollo’s¬†holier-than-thou and over the top attitude, and his new job as a TV psychic doesn’t help matters any. Not to mention Aphrodite’s¬†shameless sexual escapades and part time job as a telephone sex operator are especially hard to bear for the goddess of chastity.

As also the¬†goddess of hunting, Artemis longs for the good old days when her and her godly relatives were respected and revered, and she was allowed to keep her beloved hunting dogs. But now space¬†is at a premium as many of the gods now live crammed together in a much-too-small London town house.¬†Artemis’s¬†dreaming of¬†better times only makes things more bitter as a battle of wills breaks out between Aphrodite and Apollo.

As battle wages, the new house cleaner Alice becomes swept up into the fray. Just an average human with an average friend named Neil who harbors a more than average crush for Alice. And these two ordinary people find themselves donning the cloaks of heroism in order to save the day.

While the description and writing style isn’t¬†the greatest, this story more than makes up for it in clever wit and hilarious situations that would make Aphrodite blush — well maybe not. But the unfolding of the story is certainly enough to awake¬†a feeling of greatness and awe as the story finally reaches its perfect conclusion.

I truly enjoyed tagging along on Alice’s and Neil’s epic journey and awaking, and I am positive you will too.

 

 

Book Review: The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

starstarstarstar

4 out of 5 stars

The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

Available on Kindle and in Paperback

deaths-of-taoI sooooo wanted to give this book five stars, but the slow middle of the book just wouldn’t allow me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, this book is freaking awesome! The author had me from page one as we see Roen and Jill three years after The Lives of Tao and things are completely different. In fact, I’m quite shocked at how different things are and I just wanted to read to figure out how things got so messed up in the three years since we saw Roen, Tao, and Jill.

The incredible character arcs are heart tugging as a clearer picture unfolds of the missing three years as the story progresses. The Prophus may have won the battle, but the Gengix are determined to win the war and Earth to boot. Things get dark and deep fast as the Gengix’s plan unfolds. Roen and Tao make huge sacrifices in an attempt to stop the¬†catastrophic plan.

Continue reading