I Love It When a Devious Plan Comes Together

152c6-thrillerThe idea for my new novel was birthed back in November. It started out as an idea that I was noodling around with and I’d put it on the back burner until January, when I decided to use the idea to craft my thesis novel. After a false start, I retooled and decided to try my hand at turning it into a Sci Fi Mystery novel. I’d never attempted anything remotely like a mystery before, so I did a little research on how the genre is approached and did my best to stay within those bounds. It was hard for me. First of all there is no dead body at the beginning. Bad stuff happens, but it doesn’t start with a murder. I still thought I had enough to get there, but the further along I got the more it seemed to veer away from the mystery tropes. It was confounding me, but now I have clarity. I am writing a Thriller, not a Who Dunnit? Continue reading “I Love It When a Devious Plan Comes Together”

Plot Devices and Literary Terminology

Just a little fun with some terms:

 
Chekhov’s gun
“One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it.” – Anton Chekhov, letter to Aleksandr Semenovich Lazarev (pseudonym of A. S. Gruzinsky), 1 November 1889.
It is a metaphor for a plot device or foreshadowing, which if shown or discussed should be used later.
Red herring
A false clue that leads the characters toward an inaccurate conclusion within the plot of a story, considered to be the opposite of Chekhov’s Gun.
The Chewbacca Defense is starting to come into the lexicon as a famous Red Herring It refers to a South Park episode and refers to using something so patently absurd that it makes no sense and creates confusion.

Continue reading “Plot Devices and Literary Terminology”

How to Make Your Story Richer Through Characters

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Original Artwork by pedlag

Your protagonist can’t be all things. She can’t be the antagonist for sure, she can’t be a foil for herself, hmmm… maybe I’m on to something here, a story with one character playing all roles. ::Laughs:: Nah..sounds either too hard or just plain boring.

So, what does that leave you with? Support characters! Everyone else the protagonist meets or interacts with. Some secondary characters are going to do some heavy duty, like Watson to Holmes. He is not only the foil and partner to Holmes, but the narrator as well. Some are not even going to be named. Ever looked at the credits to a movie? Guy with knife, 3rdgirl screaming, 5th dude that gets blown up. They are on screen as filler. What I’m shooting for here is somewhere in between. Continue reading “How to Make Your Story Richer Through Characters”

How to Build a Novel

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CC attributed to Boston Public Library

I haven’t really talked about what I’ve been working on for my thesis. Of course it’s science fiction but it’s very different from my first novel, which is securely trunked for now. I had a different story in mind when I went into residency, but I felt like the story I decided to use was much more timely and relevant. Also, I had a much better grip on how it would end, and I wanted something I knew I could finish to complete my degree.

I’ve been writing with a purpose to publish for about four years now and still have nothing to show for it, but I know I’m a much better writer now than I was when I started this process, and it is a process. The more I learn the more I understand that the learning will never end and it should be a constant improvement as I get more words under my belt. Continue reading “How to Build a Novel”

Yes…I’m still here

5a314-setonhillI’ve successfully completed the first semester of my Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program. Lots of reading and lots of writing. I enjoy reading, and try to make time for it normally but for the Writings in Genre class we were forced to make time to read. This past semester was all about fantasy, which I enjoy, but it’s not really my bread and butter. The next semester is focused on science fiction, which is in my wheelhouse.  I’m looking forward to it and having experienced one semester I feel more confident knowing what to expect. Continue reading “Yes…I’m still here”