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PLOT # 14

LOVE

Pride and Prejudice

Splash

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

My Fair Lady

If you’re considering writing a romance, take into consideration the following information that just might help you write a best seller:

  1. The prospect of love should always be met with a major obstacle. Your characters may want it, but they can’t have it for any variety of reasons. At least not right away.

2. The lovers are usually ill-suited in some way. They may come from different social classes or they may be physically unequal (one is blind or have special needs).

3. The first attempt to solve the obstacle is almost always thwarted. Success doesn’t come easily. Love must be proven by dedication and stick-to-it-iveness.

4.  As one observer once put it, love usually consists of one person offering the kiss and the other offering the cheek, meaning one lover is more aggressive in seeking love than the other. The aggressive partner is the seeker, who completes the majority of the action. The passive partner (who may want love just as much) still waits for the aggressive partner to overcome the obstacles. Either role can be played by either sex.

5.  Love stories don’t need to have happy endings. If you try to force a happy ending on a love story that clearly doesn’t deserve one, your audience will refuse it. True, Hollywood prefers happy endings, but some of the world’s best love stories (Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet, Love Story) are very sad.

6.  Concentrate on your main characters to make them appealing and convincing. Avoid the stereotypical lovers. Make your characters and their circumstances unique and interesting. Love is one of the hardest subjects to write about because it’s been written about so often, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. You will have to feel deeply for your characters, though. If you don’t, neither will your readers.

7. Emotion is an important element in writing about love. Not only should you be convincing, but you should develop the full range of feelings: fear, loathing, attraction, disappointment, reunion, consummation, etc. Love has many feelings associated with it and you should be prepared to develop them according to the needs of your plot.

8.  Understand the role of sentiment and sentimentality in your writing and decide which is better for your story. If you’re writing a formula romance, you may want to use the tricks of sentimentality. If you’re trying to write a one-of-a-kind love story, you will want to avoid sentimentality and rely on true sentiment in your character’s feelings.

9.  Take the lovers through the full ordeal of love. Make sure they are tested (individually and collectively) and that they finally deserve the love they seek. Love is earned; it is not a gift. Love untested is not true love.

So, there you have it. If you’ve started a romance, do a checklist using these nine essential “ingredients” and see how many you’ve included to shape that novel into a page turner.

ALL INFORMATION COMPLIMENTS OF

Tobias, Ronald B.  20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them (Kindle Locations 1185-1207). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing fiction of any kind.

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PLOT # 13

MATURATION

Flight (J. Steinbeck)

Nick Adams’ Stories (E. Hemingway)

Huckleberry Finn

Hansel and Gretel

What does it take to write a page-turning maturation fiction plot? Whether for adults or children, there are certain steps to take. Let’s see:

  1. Create a protagonist who is on the cusp of adulthood, whose goals are either confused or not yet clarified.
  2. Make sure the audience understands who the character is and how she feels and thinks that begins the process of change.
  3. Contrast the protagonist’s naive childhood against the reality of an unprotected life (adulthood).
  4. Focus your story on your protagonist’s moral and psychological growth.
  5. Once you’ve established your protagonist as he/she was before the change, create an incident that challenges her beliefs and her understanding of how the world works.
  6. Does your character reject or accept change? Perhaps both? Does he/she resist the lesson? How does he/she act?
  7. Show your protagonist undergoing the process of gradual change.
  8. Make sure your young protagonist is convincing; don’t give him/her adult values and perceptions until he/she is ready to portray them.
  9. Don’t have that protagonist accomplish adulthood all at once. Small lessons often represent major upheavals in the process of growing up.
  10. Decide at what psychological price this lesson comes, and establish how your protagonist copes with it.

ALL INFORMATION COMPLIMENTS OF

Tobias, Ronald B. 20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them (Kindle Locations 1185-1207). F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing fiction of any kind.

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FICTION PLOT # 12 

TRANSFORMATION

 

After several months of blogging about the 2018 Montrose Christian Writers Conference held from July 22nd to the 27th, I’m now returning to blog posts about writing and how to help you become a better writer. Before I blogged about this past July’s conference, I had discussed eleven different plots (of 20 presented in the book, 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias). Below is plot 12, which presents the details concerning writing a plot that “transforms” characters.

PLOT # 12

TRANSFORMATION

The Red Badge of Courage

Pygmalion (My Fair Lady)

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Jekyll-mansfield.jpg 

 

Well-written transformation plots are intriguing because of the big change that takes place in at least one main character throughout the story. But what elements are essential to make that best-seller work? Let’s take a look:

  1. The plot of transformation should deal with the process of change as the protagonist journeys through one of the many stages of life.
  2. The plot should isolate a portion of the protagonist’s life that represents the period of change, moving from one significant character state to another.
  3. The story should concentrate on the nature of change and how it affects the protagonist’s experience from start to end.
  4. The first dramatic phase should relate the transforming incident that propels the antagonist into a crisis, which starts the process of change.
  5. The second dramatic phase generally should depict the effects of the transformation. Since this plot is about character, the story concentrates on the protagonist’s self-examination.
  6. The third dramatic phase should contain a clarifying incident, which represents the final stage of the transformation. The character understands the true nature of his experience and how it’s affected him. This is the point in the story at which true growth and understanding occur.
  7. Often the price of wisdom the character gains is a certain sadness.

 Go ahead, writer. Take a shot at a transformation plot. You just might transform yourself into a best-selling author!

All information from Tobias, Ronald B (2011-12-15). 20 Master Plots. F+W Media, Inc. Kindle Edition.

(I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in writing good fiction.)

Happy writing!

Marsha

2018 Montrose Christian Writers Conference Photos

Writers, this will be the last 2018 MCWC photo post in this blog. I need to get back to posting blogs about writing well, which I plan to do next week. So enjoy the photos included here. You’ll also see more from time to time in the Writers of Any Genre group in Facebook.

August 6, 2018

THE 2018 MONTROSE CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE IS HISTORY!

From Sunday evening, July 22nd to Friday morning, July 27th, a stellar faculty of 14, and about 70 eager conferees gathered at the Montrose Bible Conference campus for almost a full week of over 45 workshops to help any writer, newbie or experienced. The evening activities also brought more insight into the world of writing/publishing as well as lots of laughs.

(For all the details of the conference, please go to https://bit.ly/2pdcYQC)

Pictures are worth 1000 words. Thus, no more words…just pictures of the exciting time….

2018 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

July 22nd to 27th  

INTRODUCING KAREN WHITING

Karen Whiting will present a Major Morning Series entitled

MARKETING THAT FITS YOUR STYLE

Harness the power of the five key areas of marketing to your specific brand/book:

Social Media (FB, twitter, Pinterest, etc.)

Print (articles, freebies, promo materials)

Speaking (events, keynotes, retail stores, libraries, churches)

Media (radio, TV, internet, newspapers)

Expertise (get quoted)

 

Karen will also present three afternoon workshops:

Writing for Today’s Tweens

Writing to engage kids and to motivate them to apply Biblical principles in life, we’ll look at countering the top reasons older teens and young adults leave the church. We’ll review language that interests youth and how to be authentic in writing for kids without writing “down” to them.

Writing Devotionals for All Ages

Karen has written devotional books for preschoolers, women, girls, families, history buffs, and more. Learn about basics in devotional writing and markets for selling single devotionals. Learn how to apply to write devotionals for outsourced products or pitch a book of devotions

Selling to Children’s Periodicals

There are many opportunities for writers, especially aspiring writers in magazines, Sunday school take-homes and denominational newspapers. Learn how to target your writing for the audience.                                                                                            

WHO IS KAREN WHITING?

 Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is an international speaker, former television host, and award-winning author of eighteen books. She has written more than six hundred articles for more than sixty publications. Currently. Karen writes for Leading Hearts Magazine and Molly Green Magazine. She writes for women, families, children, and the military. Best sellers include God’s Girls and My Princess Devotions.

Her Awards:

Christian Retailing Best 2014, children’s nonfiction

AWSA Nonfiction Book of the Year

Awards: Military Writer Society of America Gold Medal, faith category

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ALSO INTRODUCING BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JEANETTE WINDLE

 Jeanette will present a Major Morning Series entitled

SO, YOU WANT TO WRITE?

How do I get started as a writer? Find material or choose a topic? Create a scene or compelling character? What is the meaning of such cryptic terms as “show, don’t tell”, “passive vs. action”, flashback, deep POV, head-hopping? What are the formatting and editing guidelines an editor will expect? How and where do I actually SELL my writing? These are some of the mysteries veteran author, journalist, editor, and writing coach Jeanette Windle will be clarifying in this continuing track designed for the beginning writer.

This class is hands-on and interactive so bring pen-and-paper or laptop.

 

Jeanette will also present an afternoon workshop on Monday:

A Story to Tell—Your Own or Another’s: Writing the Memoir/Collaborative Title

Non-fiction biography is the bread-and-butter of freelance writing. Whether writing your own memoir or someone else’s life story, this workshop will walk you through the practicalities of breaking down, organizing, and weaving into story form a compelling life narrative. Not writing a full book? Principles apply as well to the personal experience short story/article.

On Tuesday afternoon Jeanette will coordinate a Freebie Peer Critique Group for writers working on

nonfiction: theological/memoir/Christian living

WHO IS JEANETTE WINDLE?

Award-winning novelist, journalist, editor, & collaborative writer Jeanette Windle has lived in six countries and traveled in almost 40. Those experiences have birthed 21 fiction and non-fiction titles, including Forgiven: The Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace (2016 ECPA Christian Book Award/Christian Retailing Best Awards.

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Writers, it’s not too late to register! Go to: http://www.montrosebible.org for more information and the registration form! I’d love to see you next week!

 

2018 MCWC FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

July 22nd to 27th

INTRODUCING CINDY SPROLES

Cindy will present an afternoon series entitled

LEARNING THE PUBLISHING PATH STEP BY STEP

Working with your Editor            

Editors are not the enemy. Their job is to set authors up for success. In this class we’ll spend time discussing the process of putting that book into print. From the editing process to covers and back text blurbs. If you’re ready for publication, spend time learning the “process” of birthing your book.

Keep Them Turning the Pages

There’s nothing sweeter than hearing these words: “I couldn’t put the book down.” “It was a fast read.” “I can’t get it out of my head.” In a time-crunched world, we want to know readers breeze quickly and easily through our work. But more so, we love when what they read sticks with them—even haunts them. We’ll discuss the degrees and placement of cliffhangers. We’ll learn that all cliffhangers are not earth shattering, but some leave us mid-stream in a thought.  We’ll discuss finding the qualities that make your characters exciting and memorable, as well as relatable. Keeping the pages turning is an intentional process. We’ll walk it together.

Turn Personal Experience into Parables

Our daily experiences make the best, most heart-warming devotions. Why? Because readers relate to personal experiences. We’ll learn the old school way of Hook, Book, Look, and Took— the four elements you must have to turn a devotion from ordinary to parables that impact. We’ll give you the in to ChristianDevotions.us and how to get your devotion published.

Polishing Your Work

It’s the little things that put the shine on your work. Learn what self-editing steps you can take to improve the quality of your work, as well as diving into deep POV.  Practice losing the clichés and adding descriptions that make the reader’s senses soar. When your work is polished, it will stand above the pack. Join us and learn to put on the shine.

Cindy will also be available for 15-minute private consultations with authors and their work, and she’ll conduct a Conferee Fiction Critique Group on Wednesday afternoon when you may have your work reviewed by several of your peers and Cindy.

WHO IS CINDY SPROLES?

Cindy K. Sproles is an author, teacher, and speaker. She is the managing editor for Straight Street Books and Son Rise Devotionals (imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) and the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and InspireaFire.com.  Cindy travels nationwide teaching at writers’ conferences and women’s conferences. She is a best-selling author and serves as a writing mentor.  She is the author of nine non-fiction and two fiction books and her devotions are widely published over the eastern seaboard. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.

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Writers, newbies as well as experienced, it’s not too late to register for this year’s fantastic conference.

For all information, please go to: https://bit.ly/2pdcYQC

I’d love to see you there on July 22nd!

 Marsha, Director

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