four discussion-worthy items

1.  Just out of curiosity, what's your fave classic novel?  Why? 

2. Here's some of my (christy's)  latest 'kindle clippings':

Write Great Fiction-Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell

"It's crucial to understand the difference between an initial disturbance...and the first doorway of no return...."

"...the second doorway of no return must send the Lead hurtling toward the knockout ending."

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

"I've no use for talking, would just as soon store paperclips in my mouth."

"I glance up.  They're still peering at me, a tall duet of sorrow and concern."

"Her roses burst with more color than a year of sunsets."

"It's as if someone vaccuumed up the horizon while we were looking the other way."

3.  Bell suggests filling in the blanks to help prepare to write a novel.  Now, two of my novels are more than well on their way, but I'm doing it anyways because, well, they still need mega help.  I could do this in the privacy of my own word document, but instead I'm going to treat torture you do this publicly...just because. 

Rules for this.  DON'T THINK AHEAD.  Fill in the blanks with whatever comes to mind without pause, reflection, self-doubt or intense concentration.

"When readers read my novels, I want them to feel satisfied at the end.  That's because to me, novels are  a way to feel satisfied about a life that can sometimes be unsatisfying.

(manuscript #1)

My lead is a teenage girl.

Her objective is to get into her great-grandmother's forbidden journal.

She is confronted by an ancestor of her great-grandmother's enemy who opposes her because she is a threat to decades of safety from the Transporter Council.

The ending will be a knockout when my lead learns the truth and escapes a fiery forest, set by the antagonist, to set the record straight with the council.

4. You're (also) Invited to My PLOT PARTY (whether you want to be or not.  starts now and ends when you stop reading this post.  join in at any time!  the more the merrier.)

erica and I got the Plot Party idea from the Writer's Institute conference we attended in Madision, WI this past April.  you're supposed to have friends over to actually have a real party to do this with each other, to you know, brainstorm and provide feedback and, well, help each other, but you guys are the only writers i know...so I'm having it with you instead.... (skype plot party anyone???)   :0)

this will have to do.

(manuscript #2)

Goal (what he/she wants)  She wants her mom to leave her alone, her friends to accept her, and to move back to the island where her dad still lives

Motivation (why does he/she want that)  she wants things to go back to the way things were before her parents split up

Conflict she meets girls who seem nice and becomes friends with them, much to the dismay of her old "friends", her old "friends" make it look like she took pictures of her new friends and posted them on a social website, she starts to like a guy she used to despise even after going out with the guy she always wanted

Greatest fear letting go of her life from before, having nobody-- even if that means hanging out with girls who treat her terribly

What he/she does to avoid fear-- gets upset with her parents who are moving on/dating, holds on to the guy she doesn't really like after having a fight with the guy she does, shuts down her social internet site and posts the truth on her "friend's" site

Antagonist-three snotty girls

Reflection/mentor (who he/she goes to to talk things over)  the boy whose locker neighbors hers

UGH. that's a rough idea, I guess.  I put little to no thought into it, but it's the nitty gritty of it so far.  I have no ending, and this didn't help me get there. 

How will I get her from how she's avoiding her problems...to a solution?  I have no ending for this novel.  In looking up at what I did from Bell's novel, I see that after the big confrontation, there will be a KNOCKOUT ending.   I think that's where I'm at.

So. If my lead gets suspended along with snotty girl number 1.  they'll have some time to have their BIG confrontation and a) duke it out b) decide who the true culprits behind the pictures really were...then they can shake hands and come to terms with how they've grown apart, but realize they can respect each other and work together to clear their names and get her friends back.  okay...and the romance stuff I know what I want to do with...hoping it's not too cliche of an ending...ooh but there's one more issue that I'm adding in...and will just have to see how that plays out.  I may be back with more Plot Party catastrophes for you if I can't do it on my own.  THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!  This was definitely worth it.  GREAT PLOT PARTY EVERYONE!  WE SHOULD DO THIS AGAIN SOON!


  1. Call me crazy, but I think a Skype writing conference/plot party sounds like fun! Good luck with both your manuscripts. I have two on the go as well and BOTH are languishing...

    Right now I'm typing one handed while feeding baby. Can be done but not optimal!

  2. You're keeping extremely busy. :)
    I like your plot party idea. Now to find anyone interested in having a party with me...
    Have a great independence week-end

  3. That was a fun party! ;)

    Fave classical novel... hmmm... I have a hard time working out what is considered "classical" most of the time. Silas Marner, maybe? I realise most people in their right mind hated it, but... I didn't. Of course, it's been years since I read it, so I might hate it if I re-read it now. ;)

  4. @ adina @ akoss: okay, we can plan a REAL skype plot party!!!!

    @ adina, i'll be there again soon! due with baby #3 in december!

    @su...good question. What makes a novel a CLASSIC novel?


  5. Manuscript #2 sounds like you need to nail down the strong, underlying theme before the rest will really come to you. Is it about her discovering herself, true friendship, a backbone, something like that. Sounds like fun though! Great party!

    My favorite classic novel is Hamlet. Wait, does Shakespeare count since it's so short? Hmm...

  6. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

    I invite you to follow me, if you haven’t already done so, since we have a lot in common, but no pressure. I’m not giving you the award just so you will follow me. You really do deserve it!
    Take care:-)

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.

  7. Hmm, I don't think I've read too many classics, to be honest. My favorite might be Little Women (although it always makes me cry). Does The Thorn Birds count? I love that one, too (and it also makes me cry).

    Nice to meet you Deirdra!

  8. Plot party sounds like a fab idea! Great post :O)

  9. @heather: you are so right! decisions, decisions.

    @ deirdra: THANKS! i love the sound of that award!

    @madeleine: okay! we'll definitely get on planning a plot party for blogging friends!!!

  10. Count me on in that whole plot party thing. My work in revision is in SERIOUS trouble. My conflicts are standing on only half a leg which is to say they will fall down if you whisper near them.

    Hmmm, Favorite Classic would have to be...Sherlock Holmes (is that considered classic?). I love the banter between Watson and Sherlock - and the mysteries.

    Also LOVED the last quote from The Sky is Everywhere about the horizon being gobbled up.


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