Tuesday, January 17, 2023

3T Writing Tidbit - story structure part II

I've been reviewing story structure lately. Despite what the pundits say, there's more than one way to tell a story! You have your 3-17 step hero's journey, your 5 plot-point, your 3 act, your 2 step scene/sequel. Let's start on the far end and work our way in.

Last month we did the hero's journey. Today, let's discuss my favorite, the 5 plot points.

There are changes in a novel. Lots of them, or things get stale. I mean, you could construct a story about a boy named Baldric who had a lovely little sausage, The End. But unless you're Sir Anthony Robinson, it wouldn't be very engaging.

This structure revolves around the major changes that shape a story.

In a nutshell:

  • Catalyst: Change from the status quo
  • Big Event: Protagonist commits to the story's journey
  • Pinch: Horrible choice/lowest point/worst fear
  • Crisis: Protag tries to solve major problem permanently but fails/beyond worst fear.
  • Climax: Final confrontation. Tries to solve major problem permanently and succeeds.

A couple pointers here. This structure works well with the protagonist's internal journey. The crisis makes climax inevitable because protag realizes the main truth/learns the main lesson. The protag wins in the end because she has learned what she needs to.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

2T Repeat Performance -- Sparkling Possibilities

I've done a number of blog tours over the years, posting on different sites. Now I'm bringing them to you!

Originally published November 29, 2011 for Whipped Cream's Stuff Your Stockings Holiday Blogs

Sparkling Possibilities

As a musician I’m gigging from mid-November to December 25, so my favorite holiday is the only one I can stop to enjoy—New Years. 

But there’s more to New Years than that! It’s the cusp of new beginnings, a time when possibilities sparkle. A breath of fresh air, a clean start, clearing away old mistakes and regrets and stepping into new hope. I love beginnings. That’s why my stories feature the first meet. Here’s a short sample from Biting Me Softly with vampire Logan and computer geek Liese.

When I first clapped eyes on Logan, I thought, Hot damn. Look what the Sex Fairy brung me!

It was eight p.m. Sunday night, and I was at work. I do computers for the Meiers Corners Blood Center. The staff is me, the executive director and a part-time nurse named Battle. I was the only one who worked insane hours, but I was new and still trying to prove myself.

I don’t know what made me look up. The cool March air, perhaps. Maybe the aroma wafting in, mystery and magic with overtones of raw sex.

Whatever it was, my eyes lifted and there he was, the most stunning male I’d ever seen. Smack-me-between-the-eyes gorgeous. Bright blond hair rippled to broad, muscular shoulders. Lean strength roped a long, lithe body. Laughter and intelligence sparked gold-flecked hazel eyes. Perfect lips curved in a smile so sensuous it made my innards go bang.

Then he opened his mouth and spoke. Talk about ruining perfection.

“Hello, gorgeous.” His tone was deep and lazy. “I want to speak to the computer man in charge.”

Right. Well that just spoiled everything, didn’t it?

I crossed my arms under my breasts. “You’re looking at him. I’m the head apple. Minus the stem, but those are overrated anyway.”

My sarcasm didn’t even faze the man. He tucked one spectacular ass cheek on my desk and leaned in, so close I could feel his warmth on my face. “You’re L. Schmetterling? How…fruitful. And what, my Red Delicious, does the L stand for? Laurie? Lucy? Lovely?”

All that male beauty and a tight ass on top of it. I’d been burned once by a man with a flabby butt and no hair. This man would incinerate me.

I clutched the reminder of male perfidy on my ring finger and screwed up my most forbidding expression. “It stands for Leave. As in Me Alone.”

“I live to do your bidding, princess,” the man crooned, his lips inches from mine. He had perfect, chiseled lips—the kind designed by Michelangelo for kissing. “But if you’re L. Schmetterling, I can’t leave. I have business with you.”