Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ensuring a Story's Logic & Interest

Every good story begins with some type of hook in the first chapter, where an unhappy situation of the main character's life is revealed. The following chapters depict the ups and downs of the character's journey to either success or failure, often depending on the type of person the character displays.

The first step is the main character decides to change their life, or someone else, or circumstance might make it for them. From there the character either accepts this challenge or not but makes a decision and takes actions to change some aspect of their life. This leads to a challenging journey of discovery. With each new decision, action, and outcome, the character will meet with more challenges where, again, they will either succeed (temporarily) of face defeat, regroup, and make another attempt or take another direction. The more emotional turmoil the character displays over these challenges, the more the reader identifies with that character and becomes more involved in the story.

The ending usually reflects on the beginning in some manner, and whatever changes are manifested in the story, the character either accepts how they have changed as a person or accepts the changes in their life.

Along the way, other characters will also affect the main character's emotions, drive, and the results of their efforts.

This all seems very simplistic, but while the story pattern remains similar, the story arc can change in infinite ways, which is what makes the writing original and makes the reading a pleasure. Further, all of this depends on the author's purpose and planning while writing the story which translates a simple plan into a difficult, time and thought consuming the experience.

Please visit the following author's websites to learn their opinion on this topic:

Skye Taylor
Marci Baun
Judith Copek
Margaret Fieland
A.J. Maguire
Beverley Bateman
Anne de Gruchy
Dr. Bob Rich

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Artisan Heart -- Dean Mayes

Perfect 10
Central Avenue Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-77168-142-1 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-77168-143-8 (E-book)
September 2018
Contemporary Romance

Adelaide and Walhalla, Australia

Doctor Hayden Luschcombe is an emergency paediatrician in the city of Adelaide in the South Australia territory and married to event planner Bernadette Magnion. As he is about to leave the hospital for one of her events, for which he has promised he would arrive on time, an emergency calls him. It is not the first time Bernadette had found him wanting, but when he comes home and finds her in bed with another man, he leaves his house. Then another emergency has Hayden fending off the attack of a father whose daughter Hayden suspects suffers not from an accidental failure to test the bath’s water temperature, as claimed by the mother, but a purposeful scalding of the little girl’s lower body. The hospital releases him from duty until the case can be sorted out. Escaping his life, Hayden travels to the village of Walhalla in the mountains of New South Wales. Here is the cottage where his parents lived, where he grew up, and which he closed up three years ago when his father died.

While working on the cottage’s leaking roof, a small girl, this one deaf, attacks Hayden. He knows sign language because his mother was deaf. He learns her name is Genevieve, and he recognizes her mother, Isabelle Sampi, who as a young girl taunted and tormented the young, shy child Hayden. She is a baker now, trying to reestablish a bakery in an old and dilapidated nineteenth century building. What neither Hayden nor Isabelle know is how much they share, including love for the mischievous but kind and intelligent Genevieve.

The Artisan Heart is a riveting romance whose protagonists have troubled pasts but find the courage to start again in the small, close-knit community of Walhalla. The serious danger comes from Isabelle’s past, and certainly Bernadette has an agenda to encourage Hayden to remain in their marriage, which creates some great drama. Author Dean Mayes, who lives in Adelaide, wonderfully presents the Australian setting. While many romances share some plot points, Hayden’s perspective made this story different and unique. All the characters in THE ARTISAN HEART read as real people, another wonderful aspect of this story that earns it a Perfect 10.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Summer Vacation but I still have work to do

Here it is May after a very hard north-central Michigan April. It was a hard, dark spring, but the last few days have been pleasant and sunny although rain is on its way. All of the daffodils exploded into bloom in one week. That sort of describes my attitude, too. My winter goal is complete: Monday the 5th I loaded my final grades onto the college's site. For the summer, I've made a list of things I want to accomplish. I have so many unfinished lists, so I've limited this one. As far as traveling, it will be happening only in my mind.

I have much to accomplish this summer including writing more in three different works-in-progress with the question of where to go having stalled all threes' progress. Home World Reax comes out in June, and ideas for another story or two to make this another series have been plaguing my mind. Every time I start writing I have to re-read what I've already written.

Along with fiction writing, I'd like to write one or two short personal essays. I'll be working on my garden, too, which is in a horrid condition right now, beds need cleaning, seeds planting. Hopefully, I can keep the deer from demolishing it this summer. I also have work to do in the house, I want to do some painting and perhaps some doodle art, and I have a lot of seasonal cleaning to accomplish. Plus, along with my rowing I need to get back on a walking schedule.

Does anyone actually get to do exactly what they want to do when they want to do it? It seems I have major unplanned interruptions with everything I want to accomplish.

A long time ago I took a quilting class in St. Charles, Missouri. The instructor said she used the Swiss cheese method of completing a project. She made a small hole of accomplishment here, another hole at another time, and on and on until her quilt was finished. I've found that advice works well on many different projects: a little bit here, a little bit there.