Do we set goals or fulfill our calling?

concert platformI don’t know about you, but my inbox has been jammed with emails about making 2017 a great year. Nothing in and of itself wrong with that goal. But I’ve deleted those emails without reading them.

This year I won’t be setting goals  [Read more…]

5 Lessons I learned from 2016 that can help you in 2017

fireworks

In many places around the world, the New Year is celebrated by shooting off fireworks. Though I didn’t shoot off fireworks on Jan. 1, 2016, the year has been filled with fireworks.

What do I mean by fireworks? Stepping outside my comfort zone. Here’s what that looked like for me:

  • Taught workshops at 4 writer’s conferences
  • Held my first Facebook live videos
  • Held my first webinar
  • Learned new software for book design
  • Learned and instituted new technology on my website in an effort to better meet my readers needs

Has your year included some fireworks? [Read more…]

Who’s the big bad wolf in your story?

Big bad wolf chasing 3 little pigsWhat was the big bad wolf’s goal in the story of the 3 little pigs?

To have dinner. He needed to eat and the 3 pigs met the bill. The wolf was doing what came naturally to him.

There was nothing evil about eating the pigs, but of course to the pigs, who stood to lose their lives, the wolf was evil.

At the heart of every story is a protagonist with a goal. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, just that it is essential to the character and without reaching it he/she suffers great loss—physical death being the ultimate loss.

In the case of the wolf and the three pigs, each faced the same loss if they didn’t meet their goal—death.

What would the story have been like if the wolf told it? [Read more…]

How Do Plot and Scene Work Together? Series Conclusion

Let’s connect the pieces of plot, scene, and sequel.

Plot at its most basic level is your lead character’s goal and the journey to reach that goal. That journey is played out in the scenes and sequels of your story.

Scenes show the reader the individual steps your character takes to reach his or her goal and the setbacks along the way. Sequels bridge your scenes and present the character’s reaction—emotions and thoughts—to the setbacks, and his or her subsequent decisions and renewed action toward the final goal.

In your WIP, can you identify:

  • The beginning, middle, and end of each scene?
  • How each scene moves your plot forward?
  • Your sequels?
  • How your sequels move your plot forward?

For practice, look for the scenes and sequels in your favorite novels. Does some aspect of your WIP have you stumped? Share below.

Debra L. Butterfield © 2013

How Do Plot and Scene Work Together, Part 2

Scene

What goes into a scene? All the same things that go into plot: characters, goals, conflict, and setbacks, on a smaller scale.

Scenes require action, and action comes through your character’s attempts to meet her ultimate goal (aka objective). A setback occurs when the conflict encountered obstructs the character’s immediate goal (scene goal).

In my previous example, the protagonist’s objective was [Read more…]

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