Conversations: 2/10/2017


Have you ever read a sequel to novel (that you just loved) and found it lacking the intensity—the passion and purpose—you enjoyed in the first book?

William Shakespeare is the author who penned the words “…that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” which I paraphraroses royalenesed in last week’s blog (Romeo and Juliet, 1600). Tradition tells the story that Shakespeare was poking fun at a local theatre group at the Rose Theatre (rival to his Globe Theatre), considering his to be the better environment. And he wrote the critique right into his play.

There are many skills a writer must develop when creating excellent work. I’m not so sure that throwing punches at other writers within a storyline is one of them. So it is that you’ll find my second dozen roses below—for you to consider as you build your own, personal writing career!

  1. AS you are writing/developing #s 4 and 5, begin a PLOT file—a plot timeline. Keep this first plot draft in chronological order. You’ll have plenty of creative time later to mix things up should you choose to do so.
  2. As you’re developing the theme, you’ll discover the conflict in the story. Like the difference in the right side of a spoon and wrong side, your story will not hold the plot without knowing the right and wrong side of issue/theme.
  3. Using your creative thinking while accomplishing the first seven tips will begin to show you the best perspective from which to reveal this story. Each character must stay true to their specific point-of-view. However, you may choose to complete the story through one point-of-view—or several.
  4. Also, as you get to know your characters, they will share the crises of their lives with you. You can make a separate list of these crisis elements—or you can incorporate them into the plot timeline.
  5. Look for the joy in your character’s lives. This term “joy” is defined quite differently in the lives of various characters. Be sure you understand your characters well enough to what bring true joy into their hearts.
  6. Look for the explosion factor in each main character. What event, action or missing action, cause your characters “scale” to be tipped?
  7. When you started writing you may have had one specific resolution or outcome in mind. Keep an open mind. Your characters may point to a totally different solution—or there may be several mini-solutions that just might carry you into a second or third novel.
  8. Make sure you have one solid character who Readers can cheer for. This could be—but doesn’t have to be—your main character. Supporting characters, who have one major problem that is resolved by the end of the book, can eventually become main characters in your next book(s).
  9. As you begin the actual manuscript draft remember: every sentence must either advance the plot, reveal more about the characters and/or the theme you’re developing.
  10. At the end of every chapter (or section) give the pages a “reality check.” Does this scene live? Are the actions of your characters realistic as they deal with the situations?
  11. Look for the miraculous as well as the ordinary events in your character’s lives.
  12. Challenge your thinking about how the story is growing. Allowing our “left-brain/right-brain” argument time often leads to amazing outcomes.

NEXT WEEK: A third dozen … ⚓︎


ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

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