“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

Plots and Typing (not in that order)

It's writing day at my blog today :)

First of all, I wanna share my latest accomplishment :). Remember those 96 (actually 95 when I counted with my head attached LOL) pages of handwritten words from Handmaiden To A Princess? Well, they are only handwritten no longer! Yup - got all of them typed in and somewhat in place. They still need lots of work, and there are many more words yet to be written, but I'm making progress. As of now, my word count is 48,476. And onward! (by the way, onward for me means entering part of what I have in ACFW Ohio's Hook Me contest and Houston RWA's Emily Both deadlines are in October - one the 7th and one the 31st).

And now back to business.

I'm currently reading a book that EVERYONE and their dog have recommended I read for about as long as I've been writing: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I am THRILLED I gave in to the pressure. I've only read the first three chapters (out of 14) and I have already learned SO much (and even found out I'm on the right track with my novel!).

If you have not read this book, I cannot recommend it more highly. It's not often I can say that about a book I've barely started, but I've already gotten tips and help that are well worth the price, and then some. Click here to find the best prices on this gem of a book.

So, I thought I'd share some of the great stuff I've learned already from this book for those of you who are working on a novel and either haven't read this book, forgot the info from it, or just need a refresher.

Today, I'll start with what Bell calls "The LOCK System." This is, in his opinion, the basis of any good plot. Once you have this in place, you have it in place you have the basis for a good plot (the very BASIC basics, but still). Remember - these are just teasers. I REALLY want you to buy the book.

L is for LEAD: "...A strong plot starts with an interesting Lead character. In the best plots, the lead is compelling, someone we have to watch throughout the course of the novel." page 10

O is for OBJECTIVE: "Objective is the driving force of fiction. It generates a forward motion and keeps the Lead from just sitting around....Solid plots have one and only one dominant objective for the Lead character. This forms the "story question"--will the Lead realize her objective?" p. 11

C is for CONFRONTATION: "Opposition from characters and outside forces brings your story fully to life. If your Lead moves toward his objective without anything in his way, we deprive readers of what they secretly want: worry. Readers want to fret about the Lead, keeping an intense emotional involvement all the way through the novel." p. 12

K is for KNOCKOUT: "A great ending can leave the reader satisfied, even if the rest of the book is somewhat weak (assuming the reader decides to stick out until the end). But a weak ending will leave the reader with a feeling of disappointment, even if the book up to that point is strong. So take your Lead throughout the journey toward her objective, and then send the opposition to the mat." p. 13

Good stuff, eh? And there's lots more. Hope this is helpful to you. Go buy the book, okay??(this is not a paid endorsement LOL)

So, was this helpful to you? Do you think the LOCK system is accurate? What is your favorite writing book?

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence


  1. Timmy, an upstanding comedian who happens to outrageously handsome has one goal. Write a great comment on this blog post. However, his duel arch nemesi "Writing Block" & "Perfectionist" are determined to not let it happen. Is our hero finished? Will he accomplish the task? Wait. What is that in the distance? Is it? Yes! It is! It's Timmy's Wit! In moments, the enemies are vanquished and the commment is written.
    And, it's a LOCK!

  2. Thanks for sharing this book, Jo. and about the housewife thing - whatever it's called - hahaha! I laugh:)

    Anyway, good luck with that:) lol Happy Wednesday, Jodear!

  3. You have me sold! I'll pick up a copy of this book the next time I am at B&N!

    BTW, congratulations on getting your words into print! One step closer!


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