Monday, April 12, 2010

Finally, it's making Sense!

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a 5 day online workshop at The course was led by Larry Brooks of and author of “Whisper of the Seventh Thunder”. He is also the author of the ebooks, “The Three Dimensions of Character” and “Story Structure Demystified”. The workshop was targeted toward romance novelists but writers of other genres also participated. I am highly anticipating his new book, “Story Engineering: Mastering The Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing,” which will be available in 2011.

One of the most interesting aspects for me is the idea of story planning. Never in my life have I used an outline, note cards or specialized software. (I once wrote a small YA book entirely by hand.) Needless to say, this is why I am not a prolific writer, much less a published writer. His blog post "Drumroll...Introducing the Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling" made the writing process click for me.

I spent a little time this weekend really reading and digesting the aspects of books by the authors: Mary Roberts Rinehart ‘s “The Street of the Seven Stars” and Nancy Atherton’s “Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday”. Using Larry’s Six Competencies, I really tried to deconstruct each book to learn more about story structure. I will never read another book without really analyzing it and even making notes!

I was also excited to receive an email from informing me I have won a copy of Martha Engber’s book,”Growing Great Characters from the Ground Up.” My biggest fear at the moment is communicating my characters to a reader. I know these characters, their likes/dislikes, hobbies, quirks, etc. I want a reader to want to know what they are doing and miss them when the book has ended. I have been so inspired by Anne George’s two southern sisters and Tamar Myer’s Magdalena Yoder. (You have probably surmised, my current WIP is a cozy mystery.) Please check out Martha’s blog: for more information about her workshops and her novel “The Wind Thief”.

I would love to hear from other readers and authors about some of their favorite characters. What makes that character hold your interest?

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