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I have finally returned to my blog after being away for more than a year! I really lost my passion for writing during that difficult year. I have since moved, taken on a new job and connected with a great group of writers in my new area.
Invigorating my renewed passion was a mini workshop featuring the author of a new favorite series of mine, Suzanne Johnson. She shared some of her writing techniques with the group as she presented “Plotting for Pansters”. Her series, The Sentinels of New Orleans, is categorized as urban fiction and the first chapter of Royal Street really caught my attention. This paranormal romance set in New Orleans and is far out of my normal reading zone. I have always preferred a good cozy mystery. I do however, like to read the works of authors that teach workshops and I got hooked on this one. It did remind me in a small way of the few books in the Sookie Stackhouse series I have read.
I am glad I attended this workshop because though I have always been a plotter, I did take away several fresh ideas on weaving my story together. She showed examples of how she achieves weaving her plot, sub-plot and the characters into a solid book. I was mesmerized by the colors and technique she uses in her outline to represent each area.
I am filled with ideas for stories and novels, but the middle and sometimes the endings escape me. One of the books she recommended at this mini workshop was Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I have spent the last two afternoons studiously devouring this book and taking notes. I have a solid idea, but I am very undecided about the ending.
With NaNoWriMo on the horizon, I hear people lamenting on their lack of plot and I will recommend this book to them to help jump start their stories. He lists several techniques for finding inspiration and some examples that were actually used in popular published works. I am also using a workbook that I will discuss in the next blog post.