Commune Exercise Day 5: Perfect Your Practice

Take 2 minutes to describe your “daily ideal” for writing. Relevant to your life, particular to you.   Manias: quiet or music, closed space, uninterrupted. Long stretch of time or at least two hours (minimum 1 hr). Completely for myself first drafts, with reading option. Email sharing not until full […]

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Putting It All Together: Reflections on Chapter Five

I did not reflect on the last chapter, because it was essentially a recap. So quickly let us recap.   According to Mr Ed, all good beginnings have, to various degrees, the following:   Backstory (or events before the book) Setup (events leading up to the start of the story) […]

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Hook ’em Good: Reflections on Chapter Two

Fun fact: the mascot at my university was a longhorn bull and our motto was “Hook ’em!” Sad fact: rarely do writers grow horns and hook their reader in the gut. In a sense that’s what Mr Ed’s book is all about: not so much throwing a line into the […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 39: Putting it all together

Phew. Now that we got through that whole book, it’s time to sketch a quick plot. Mr Bell suggests we take everything we know and write a plot summary. So, we need LOCK for the general layout (lead, objective, conflict, knockout). We need ARM (action, reaction, more action). And of […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 38: Plot Tools

In Mr Bell’s final chapter (FINAL CHAPTER!!!) the gentleman of plot offers us a peek inside his tool chest. Inside is an assortment of techniques we can use to spruce up a tricky novel. The metaphor, which he offers at the beginning of the chapter to help us understand this […]

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Plot & Structure Exercise 30: Pants or Post-its?

Security or variety? To plan or not to plan? These are the questions a writer must ask himself when setting out on this adventure. In the conversation are two styles when it comes to plot: write from the seat of your pants, or plot out the order of events in […]

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