Sunday, March 20, 2011

Checking in on your commitments...

You made a commitment to your writing this year, didn't you? Right? Right???

It has been three months since the start of the New Year so let's take a look at how your dreams and aspirations held up to the real world. LOL

If you did not make a commitment to your writing, how about doing one now? Seldom do amazing things in life just happen by chance or luck. The things that really matter usually require dedication, persistence, and patience.

Writing your book or selling your book are perfect examples.

But let's say for the purpose of this blog that you did take me up on my "Absolutely No Excuse" challenge to write your book, and market it, this year.

By now, writing 25 pages a week so you should be at about 200 pages.

For YA, you are in the home stretch.
For many genre novels you are over 2/3 there.
For larger works you are 1/2 through.

Doesn't it feel great???

Oh, wait. You mean you aren't at 200 pages?

Let's see... Life got busy. The kids got soccer. Your boss expects overtime.

Ok, no worries. Let's be realistic and cut the hopeful page count in half.

So, awesome! You've got 100 pages of your novel done!!!

What? Not even 100 pages?

That's okay too, because I am not here to guilt you (perhaps in other blogs, but not this one - LOL).

I am just here to remind you how much you love your story.

How excited you were when you first sat down to write your book. How many hopes and dreams you had when you could see your book, written, in your mind.

I am a big believer in the 'never too late' motto.

Ok, so life got in the way. Your dedication wavered. That doesn't mean you can't re-commit. It doesn't mean that you can't find a way to time manage better.

All you have to decide is... how important is your story to you?

Then, once that is decided, simply.... act like it :-)

P.S. I wanted to thank everyone that shouted me out, DMed me and commented on this blog. Your kind words really were appreciated.

With that said, my schedule is so busy that I think I am going to take a month-ish long break from the blog and radio show until May when my two large projects are done.

I will however still be on Twitter so feel free to hit me up there!

Until May (when you should have another 100 pages done BTW. I may be gone, but don't worry, I will still be cracking the whip in the background :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Your Tent pole. Is it high enough...

Yes, let the giggling begin!

Once you compose yourself, we can move on to the topic at hand!

But while you are still trying to control the snickering, let me give you an update on "30 Pieces of Silver's" Bestseller for a Day showing...

Ok, now that you have sobered a bit, let's talk Tent pole.

No, not that one that engenders giggle-fits, but the one that is at the heart of your story.

For those of you who haven't read my other structure blogs, you can head here to start.

Today, I am not so much talking about the Tent pole in relation to the 3 Act structure but about what the Tent pole means to your story.

This action sequence (and remember you can have INTERNAL action as well as bombs and stuff) is a MAJOR raising of the stakes, which we know is key to build any story and satisfy a reader.

This Tent pole also helps to punctuate, carry, and motivate the character work that occurs in Act 2. You need something in the middle of that long Act 2 to kind of not only spice things up but also kick your Hero in the groin... again.

This Tent Pole action shakes up the group dynamic. Many times killing members, making us know how very serious the stakes are becoming.

This is also the point where your villain shines. He isn't just a nuisance, he is a THREAT.

So in summary, the Tent Pole (mine, not yours #wait, #thatdidntcomeoutright) has to be MAJOR. Your villain needs to hit your Hero and hit him good. It is what the entire first portion Act 2 leads up to and the aftermath of this major battle (whether internal or external) is what drives the last part of Act 2.

Build your Tent Pole right, and it primes your audience for your climax. And yes, I do know how that sounded, but you know what I mean!

Alright, onto a more serious-ish subject.
This blog. My Twitter stream and radio show.

Basically I am super, duper, wooper busy and obviously maintaining Writing Without the Drama takes a certain amount of time and energy.

If you want me to continue with all of this, I need to feel the LOVE.
You need to follow this blog. You need to leave comments, you need to RT or @ me on the stream. You need to call into the radio show or leave comments on the BTR page.

If you want the free advice to keep flowing, I need to know that it is doing some good out there!

I will be at SXSW speaking as an expert in digital publishing so there will be no blog next week... well, depending on your response, there may never be another blog! We will just have to see.

Of course if I see that this blog/twitter stream/radio show is really helping people, I will continue. If it turns out I am talking into a vacuum...well, my time is probably best spent on my own writing and marketing of my books :-)

So tell me... Do I continue????