Think / Pro:  One Guiding Decision :: Plot It

Pick a Plot

the Key to ANY Story

*The Plot Types will take two blogs. (Sorry.  Not.)  Come back on the 10th for the finish line of this post.

Buying Story

Image result for image house under construction: from ABC News 2013
Building under Construction: Foundation is hidden under the concrete blocks that are the base of the walls.

Plot is the foundation of all story.

ALL story.

The key to any construction job is the foundation.  People buy houses based on the square footage they need and the look of the life they want.  The buyers don’t consider the state of the foundation;  that’s the job of the builder.  And the foundation is buried in the ground, unseen, doing its job without any acclaim or gratitude or blessing.  Without a strong foundation, however, the whole structure will fall apart.

So it goes with story. 

People may love the characters and chatter excitedly about events and the genre tropes, but everything—EVERYTHING—in that story will fall apart if the foundation is not solid.  Should story-tellers neglect plot, the story suffers, and not even the most wonderful characters and stupendous events and twisty tropes can rescue it.

Continue reading “Think like a Pro: Pick a Plot”

 

Think/Pro: Plot Matters :: Plot is your Guiding Decision.

 

Plot It :: Models and Patterns Help

Only 7 Types of Plot exist, according to Christopher Booker in his 7 Basic Plots archetypal study.Think like a Pro: New Advent for Writers by [Lee, M.A., Dunn, Emily R.]

It’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel every time we start considering our stories and novels.  Models and Patterns will guide our plots.  It’s up to us to tinker with the recipe in order to keep it fresh and original.

After all, it’s professional writers who discovered the plot models and patterns that newbies constantly seek out. 

How do we transform ourselves from hobbyist to professional?  How do we change the mindset that our writing is for escape or entertainment?  If our goal is professional writer, how do we become a disciplined Pro?  The third lesson is Plot It.

In our long “Winter of Discontent” with our writing, we need to follow the example of the crocus:  emerging from frozen snow to new life.

To help newbie writers achieve that goal, New Advent for Writers: Think like a Pro presents seven lessons as a guide for this transformation.  These lessons may seem easy, but the practical application takes focus, persistence, and clear thinking.

Chapter 1 covers deadlines (One Scary Word).

The second chapter presents the importance of daily writing.  Leo Tolstoy kept this motto on his desk: Nulla dies sine linea (One Latin Phrase).

Chapter 3 examines the models or patterns that every writer depends upon (One Guiding Decision) while Chapter 4 reminds us to learn from those who’ve gone before (One Ancient Greek).

In Chapter 5, entitled One Simple Injunction, the authors preach the great heresy of no excuses.

Chapter 6 (One Slice of Advice) explores how creativity can be sparked.

Chapter 7 discusses determination and resolutions.

Click here to investigate.

 

Bright Saturday: One More Prayer

Just yesterday a young friend of mine faced one of the many quandaries of life, one more of those tricky quandaries that make us feel like a wishbone, jerked between what is right for us and what others say is right for us.

For years my friend had participated in this group in order to do an activity she truly loves.  Recently, the group had begun pushing her and nagging her to do something on a timeline they thought would be appropriate.

Continue reading “More: Prayer for Guidance”

 3 Bedtime Prayers

We teach little children prayers to say every night before they go to sleep.  As parents, we listen to their prayers.  And sometimes, as we listen to those sweet little voices, we might think,  ‘Surely prayers should be more.’

Then, as we age, we think those prayers are for the little people.  They seem too simple for our complex lives.

And our mistake is when we try to make our prayers more when simple is better.

Continue reading “More: 3 Bedtime Prayers”

For Bright Thursday: The Peace Prayer of St Francis

While the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed and even little Glory Be offer the basic tenets of faith, we can add more to intensify our daily walk with Christ.

More can mean a greater understanding of the church year (as we did last week for Holy Week), but it can also mean additional readings to add to our daily devotions.

Continue reading “More: Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi”

He is Risen!  But more must still occur.

Bright Wednesday / the Road to Emmaus ~ Luke 24:13-35.

“He has Risen!”

That’s the good news that the angel gave to the women at the tomb and the very good news that the women gave to the disciples.

Who could need more than that?

Yet the disciples could not bring themselves to believe.  They wanted to, desperately, but their earthly realism prevented complete belief.

So more is needed, and more comes on the road to Emmaus.

Three days after the Crucifixion, on this very day of the Resurrection, two of the Jesus’ followers are walking on the road to Emmaus.

Continue reading “More: Bright Wednesday”

Easter Tuesday

In this day of contemporary music and blended worship services, with more musical instruments than just pianos and organs, the staid traditional services that I once bemoaned now seem strange.  We have so much more now.

Today the spirit of the service is set with a mix of pianos and guitars, organs and drums.

When we regularly sing music from Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman and updates to standard hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “Just As I Am”, the dry old services of my past seem more than outdated.

Those old services now seem strange.

Then, they just seemed . . . tired.

In the Dark Ages, I once volunteered to play the piano for my church (a chore that I thought would only last a few months).  I tried to add new music for the piano solos before service and the offertory: new arrangements of old hymns and old praise songs that my plain church had never sung.

Favorites were “Flee as a Bird to your Mountain”.  The piano arrangement I used was beautiful. here is another one ~

and “God So Loved the World”, one more favorite, is here ~

One More:  The Top Favorite of Those Old Hymns

Image result for broadman hymnal
the old Broadman, a great source of the traditional hymns

After all, the new arrangements I found in music books that I bought from the local Christian book store.  And the old praise songs were from the back of my Broadman hymnal.

I ran through a lot of songs in the few years that I served as pianist.

One of the songs that I kept in constant rotation, primarily because it was less than a minute, was something that I called “Glory Be” but is actually called “Gloria Patri”.

Glory be to the Father

And to the Son

And to the Holy Ghost

As it was in the beginning

Is now and ever shall be

World without end. Amen. Amen.

Isn’t it lovely?  Praise and contemplation, wish and hope, all in six lines packed with glory.  

There.  I promised today’s blog would be short.  And sweet.