How to End the Thing …

It’s a difficult time. We (two teams of two writer-peeps) are finalising stories, but one of them is being difficult – we don’t know how to give the final picture.

One option is to have the main character (MC) drive past the same place she drove into town, see the gate that closes the place off now, and a sign that says (among other things): Danger: Toxic Seep – Do Not Enter!

But it’s the arid zone. There are no places in the story where there are sludges and seeps, there are no bits where stuff oozes from the ground!

It’s a no go. But we can’t find a way to end it if we don’t do something like that.

Let me give you some background (not the whole story!).

MC has run away from her fate and her last remaining family (Grandmother). She’s bought a house, sight unseen, in a remote country town. This might be a chance for peace, but no – it’s where she meets the mortal enemy. Again.

You see, you can’t outrun yourself; fate always finds you because it’s in you. After much suffering and learning and fighting back, MC shows how she’s learned her lessons well enough to be able to take on the nemesis – but it might just cost her own life. Well, that’s just the way it goes when you have a story like this (the genre would probably be classified as urban fantasy, but if you consider it’s really rural or outback, maybe I should call it ‘outback fantasy’) – in the end is the choice to ‘do or die’.

And, of course, I can’t tell you the actual ending, but the denouement, the final wrapping up moment – what can we do with that?

I want to have the sign, but with different connotations; just something that says ‘Don’t Go There’. My colleague wants more, bigger, mucho impact.

The question for both of us is this: What is Best for the Story?

How will the denouement affect the reader? Which take on the final drive-by will leave the most lingering impression? What will the emotional impact be? Is that what we want the reader to experience?

The questions are simple, really, but the answers are being difficult.

What do we do?

Well, I suggested we do an interview of the characters to see how they would like to ‘see’ the end of their story.

My counterpart said we should do two endings, and get some beta readers to give us their take on what it meant to them at that point.

The problem is we can’t agree on which two endings, because now that we have those two, there are several more that just might be better than those two, and if we give only two choices to the beta readers, shouldn’t they be the best two choices?

The discussion rages on …


the house

Don’t Do It!

Suffer the consequences of the lurgy alone in your room – don’t be a martyr; don’t get up and work on your words. You will be sorry. You will delete every little bit you did. You will destroy the confidence you had in the story line.

You will be sick longer.

When the words become too casual, too ‘not quite right’ – slide the chair out, take the drugs appropriate to the condition, and Go Back To Bed!

‘Cos that’s what happened. I got sick. Not good. But I was so close to finishing off the serious bit of that particular play up to the major turning point. I suffered through a whole day of writing ‘stuff’ – and then, this morning, I read it.

The scream is still playing in my ears. The voice of the story is gone. It is as dull and thick headed as a ‘flu head can be. It is wrong. It is bad. It is not ‘the’ story.

What do you think I had to do? Yep. Back to the scene outline, back to the place where I began those stupidly moronic attempt at words that came from a head that didn’t have a sensible thought in it – and deleted it.

Well, not really.

After I’d read a few para’s of what I’d written, I went back to the previous version.

That’s why versioning is so critical.

Because if you do something silly (like trying to think you can think when you have ‘flu), you can hide the version you did it in, and go back to the one from the day before.

And start again.

Presuming the head is still solid in the way it can deal with the needs of the story.

And I can tell, even now, that this is not the case. Words fly by – they should mean something, but they don’t – what was I talking about? Oh, yes.

A clear head, a defined pattern of thoughts, a clarity in the direction of the story and the characters within it – that’s what’s needed. And if that’s what I don’t have, I should just have that hot drink, take that drug – if I can remember which one is appropriate – and go back to bed.

Will I do that? It is raining; there is a storm outside; it would be nice to snuggle up under a warm doona with a dog to keep me warm …. but the dog doesn’t like to sleep on the bed (very strange for a dog, I can tell you!), the sheets on the bed need changing because of all the fever sweats, and there might be a good show on telly, or a vid I haven’t seen for a while. Oh, yes, Strassman – that’s what I’ll watch.

Later, the other stuff can happen later.

And the words can happen tomorrow … maybe.


Slim in sunroom chair

 

The Tingle …

In what would normally be the throes of a new passion, I sit at the desk and dream of a fragrance. It is the new love, the promise of the new affair, but it’s not here yet. I can’t start until the last one is completely finished. But, oh, how I long to meet the new one.

She sits with her father and the RSM (not what you think – this is from the BS: Father Holy is led around the Garden of Joy by the Reasoner of Soul Magic (although the King calls him Royal Sergeant Master)) in the Garden of Joy, waiting for the next volunteer (to be husband to Agoness (not many, ‘cos they ‘feel’ the cost of the role).

The man who does volunteer, he isn’t a good man, and she says no. That’s when the trouble starts, isn’t it?

I want to tell this story now; I would be a good lover for her, at least until her story is told, and I watch her face, I hear the words her father says, I see the protective stance of the RSM as he waits patiently for me/us to complete the task already in play.

The story of Agoness will take my full heart and soul, she will condone no stray thoughts of others, she will be a demanding mistress – and I adore her already!

Why are we here, at her gate?

Because the first draft of the Ghost Story (still without a proper name – how can that be?) is complete. Not edited, not finalised finished, but all the words are in the pages, all the scenes are complete and in their final places – all that’s missing is the last few steps. The hardest steps, for me.

To step away, move away from my current love. To leave her to sit alone while I almost forget who she is, and then step back through that door with arms open, only to slash and burn and re-shape the words yet again. For the last time.

And it breaks my heart to treat her like that, and to then let her go as if she meant nothing.

And yet, and yet … My new lover awaits. She slowly lowers her eyelids over the glint of blue in her eyes, and smiles. And I am lost. My heart belongs to her. I will be loyal and generous and caring.

Until …

The stage where I am now, with Ghost, is the end of a relationship. Because if I don’t force the issue and send her out into the world on her own, how could I possibly start another relationship?

These stories take my heart and soul, take me away from the real world and into their own, they are my breath and my bane – because it’s all or nothing, passion or distance, joy or pain.

It is my world – for a moment – and as in the real world, things move on, they change, they adapt. Children grow up and move on. Books and stories spend time with other lovers and friends, and I have to allow them to do that.

And it’s almost goodbye to Ghost [I know, I think it will be: The Valki of Three Salt Springs!].

nostalgia


 

 

Short and Sharp

A quick note today. Why? The race (tdf) is still underway, sleep is short, and I’ve been helped out with my misbehaving address page (I should send that person a lollipop, yes?).

Anyway … as always, a slight digression, but here comes a small insight (first draft only, so susceptible to changes/amendments) into the Ghost Story (soon to be renamed … any suggestions?). Copyright Rose Brimson & Cage Dunn 2017


Scene 20

Not a single truck passed the shop while Anna stood and stared at Arni in the middle of the shop-floor. Otherwise, she could have blamed a heavy rig for the thundering of the floor, the sensation of an earthquake that rose from her feet and into her legs and stomach; that wrenched her heart into skipping more than one beat.

This was worse. Arni stood with her hands on her hips, and the long skirt wrapped around her hands. The bare legs glistened and twisted in the light of the blue-white LED overhead light.

The scars looked freshly healed. Redness and puffy edges Anna could almost feel the pain from. The twists of ropy tendrils of half-healed scar tissue from a burn. A hot burn. One that went deep. That was meant to kill.

“It was a dream!” Anna felt the words come out of her mouth, even as she pulled the sleeves of her arm up. The handprint scar on her arm burst with heat and became red and white slashes of angry pain, as if it was happening again.

Arni stepped forward in a creeping sidle. The edges of the scar on her left leg oozed a pink fluid. She put her hand on Anna’s scar. It was a perfect fit; her hand covered the whole scar.

Anna’s eyes widened as she looked into Arni’s face and recognised the features. She hadn’t been wrong. Arni had Nan’s features, her hair colour – and her eyes.

“You’re one of us?” Anna squeaked.

“No. I’m a … I don’t know what. But not blood. Not as you know it. Not clan. But …” she looked away and dropped her skirt as the loud bang of the back door intruded. “It was a dream, but it was more.”

Rod stepped through the door from the residence into the shop.

“She knows, does she, love?”

Arni nodded without taking her eyes off Anna.

“What is this?” Anna asked.

“We know,” Arni said She reached behind and found Rod’s hand. He stepped up beside her. “We know what you’re here for. We want to help. Tell us what you need. What we can do. Please, let us help.” Tears poured down her face as she spoke.

“Is this…?” Anna had to think, and fast. Had she been sent here? For this? Did Nan mess with her mind and make her think she was doing something of her own volition, but really sending her out for the Task?

“I don’t understand,” she finally said.

“Bullshit,” Rod snorted. “You’re going to be a Valki, and a Valki has to … do things … to get that name. We know.”

“We know a bit, not all of it,” Arni finished. “I’m an extra,” she added.

“What is an extra?” Anna raised her eyebrow. “And what does it have to do with me?” It better be a good story, or she was out of here – now!

“Illi.”

It was all Arni said. It was enough.

“We can discuss this later, when I’ve …” what? What excuse could she come up with to give her time to find out what the crap was going on?

“We know. But we had to let you know.” Arni turned away. “Rod, love – can you get the supplies she needs? You know, the salt and litter and stuff?” She didn’t wait for an answer, just walked out of the shop.

Anna’s face must have reflected her shock.

“It’s alright,” Rod said. “Things will come together when they should. That’s the way it goes, isn’t it?”

But Anna had no idea. If she’d been set up, it was amazing. If it wasn’t a set up, it was worse because it was too real.


 

The Final Scene Outline

For the Ghost Story (still to be named properly).

Due to the vagaries of winter, TDF, time-stealing-stupid-activities (see housework, etc.), and other silly little things that take time away from writing — it has taken longer than usual to complete the final scene outline for the ghost story.

But — tah-dah — it’s now complete! Each scene for each major character is written up (short-form only at this stage) and Rose and I have put our butts on the chairs, the computers on the desk, and the story in our heads – and we’re writing up a storm!

What that means is:

TDF is in its last week (soooooo exciting!!!!)

35k words are up on Ghost, and the story is increasing by 7,500 per day (two people, so easy-peasy [famous last words, those] and the premise is stronger and more compelling than it was before). It should be complete, in first draft, by the middle of Aug. [please don’t see the fingers crossed behind the back.]

And – In the process of chasing up Ms Hunter to check on Equine (need to do another one of those scene outlines, I think, because the mid-point was sadly lacking).

Life is good.


When I mentioned the scene outline, and five stories, someone said “What is that?” so I decided to show them. The eyes widened and widened and widened, and by the time I got to the end, I could see the story in her eyes. She’d found a way to ‘organise’ her own scenes, and she made the flimsiest excuses and ran home. I haven’t heard from her since …


So, what is a scene outline?

Imagine a table, with the names of all the major characters across the top. The left column has the time and place, setting and conditions, etc. Main character (MC) is the next column, then the major antagonist, then the lesser players (still the majors, though – and by that, I mean: if a character has a POV in the story [from their mind], they get a piece in this outline).

Usually, there’s 1, 3 or 5. Funny how it’s usually an odd number, a bit like the balance act that goes into the design of gardens …

Anyway, I digress.

In the blank cells under each name goes the ACTION that character will undertake at that time/place in the story. Fill ’em all in and then see how the most power comes from putting this one before that one and adapting to suit this new progression.

There you have it. When you ‘timeline’ the scene sequence like that, it opens the story to a sense of completion. Of course, now the real work starts, but when you can see the end of the road, when you know where you’re going, it’s so much smoother (and you stop saying to yourself “is it over yet?” because you know that not only isn’t it over, this is the best bit, the most exciting time, the most productive time – the fun bit about being a person who spins tales and stories that other people enjoy.

words in scenes

So, I’m back to work – and so is Nan (otherwise known as Rose) and Shannon – where are you Karel? Your turn next!


 

Still …

TDF, but today is the rest day, so I get slightly more sleep … or should that be zzz?

Anyway, here’s what should normally happen tomorrow, but the race is back on tonight, so tomorrow may not happen then, so it’s happening now.

cropped-header1-words


A Timely Reminder of The Simple Things About Story

Sentences, Paragraphs, Scenes, Chapters

Following are some notes for a simple view of how it works for story:

Sentences

are a simple structure. They contain a subject, a verb and an object. Someone does something to someone/thing. That’s basic sentence structure. Any more than that requires books and learning to get a grip on the complexities (some of us are still learning (moi!), especially about what order things go in to make good, logical sense to a reader [clarity]).

Read the words aloud to get the most defined understanding of how it fits/works. Does it sound the way it was meant to sound? Produce the right effect on the ears that hear those sounds?

Para/sentence structure should not be all the same.  How have we built our sentence?  Is it repetitive?  Does it build? Length – variation; what type of rhythm/flow is required?  Is the content and structure interwoven?

Rhythm is connected to length. Smooth flow, waxing eloquent; sharp, sudden (the long sounds, the short sounds).

Grammar helps pace/rhythm and is used to show the sense of movement of sections/paras.

Active v passive – do active; remember that drama is character in ACTION.

Cause and effect (separate them out) – ensure effect comes after cause. Don’t have someone leap up in the air before they hear the shot/creak/yell, etc.

Relevance is how ‘it’ contributes to sentence/para.

Redundancies – get rid of repetitiveness, unless they serve a specific purpose.

Feed movement, not stagnation (we want to progress), something always happening; movement of characters through the story.

Use a power position (begin/end of para/sentence).

Words:

Should be in character; different people use different words (an artist would use more colour words, a musician, a deaf person, a blind person – choose carefully, and be consistent).

Precise, specific (where it suits the character) – see it, hear it, smell it, touch it, taste it. Any other senses? Use them.

Use strong nouns and verbs to say what they’re supposed to say; to create a mind-picture – Walked = strutted, marched, staggered; building = factory, hospital, school). Be specific.

Get rid of words you don’t need (then, that – find your overused words and banish them).

Remove nothing/filler words (ie really, nice, next, then, pretty, good, bad).

Try to remove adverbs (‘ly’ words) – these are ‘tell’ words.

Remove redundancies (it’s worth saying this in as many different forms as possible).

Tags: use said, asked, replied (don’t distract the reader with the guffy tags).

Use fewer adjectives (and make sure the ones you use work); must contribute to noun.

Remove clichés (clichés are culturally connected, so for fantasy, create your own).

Check facial expressions and don’t go overboard – action does not equal only scowls, raised eyebrows, frowns, etc.

Check for overworked gestures (max 3 gestures per page – includes facial expression). ‘Character in Action’ does not mean only gestures and/or face movements.

Use precise, specific words – use all the senses to create the reality (instinct, hunch, sight, sound, taste, smell, touch/feel).

Paragraphs – Ensure We Leave No Sentence Behind

There’s an adage: ‘The purpose of the first sentence is to get the reader to read the second sentence. The purpose of the second sentence is to get them to read the third sentence. And so on.’

So people focus on the first sentence, and/or the second, and their interest wanes after that. If any sentence in the structure isn’t doing a specific job to keep the flow moving in a specific direction, it doesn’t matter whether it’s there or not because no one will read it.

Every sentence matters. Always.

A single sentence that doesn’t move readers forward (with intent), axe it. It’s not meant to be there.

Good Paragraphs Are a Chain of Thought

Every sentence in a paragraph refers back to the one before it.

The first paragraph is the setup/introduction and sometimes the hook. It introduces the idea you want to put across. A new paragraph refers back to the last sentence of the paragraph before.

How do you know when to end a paragraph?

One paragraph makes one single point.

That might mean only one sentence is needed to make the point. Sometimes, it might need a few sentences. This is the introduction of complexity (complex sentences, rhythm, pace, structured movement, etc.).

Then move on. This para needs to relate back to the point that came before, move in a specific direction to make its own point (in the power position), and get to the end.

One para = one point.

Chapters

A chapter can be one scene, it can be two, it can be several. The writer makes a choice about what a chapter is, if they have them. As long as each chapter holds to the principle of:

Each sentence has one subject (ie POV);

Each paragraph has one point (ie purpose);

Each scene (you know this one) has one (action) Event (in one place/setting, one moment in time) from one POV (character) [ie character in action] where something changes;

Each chapter has one ‘story’ – what this means is that a chapter has a setup, a response/attack, and a resolution (which may be a setup into the next chapter);

Each story has … see notes on Structure: one Main Character (heroic), one seriously bad Antagonist (the reverse image of the heroic MC), and one Goal (which is blocked by … obstacles).

 

And that’s my understanding of what they are: Sentences, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, stories.


gratefully reprinted from 5bayby14u (now closed for business, but souls residing here).

 

E-Publishing Slip and Slide

K. Jaeger 2017. Re-listed from 5bayby14u (now closed).

About to set sail with your opus? On the cusp of publishing your story/novel/opus? E-publish or self-publish or …?

The questions that come after completion of the major work seem overwhelming, but consider this: it’s the best distraction for a long enough period of time that you can completely push the work out of your head and focus exclusively on something that is so much more and so radically different from the creative side that your mind will clear.

When you finish the process of looking at the ‘how and where’ of publishing your words and you re-read your mss – how much easier do you think it’ll be to see the tiny little flaws you couldn’t see before? I’ll tell you – soooooo much easier. And it’s all because you took your focus elsewhere. Here. To the publishing questions. So, think of it as a good thing, of value to you, the writer.

Publishing 101:

For e-books – and this is probably the best start unless you want to submit to a ‘big five’ publisher:

Format the document in the best way possible. Read how the e-saler wants it, learn it well and do it. Smashwords has a whole document on the best way to format your story and you need to follow the instructions. Why? Because if you stuff it up and the formatting is wobbly, wrong, or has only one word on each line/page etc. do you think a reader will go beyond their first look? I wouldn’t, and nor would you. So, do the formatting properly.

Amazon is a little trickier, but if you find somewhere to convert your document to e-pub (for free or otherwise), then use this site to check how it looks before you put it up (not for commercial use; single-use non-commercial only – commercial users can buy it). If you think you know how to format – think again! Things get chewed up because you used a particular software program, something’s hidden in the background (like bookmarks), something’s funny about the non-true-type font you used for your heading or centering, or …

Do the formatting before you even think about submitting to the e-salers. Do it now. The first few times may take some effort, but after the first few (dozen, or so, by my recollection) you can (maybe) trust yourself to do the quick skim before submitting (and if you do this, what have you lost? Those first 3 days, that’s what).

The reason you want to do this part so carefully, with so many finicky checks and balances?

The first three days. That’s how long you have to get the ‘new’ skimmers. These are the people who look for new stuff that comes online. If you have a good title and a great cover and get people looking inside, these are the three days that count. As soon as you press publish, the countdown starts. Three days to stay in the flash of light of e-saling. A good cover with a good title that shows the genre, audience and what that story is about on the inside can get you 80-800 looks a day (your writing will determine whether there’s a sale or not) – a non-cover with a rubbish title will get you precisely none/nil/zip.

And there you have the intro to e-publishing your story. The info’s out there, you just have to understand that it’s there for a reason, and it makes sense to make the most of the effort you’ve put into that story/novel/opus, doesn’t it?


2017.

the word

 

Fortune, fortunate

A Wheel of Fortune spins and spins, clickety clacks until the leather flap holds firm. It has stopped. There is a winner. The Writer leans in and reads the Title and Number.

Title is ‘Agoness’ and number is 15. This will be the next story she works on. This is her way of deciding what comes next, who gets to be created on the page, who gets to live out their story for the next project.

Agoness is not a new story. It sat in the darkness as an idea for a long time, then it became a pattern of recognition, otherwise known as a beat sheet. From that beat sheet came the characters who’d share the journey, who they were and what their relationships were to the main character (MC). The setting, the world, was clearly outlined on a separate stage, with pictures and maps and money systems, with political news and disputes, with the ways of learning and judging – the world, the hidden background that influences without having to be explained except through MC’s actions and reactions, through her journey in this story.

And 15? The numbers are used until a story is complete and its number becomes vacant, until it’s time for another story to show its head, to pop up from the unknown and start wagging the tail. When Agoness is completed and published, the number will become associated with a different Title.

Because, well, the Wheel of Story Fortunes has a limited number of spaces – and please don’t ask how many there are on the real thing. This is the world of a writer, and it is made up as required, as needed, and as desired. In the current Wheel of Stories, there are 32 numbers, and therefore 32 stories waiting for their turn at the keyboard.

Some of these stories will be written up and finished at this stage, but mostly what happens is that they go through another stage, either a planning and development stage, or an Act or two will be written up or plumped out or plotted and staged, or a dimensional understanding of ‘what the hell happened’ stage. If the Writer doesn’t understand why or how things happen, it’s not finished. And sometimes, these things take time to bubble up from deep wells of Writerly Thinking before they can be added to, or finish, the story.

Today is one of those days. Rather than thinking too hard on the current WIP(s), pick up another gauntlet and let the brain wander in a new world until it meets up with the bubbles of treasure it wasn’t searching for in the front-brain activity. Then stack it away, back in the slot for that number, and get cracking.


C’est la vie!wheels

 

A Moment of Grace

These moments can be found in stories and movies, and often they are subtle, gentle, quiet. These are the moments that show a change, an emotional rejoinder, sometimes shows the character to be on this particular path. The moment of grace where the reader says/thinks: all is at peace; this is where we belong.

These are the moments we look for in life but have difficulty recognising because we’ve forgotten just how subtle they can be. Not so in a story. In a story it has to be much more obvious – to the senses of the reader, because it is the bump on the radar that awakens the need to seek this in life.

In story, the sense of the moment of grace allows the reader to relax for a moment, to feel that regardless of what’s to come, this is what it’s all about. To be part of it, to be encompassed by the world for the benefit of this small moment of connection.

That’s a lot of words for a normally short, quiet moment in a story. But it’s important. A breath, a reason to be, a sense of peace. We need it. The story may need it, but the reader is sucked in by it, and then, when the writer opens up the next scene to the relaxed reader, what do you think happens?

The big ‘turn it all upside-down’ bit? No! Why not? Because it’s safer to put a bit of distance between the moment of grace and a handstand. Because you don’t want the reader to throw the book at the wall when the character steps from grace to stupidity in two breaths. Because you need to work up to the next big thing, build the tension while the reader accepts the inevitability that things will change, of course they will, they always do – but not yet.

Give the reader that time to ‘feel’ the moment of grace, to accept the breath it gives, and ease into the next painful/abrupt/sudden change of course from the path.

Story is about a pattern of movement, and usually the movement of character through difficulty, but a writer needs to understand the moments between the big gulps. And the moment of grace is one of them. Not the only one, but an early one, and usually in the Second Act (Q2). Later in Act 2 (Q3) is the Lull Before Three (2nd plot point).

Hmmm, there are two of these quiet moments, but different in context. The first, the Moment of Grace, is there to be built from; the second, the Lull Before Three, is there to enable the character to bow to the inevitable, to consider the price to pay for the necessary actions.

And there you have it – two moments of story that are quiet but powerful.


And that’s my writing warm-up for the day, so now I go to work on the WIP (yes, yes, the late one!).

The Answer

Why are you doing it? I was asked (topic: the presentation next week). Why, indeed.

The shortest and simplest reason is because I wasted so much time and effort trying to learn something everyone seemed to think every writer knows without thinking about it – structure. After all, there’s the 3 acts, the Aristotle’s incline, the beat sheet, the story board, the chain of events, the snowflake method. What I’ve learned in the last year is that all these methodologies can be exceptionally vague in the way they try to spread the word (or is it that it’s too many things to different people?) about structure but can be vague and don’t make it quite as clear as it needs to be – and because structure is 80% of the work in the first stage of ‘a good story well-told’ I consider it absolutely necessary to share what I’ve learned. And I learned it by doing it, by doing it again and again and again until I understood, quite clearly, what it meant. And how to adapt it to how I work best. If I had known about it before …

It, in this case, is structure. Not that it ever seems to be called story structure. Other things, like Outline, Incline, Snowflake, Journey, Chain of Events, Beat Sheet, Story-board, and the big one – the three Act paradigm.

But it’s both more and less than all of the above – which, by the way, are methodologies, not an end in themselves. They are a beginning, a preparation for story, not a plan.

Worse, when you read up on these methods, the words become more and more vague and less elemental (except recently, and only few). And structure is more, much more, than a few vague words that state the story must move through these stages and blah, blah, blah.

It is more than that. Structure is the defined base-plate that steps a story through what comes first and why; what comes next and why; where the big things are waiting and why; how to use these milestones/points/turns to leverage a story into a gripping and powerful tale that takes a reader through the flow/movement of scenes, into the skin of the main character and how he deals with the problems and conflicts – to the end.

That’s it, in a nutshell. It’s the basic 101 stage that should be taught in all classes for creative writing. And I’m going to spread it thick and fast and far and wide. Why? Because when I get too old to write my own stories, I want to read good stories. I want new writers to understand the simple things easily so they can go on to create mind-bending concepts and premises for their stories. I want it all.


There may be no rules in Art, but there will be no Art without a solid and practical understanding of Craft. And structure is as basic as it gets, the ABC of the language of story-telling.

 

I think now I know enough to help others learn it. This is my opportunity to pass on what it’s taken me so long to learn (those 10,000 hours of apprenticeship).

Anyway, short story long (that’s me all over), this is my paying it forward.

And my hope is that every person who attends the presentation next week will take the opportunity to do the practical tasks associated with learning this, and then pass it on to anyone else they meet who needs to know about it.

I want to give them to opportunity to pay it forward.