Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Using Screenwriting Techniques for Novels

I have given in to temptation and started working on a new idea. I am not going to go so far as to say I am writing a new book, because, well, no writing is happening yet. And we leave tomorrow to take my son to a place to help with his developmental issues, so I don't want a book to take over my life as we embark on this important journey for him.

The thing is--the idea has become a nag. Nag, nag, nag. It's like when your ears get stopped up after flying and you can't really think of much else but relieving that tension. So, here I go.

To get started, I know I want to use a three-act structure, similar to a screenplay. I headed out on the trusty ol' internet, and found a great source from the master himself--Syd Field. I have read The Foundations of Screenwriting and studied the makings of a screenplay. Many people recommend using this structure for novels, and since I write books for teens, and teens watch lots of movies, I think this is the best route to go.

On Syd Field's website, he explains the Three-Act Paradigm (in a great slideshow nonetheless), and even offers some exercises to help a writer work with the paradigm. It is a great resource and inspiration.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Funny Author!

I met Amy Kathleen Ryan at the Rocky Mountain SCBWI confernce last year. She is smart, witty, and engaging. I don't know this Sparks guys she speaks of (disclaimer: yes, I do, but still think she is way better!), but I never met him and didn't laugh at any of his videos--so she gets to be on my blog, not him.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Giveaway on Larissa's Blog

My friend and fabulous critique partner Larissa is having a great giveaway on her blog. She got to go to a great conference and has decided to share the love! Please stop by and follow her blog and comment to be entered.

Larissa's Blog

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weekends Off?

I've been trying to get caught up on some of my blog reading over the last few days, and I am glad that some people take the weekends off--it is helping me get caught up.

I got to thinking that the weekends typically signal high-gear for my writing. There is too much with all the work, kids, and television during the week for me to do much with my writing. But there is something about my favorite purple coffee mug and a Saturday morning that just gets all the gears turning in my head.

So here's what I do on the weekends to get caught up.

Critiques--some of them are long overdue, but it helps me get to work on my own stuff.

Read--sometimes novels, sometimes books on writing. This week: The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman

Reading Blogs--looking for advice, tips, inspiration

Think--(today it was out by the pool, most days it is in the shower) I think about my characters and my plot points and my ending/resolution . . . or starting a new book

Facebook--ok, this really isn't helpful at all, but I can't seem to stay away. I like to justify going to check things since I have writer friends there.

Oh, and sometimes I write!

I wasted enough time today. Tomorrow I crack open Word and get to work. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I guess I unintentionally "unplugged" for the entire month of May and most of April. Ooops! Summer is here and I am slowly getting back to work on some writing. Here are a few highlights over the last month and a half.

1. My first 40 pages are now in the hands of Suzie Townsend. I am anxiously awaiting her advice. I rewrote the beginning before sending it to her, and now it feels like I tried a new recipe with company on the way. I hope it doesn't flop.

2. I was notified that I am a finalist in the Panhandle Professional Writer's Frontiers in Writing Contest. Yay!

3. But, I may not get to attend the award lunch because I am taking my son to the STAR Center and a developmental pediatrician this summer to get to the bottom of his developmental issues. That doesn't exactly leave us any $$$$ for things like conferences, but what's a few dollars when it could change our lives!

4. School's out! It couldn't have come a moment too soon. We will just have to chalk up (no pun intended) the 2009-2010 school year as one of the most challenging yet.

5. We got a pool. My daughter is ecstastic. Someone should buy stock in sunscreen right now.

It's looking to be a summer to remember!