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Put on Your PANTS: Outlining Tips for Pantsers; Polishing Tips for Plotters by Lisa Mangum

Lisa Mangum is one of the best teachers and she always has an amazing perspective. I've never heard her teach the same presentation twice. She taught about pantsing and plotting or P.A.N.T.S

Protagonist
When you edit, go through and find out everything you learn about the character. Look for their physical descriptions, their hopes, dreams, flaws, goals, anything internal.
What's missing?

Antagonist
The villain is the hero of his own story. The villain needs to be smart, crafty, etc And the villain needs to know the hero's weaknesses, strengths, etc
⇒ Write a character sketch of the hero from the villains point of view
What poses an inner threat to the hero?
What will the hero lose if he fails?

Needs
What makes the hero truly happy?
Use the equation of "Nothing is more important than X. Except for Y."
Like in the Godfather: "Nothing is more important than family. Except for respect."

Theme
Put your symbols into action by using the rule of three:
1st time = …

Reading AND writing

QOTD: What are you reading this summer?

When summer hits, I envision writing All. The. Day. Long.

But that doesn't usually work out.

The biggest pluses for me with summer is the ease of a routine, a schedule: there isn't one. Even when we have tried to do Field Trip Friday or Taste Test Tuesday, we haven't lasted through summer. But I wouldn't change it for the world. I've come to understand that I need to 'chill out' during summer, enjoy myself and my down time, but most of all enjoy my family time, because it slips away fast.

One of my hobbies that I seem to be able to catch up on is reading. Reading by the pool, reading in the car (I take ginger to counter car sickness) or staying up late to 'just finish one more chapter.'

And I firmly believe reading and writing go together.

I find that I enjoy writing in the morning, have lunch, then read in the afternoon or evening. Reading opens my mind and creativity to other worlds and character…

Chuck Palahniuk on 'thought verbs'

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Here is a short piece of a post from Chuck Palahniuk on 'thought verbs.'

The piece got me thinking about how I'm a lazy writer. I want to change that.



Typically, writers use these “thought” verbs at the beginning of a paragraph  (In this form, you can call them “Thesis Statements” and I’ll rail against those, later)  In a way, they state the intention of the paragraph.  And what follows, illustrates them.

For example:
“Brenda knew she’d never make the deadline.  Traffic was backed up from the bridge, past the first eight or nine exits.  Her cell phone battery was dead.  At home, the dogs would need to go out, or there would be a mess to clean up.  Plus, she’d promised to water the plants for her neighbor…”
Do you see how the opening “thesis statement” steals the thunder of what follows?  Don’t do it.
If nothing else, cut the opening sentence and place it after all the others.  Better yet, transplant it and change it to:  Brenda would never make the de…

Self Edit Like A Pro by Jolene Perry

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I love NaNoWriMo! I love being able to let my brain dump out words that form paragraphs and eventually form a story. Not to brag (just proving my point), I can usually write 50k in a weekend. They aren't pretty words, but it is a story.

But I HATE editing. For some reason, I feel like a failure because all the words in my head come out a jumbled mess on paper (stupit, right?)

At the same time, I love editing because I can make the sentences stronger and make my story better.


Jolene Perry's class was excellent on self-editing.
Here are a few of my notes:

There are a few edit rounds:

Developmental/Big picture
Line
Fine line
Copy
Proof

LINE EDITING:
Line edits help make awkward sentences better, change passive sentences, and improve flow.

When editing, it might be helpful to plug the manuscript into a plotting method, like Save the Cat and see where the story needs fixed or is missing beats. If I find myself rethinking a scene, then I just need to cut it.

One of Jolene's advi…

Be Still My (Always) Racing Heart: Common Mistakes in Romance and How to Avoid Them by Jenny Proctor

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I've written at least 5 YA books. I had 3 full requests from agents for my psychological thrill. All three agents left the industry within 6 months of asking for my manuscript. LE SIGH.
Recently, I switched genres. I'm trying my hand at contemporary romance now (can you blame me??).
I love writing romance! Because of my love of writing love (sheesh), I choose all romance writing classes at #storymakers19.

One of the classes was by Jenny Proctor!

This is one piece advice I'm going to use every time I start a story:
⇒Before drafting, tell a friend (or your critique group) your story. Pay attention to the questions they ask! Use their insights and questions to fill out your story.

Know your characters!
Ask WHY for everything they do.
Allow them to make mistakes.
Know their conflicts both intelluctual (false impressions and assumptions) and emotional.
Too much 'hotness' doesn't a relationship make! If you use too much 'hotness' you don't have enough char…

Writing conferences in Utah

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Years and years ago, I wrote an LDS romance. I thought it was pretty good, so I decided I needed to figure out where to send my amazing manuscript to have it published. I read about a writing conference close to where I lived and decided that is where I should start. After all, the conference title had 'LDS' in it.
The conference was smaller back then. We fit in one of the ballrooms at the Marriott hotel in downtown Provo. I'm not sure how many were in attendance, maybe 100? I got to meet so many amazing people! I'm still friends with most of them today.

I soon learned I didn't write the perfect book. That hurt my ego a little bit, which was good. I'm still learning the craft. I'm still learning I can't write the perfect book in one setting.
There are quite a few writing conferences in Utah. My favorite isLDStorymakers. I think this year there were over 800 participants and it runs for three days in May.


Life, the Universe and Everything is a fun confe…