From Fiction University: I'm currently taking a blogging/writing break during the month of September to deal with family health issues. There will be no new posts until October. But please feel free to read through the archives for posts you might have missed. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Poll Results, and a New Column

Thanks to all who took the time to answer the polls. I see that the Real Life Diagnostics (spelled right this time) are a hit, as is the How They Do It guest posts, though maybe not as frequent.

Starting next Friday, I'm going to try a new column and we'll see how it goes. It's something lots of folks are interested in, but it's one of those things that's hard to talk about a lot since it depends a lot of specifics.


I'm going to give it a whirl though and see if I can offer consistent suggestions to help folks find their plot in (drum roll) Find Your Plot Fridays! (yeah, I know, but I love cheesy names).

I'll talk about general story craft as well, and I'm guessing a lot of it will be things to think about and questions to ask yourself and ways to look at what you already have.

I'll also do some posts to answers the questions folks were sweet enough to ask in the comments.


  1. I'd love to read plot hints.

  2. I was wondering if you could also talk some more about building a believable epic antagonist. Why would someone try to take over the world/destroy it/whatever antagonists do?

  3. Sounds good to me. I look forward to to checking out the new column.

  4. Oh haha. I had tried to google your blog for antagonist posts before and didn't find any, but now I see you have a label called "antagonist." Your past self has sufficiently answered my question.

  5. Sounds cool! Can't wait.

  6. Janice, I haven't found anyone quite as smart as you on writing. You bring everything together so well. While some blogs are solely a handle for publicizing you are committed to helping writers as well. Friday plotting will be dynamite. Thanks for the huge amount of time and generosity you pour into this blog.

  7. I'm on board with it. Honestly, no matter what you post, I always find something useful to take away from it! I'm with Anon. above, thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog.

  8. Love your blog and the great information you provide.
    You've talked about conflict with an antagonist, but what if the antagonist is not a person but a thing like a character working through grief? Is it possible to have enough tension and conflict?

  9. Aw, thanks all :)

    Deanna, totally. Tension and conflict are just fancy ways of saying "oh no, what happens next?" (tension) and "shoot, this is in the way" (conflict). Anything you do to make the reader want to know what's going to happen creates tension. Anything that's an opposition to what your protag wants is conflict. (in a basic sense). I'll do a post on this since it deserves discussion, and I do tend to be more plot-action focused sine that's what I write.