Page 1 of 1

Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 24 Aug 2012, 17:15
by Kellemora
Hi gang

Finally managed to write up something in an important area in a way not readily found on-line.

Parts of it can be found on-line so I left those parts out to save space.



Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 26 Aug 2012, 15:27
by Yogi
Any hints about what that new topic might be, or do we have to search your blog and guess? LOL

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 26 Aug 2012, 21:42
by Kellemora
Boy I wish I could use my Pen Name's Branding Line here, hi hi.........

The new topic is about the First Plot Point and how important's location in the novel is!
I also touch on the opening paragraphs, the GRABBER that gets readers to read your book!


Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 05 Sep 2012, 08:35
by Ice.Maiden
Hi Gary. Where do we find these topics?

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 05 Sep 2012, 09:12
by Yogi
In Gary's Writing Tips of course. :mrgreen:

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 05 Sep 2012, 10:32
by Kellemora
In that blog you set up for me under Lifestyles, Gary's blog.

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 08 Sep 2012, 11:56
by Ice.Maiden
:doh: Thank you.

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2012, 09:36
by Kellemora
I never was very good at giving directions!
But when writing what I see in an image, I never miss even the slightest of shadows, hi hi.....

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2012, 12:14
by Ice.Maiden
It's OK folks, I found it and read it. Interesting. I've taken a few tips on board.

To me, the "grabber" bit's easy. I've always written in that manner, knowing that the first paragraph - if not the first line or two - are vitally important, and I once even managed one that consisted of just 4 or 5 words.

The plot points confused me a bit at first. I hear what you're saying, but might not always know how to incorporate all of this into the first 25% or so of an intended novel, because might not this necessitate being brought up further along as well? Surely it depends on where you want to start, and how it all gels together in the end?

Like yourself Gary, I don't always start at the beginning. It could be at the end, or somewhere in the middle, in which case the plot points become slowly apparent. Does that mean that my writing style's doomed before it takes off?

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 11 Sep 2012, 12:56
by Kellemora
Writing is never doomed! Scenes can usually be moved around fairly easily, a lot easier than you think sometimes.
I just know where a publisher looks for the First Plot Point, usually between 20 to 25%, this is regarding Fiction, other genre varies.
Where I work, the First Plot Point is always adjusted so it is dead on the 24% mark, and they are real sticklers about that too!
Everything before that is the set-up! There can be several plot points in the set-up, just not the First Plot Point, where everything changes. Heck, there may be 50 changes, but there is always ONE major change that everything else follows due to that particular change and direction in the story.
And I'm not afraid to admit that where "I" think the change takes place, is Not where the actual true change takes place. I guess that's the problem with being to close to your own stories.


Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 11 Sep 2012, 17:33
by Ice.Maiden
Thanks again.

Another thing puzzles me though. When a writer begins his or her story, how can you judge where the 24% mark is - or 10%, or 30%? The book may end up much longer, or shorter, than anticipated. You could get a flood of inspiration halfway through it, and go back and add a lot more to the start, for instance.

I'm not putting this very well am I?

You say that publishers are sticklers for hitting, shall we say, the first plot point being somewhere between 20 to 25%? So if it exceeds that, or falls below, are you saying that the manuscript's reduced to the bin (slush pile)?

Rightly or wrongly, I've always done mine like this: I split the story into three. That means there's a beginning, a middle and an end, but with no set amount of pages for each part. I try to make them roughly equal, because a long, drawn-out beginning can sometimes get boring. Where the changes occur depends on the plot, and I tend to write these in when I get a "feel" about them. Would a publisher see this as a literary nightmare and give it an immediate thumbs down?

I intend to write for young children at first, but that doesn't mean to say that I haven't thought about adult fiction as well. I have several partly-written stories which've had to be shelved for now, but it's about these that I welcome comments and advice, because the children's offerings'll get into print whether they become available generally or not, so looking towards the older market, it seems that authors are bound by the rules you've outlined?

Are the publisher's rules never to be broken, or do the changes - plot points - HAVE to follow in the pattern you've described? This is interesting to me, because although I haven't had any novels published, I've done so with a few articles in various magazines. newspapers and paperwork not available for general public reading, and the stuff's been published with scarcely any editing changes, which I was pleased about. Of course, most of these haven't involved the need for a plot, because they've just been factual snippets, as when I did some research into the AIDS virus, and basically incorporated some scientific information which'd been very kindly provided by a doctor of science working at Kew Gardens in London.

So as for writing fiction, I stand before you as a novice, and shall take on board what you say.

Tell me if you don't understand what I'm saying here, because when I'm not in "writing mode", as such, my thoughts sometimes don't translate to paper too easily!!

Thank you anyway. I'm sure that would-be novelists are finding your advice useful.

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012, 09:10
by Kellemora
Hi Icey The adjustments are not usually made until after the first edit is completed, because you don't know what you are going to cut or add yet. It is usually easy to add-to or remove-from the set-up to hit that 20-25% mark.

When I was writing all those Romance Novels (paperback), the rules were slightly different, but not by much. The particular company I was working for had the usual templates we worked from. It was fairly cut and dried that we use TWO Major Plot Point, one between 18-20% and another at 55-60%. The number of pages was fixed also with very little variance. Which is why nearly all of the paperbacks from this company were all the same size and number of pages. Only certain well known authors were allowed longer manuscripts, and even their work was often cut here and there.

I've made this comment elsewhere, other than here on BF, many times.
I used to LOVE to read. I didn't read romance novels, only wrote them; so my reading pleasure was not spoiled in another other genre. That was until I became a writer again, in my favorite genre. I'm very disappointed in many books I have read lately, even though they may be great books. Best Sellers even! The first 3 or 4 pages bore me to tears on many!!!!!

You will hear hundreds of people say, to be a good writer, you must have first been an avid reader.
Then they go on to say, you need to learn all the ropes, the ins and outs of the publishing world.
The latter is only true in traditional publishing. It is so cut and dried, that you know when and were to jump to, in a book, to hit the highlights, everything else is basically just filler. You don't need Crib-Sheets if you know how printed books are put together.

To me, the best written books, are made by first time authors, who have no idea what the so-called Rules are!
They tell a story from their heart and make it FLOW in a perfectly natural sequence of events. This tells a story in the best possible way. Unfortunately, they will never be published by a traditional publisher, because it didn't fit their rigid template.

Don't put me on a pedestal! I'm no better than anyone else, I have very poor grammar, the worst punctuation in the world and get more red strikeouts than blue edits. If it were not for pre-editors and rewriters, nothing I write would make it to the actual editors at all. They keep me around because of only two reasons. Well three if you count cheap labor, hi hi..... I come up with excellent plot lines and scenes, sometimes getting an author out of hot water, yet my work is worded poorly; however, I get the point across, so a rewriter can use it. And I'm told I'm one of the better MRU creators, overly verbose at times.

After the recent lawsuit loss, and fines, many of us may be given the axe this week. The big three publishers were trying to Price Fix e-Books! As an author, I don't want anyone telling me what I can and cannot charge for my work. NOR should they be able to tell a retailer what price they may or may not sell an item for. For those reasons I'm glad they lost the case! Now on the flip-side of the coin, it may depress the market as larger resellers can under-price the smaller resellers. Just like any other business out there!

Children's books are usually based on morals and instructional examples. Most are too short to have any set guidelines as to plot points. YA short and long novels only just scratch the surface of following any rules. More often than not, they consist of short-stories appended to each other. Like the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Each book may follow a single theme, and abide by the rules, whereas others use 3 to 5 chapters for each problem or mystery. Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer is probably a better example. Each chapter was a different short-story. The Hairball Oracle chapter for eg. was totally stand alone.

When I first started back into the writing arena, I felt it impossible to make it to 24% using only the set-up info. Most stories do not need 1/4 of the book setting the stage. It can be done in a few pages in many cases. Obviously, I was missing the point of the First Plot Point.
In Romance, I always thought, when boy meets girl was when everything changed for them. Not so, usually! Meeting is a natural course of events, even though that meeting may change their lives; in and of itself, that is not the turning point. The turning point may be when he finds out she killed her first husband or boyfriend, or after they get married and their true colors come out. Something that changes both of their lives or the protagonists life considerably. I've been nearly to the end of a novel before I realized the key turning point was near the end, OUCH. Thank goodness we used TWO plot points in that company. I just had to go back and study a bit how to make the first major change to get that First Plot Point established.

I write a whole lot differently for myself, than I do at my job. There we write individual short scenes and they get shuffled around like a deck of cards, continually, many dropped, many added, until it flows and rings properly.
How I write, may seem like extra work to many. And I often only use 10% if that, of what I write, when I begin compiling my work.
As an example: I will sit down, take a single character, and write down everything I know about this character, from birth until he dies of old age or gets killdicated. While I'm doing this, I add the characters he meets, make a folder under that characters name, and copy the paragraphs pertaining to that new character into their folder.
Then, when I'm working on that character, I include the information in that story as well, from that characters viewpoint.
I may end up bouncing back and forth between these characters as I add an event to one, that should be included in the other.
I often place dates in the margins of my notes, with asterisks dividing up the time periods.
When I sit down to write a story that involves these characters, I will copy all the data about them into my working copy, for that range of dates the story is covering.
Like you, I work from a Beginning, A Middle (that's a hard part), and the Ending (the hardest part is the closing of loose ends). If you mentioned something in the story that has not been resolved, here is where fix, resolve, or end it. Or in some cases, make it into a Hook, but not a major Cliffhanger!

My head is on sideways also, so I had no trouble understanding what you were talking about!

Genre plays a very large part in what rules, if any, must be followed.
Some of the Best Sellers out there, never complied with the Rules and were excellent stories.

Don't laugh, I used to buy hundreds of the Readers Digest Condensed novels, often three novels per book.
And only barring a few. The pattern they followed was quite strict. The first page or two set the background information, the next four to six pages set the scene and plot line, and page 24 or 25 was always the First Plot Point (100 page condensed) then only the highlights of the story filled the middle, and the closing was almost always identical to the actual novel itself.
As I said earlier, once you learn these things, you don't need to buy Crib-Sheets to answer those questions in class on an exam.

I can tell, as I go back through my writings, what type of mood or frame of mind I was in as I wrote each of them. I will be reading something and busting my gut laughing at the antics I had added, then hit a few paragraphs pulled from my notes, that I just look at and go, horrible work, that will never fly.

I sent four pages, totally unedited, to one of our critique folks, they liked it as it stood, only punctuation changes.
I sent another four pages, from another chapter, that I edited a little, she sent it back all marked up. It was bad!
I sent her the original, before I tried editing myself, she said, that's much better, but needs a little work here and there.
Obviously, I write better than I edit, hi hi..... As long as I'm actually thinking while writing and not just trying to get a storyline down before I forget how I wanted it to flow. Most of my writing does flow; right down the sewer!!!!!

How does one go about making a Character-Free (other than casual mention) History Book, enjoyable and entertaining at the same time? That's what I'm up against right now!

I don't have a lot of resources to draw from. My advice is only what I've picked up from the three publishers I've worked for these past few years. And each one of them has their own ideas about every little thing too!


Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 12 Sep 2012, 10:54
by Ice.Maiden
Ah! Found you again!

Thank you very much. Some more good tips to bear in mind.

Can I just say, that re. the character-free history book - is it factual, or fiction with historical mentions (of a certain era, for instance?) ? My son had a school project to do, which was to take 2-3 months to complete. It was entitled: Policing throughout the Ages, and he didn't know where to start. So, bad person that I am, I did it for him. It was a joy to do, and it came top! Shame on me, but I was bursting to get started, and covered the methods of policing from the Middle Ages to the present. The work was displayed at school, as an example of "how things SHOULD be done!"

I preened, but still feel guilty!!

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 13 Sep 2012, 12:28
by Kellemora
In my case, it uses true factual accounts for all things around my state, but the state, counties and city itself are all fictional.

Now, even though they are fictional, the stories themselves are based on real life situations passed down by my ancestors.
Essentially, much of the history is from my very own hometown, but the setting was relocated to my fictional city.
And of course, ALL of the names are fictional.

I mention the Santa Fe Trail, to our south, and the Oregon Trail to our north. Then I add a NEW expedition trail, between these two, entirely fictional for this area of the country. Also the Mountains, Peaks, Plateau, Streams, Creeks and Rivers are Fictional, for this location. But the event did take place, and hopefully I keep it generic enough that no one figures out where these places are.

Let's just say, I keep real history real, and the state I created is fictional. Yet many of the stories told about this state are based on events I have altered or colored to make them more interesting.
In other words, it could be mistaken for reality, the way I'm going about it, just never appearing in the real history books.
In other words, I say something like, the Jefferson Provisional Government is who made the Territory a State, but this was not recognized by the Federal Government; however, the people and places still remain, many of them to this day as historical monuments of a previous era.

Sneaky little Twerp I am, hi hi.....

See my sigline, hi hi.....


Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 13 Sep 2012, 17:01
by Ice.Maiden
Just to answer where you said: *How does one go about making a Character-Free (other than casual mention) History Book, enjoyable and entertaining at the same time? That's what I'm up against right now!*

This is the sort of thing where I believe the interest comes via your descriptive passages. For instance - how you describe the places mentioned, with maybe an attached historical reference that IS interesting. I know relatively nothing about the areas you're speaking of, but as an example, when you mention the new expedition trail, I'm sure you know of events or stories connected with the real ones, which you could incorporate into the fictional one?

Erm ... with not knowing the point of why you're writing about the history of somewhere when it's never actually existed .... unless it's part of a fictional story where you're developing an image of an area that's included and necessary to the story itself - as Glenn's done, beautifully - you could describe the landscape, flora, fauna, etc. Like the peyote cactus which grows in the south western Texas and Mexico areas I believe? It was used by native Indians to gain insight - lol - and also for medicinal reasons, such as snakebites and rheumatism. That sort of thing, without going off at too great a tangent, could be interesting or added to the ancestral tales.

You have the stories passed down from your ancestors already, so from what I can gather, you're now ready to put them down into a fictional setting but using genuine historical facts? I can't see the problem Gary, unless I'm simplifying it too much, or the notion's completely off-skew!

I've often based places on real places that I've known - and characters on real people I've known as well. I have a half-written story which's set in the mid 17th century, and for that, I DID need to do a bit of research concerning geographical points and also when referring to modes of transport, dress, etc., because travelling was involved in it, from London to a fictional place on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but it wasn't particularly difficult to do, because I've been to both places, and done a little historical delving which was enough to cover what I wanted. The rest was made up. That doesn't matter, because no one can say whether I'm right or wrong.

Anyway, hope you're getting there. If not, I'm sure you soon will do.

Re: Added a new topic in my writers blog!

PostPosted: 14 Sep 2012, 12:06
by Kellemora
Hi Icey

To make a very long novel SHORT, hi hi........ My ultimate goal is to build the worlds largest (and best) detective agency.
In my process of reaching back to their beginning, I also needed to reach back to when those characters were born, and the environment they grew up in.
In my Mystery Series, I do not intend to cover much of the history, just the cases they are solving.
However, readers always want to know MORE about the settings, where the characters came from, etc.
I also intend for this to become a LONG Series (knock on simulated wood grain). So needed to build my Backstory Template First, to prevent errors from creeping in along the way.
The best way for me to do this was to re-enact the History all the way back to before the town became a town.
I've done this by taking the first lone pioneer and having him settle down right in the middle of Indian territory, while at the same time, NOT making it his original intent to do so. Events lead up to him abandoning his westward trek and staying in the middle of nowhere. Intriguing how within only two years he finds a wife and gets married when the nearest family is over 300 miles away.
Settlers do not arrive for over 20 years! Yet he gains a neighbor before then, other than trappers just passing through. By then he has a few children who are growing up and they marry as well.
The town slowly grows and one of those second group of settlers to arrive in the area, before it is open for settlement, is who starts the detective agency, as a one man show at that time, and it just builds from there.
So, I will be writing a Historical Series, merging into a Mystery Series, with a Romance Series as a sideline series.
The population of the city grows from 1 to 7 to 35 to 150 to 500 to 12,000 to 45,000 and with that growth, crime increases!
I've also tracked the growth of the businesses, the postal service, etc.
One of the key sites in my story, is how the expedition trail becomes the Stage Line and businesses grow up along it, including Swing Stations and Home Stations along it's route.
Safety begins with a Mutual Protective Association, which gives way to the Law and Order Society, which gives way to the County Sheriff and finally their own local Police and Government Offices.
One of my books will cover ONLY, the History and Growth of the City as a Stand Alone History Book. Probably as a free gift to my readers (provided I have readers, hi hi) I have to write the stories first!

As I said earlier, I wish I could send you to my web site, as I have lots of information there, but have removed things associated with the books themselves and kept it fairly generic, except for images of certain places in my town, and maps of the expedition trail, plat maps of the first and second settlers, and a lot of talk about how I'm going about building my backstory.

For now, I'm keeping my pen name disassociated with my real name!