Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting Directions

We had a party on New Years Eve again, a big one. The house was brimming with family, friends, neighbors ... and I spent nearly the entire evening sitting on the floor getting directions from a New York Times best-selling author.

I think the best instructions we can ever receive come from these one on one chats with people who've tasted success, lived it. Now, I won't say I totally neglected everyone else in the house. I looked up from time to time to make sure there were snacks on the table.

You see, I've struggled with a bit of the plot I've written for my novel-in-progress and so I asked for some advice, and he gave it freely. Wow! Am I ever ready to get moving on my book now, and I have been, which explains why I've missed a couple of weeks on my blog.

Bestselling novels in the mainstream market have several things in common, some of which I neglected when plotting, but have since revised. They have a conflict with nationwide or worldwide consequences. That means, that whatever is happening in your book better affect a lot more people than the immediate characters. They must also have a political angle.

Political? At first I cringed. I don't like politics ... but I've been studying them, and guess what, my plot is stronger than ever. I've introduced more subplots that keep my story moving and I've created a conflict that has been on the front page of every major newspaper.

All in all, I believe I received some spectacular directions for my writing, and I'm following them. David Farland emails a daily writing column to anyone wanting to further their writing. It's full of some of the same advice he gave me that night and so much more. If you're interested in receiving his emails, send a request to

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