Saturday, January 25, 2014

Danielle who?

2 basketball games this morning, back to back like last weekend.  I never understood it when I was in school, but I love watching it now.
I’m writing with my border collie this morning.  (Not literally, he’s just sitting with me.)  In many ways, he’s like the cat I had – always trying to use the keyboard.  The cat would walk on the keys.  The pooch uses his nose.  Not so bad today, but when I’ve only got five minutes to write a story, his errant strokes are quite disruptive.
Mine's in mint condition.
Is you may recall, I first began taking writing seriously when I was a senior in high school (busy not being interested in basketball).  Before that died away, I collected a few books, one of them was “The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction” published by Writer’s Digest by the founder of the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference.  I read about half of it.  I’d like to say that I stopped because reading about writing is not writing, but actually it was because I didn’t think I was learning anything.
That was probably true.  I’ve picked it back up and now read from it when I am waiting at the barn for my daughter to finish her chores.  I’d like to share two things that I have pulled out of the 20 pages.
“Plot and story are 2 different things.”  This is probably obvious to you.  But it made me put the book down.  Plot is the structure that the story hangs on.  I tell the same story all of the time, but change up the plot so it feels fresh, or at least is entertaining.  This is what Blake Snyder was talking about with his 10 story types.  So succinct.  I’ll never forget it.

I’ll leave you with the other, especially encouraging to me.  James Michener didn’t start writing until he was 40.  James Michener.  40.

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