Stop Plotting Paralysis, Use a Central Premise

Stop Plotting Paralysis, Use A Central Premise

SEVERAL PLOTTING METHODS are based on a structure that takes one concept and builds on it, expanding and splitting until a workable outline is achieved. By breaking the plot into small steps, the overwhelming process of plotting an entire novel is avoided.

plot paralysis

reidy68 / Pixabay

These methods are based on a central theme or premise, which describes your novel in a sentence or less. “Love conquers all.” “Good over evil.” “Courage leads to victory.”

The premise should be the touchstone of the story. The characters’ actions should be rooted in it. Complications should arise from it. If an action or scene can’t trace back to the premise, it should be cut.

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Cool Links 3-21-20 Edition

Cool Links 3-21-20 Edition

For the cool links 3-21-20 edition, I have only two stories. Take a little time from #QuarantineLife to enjoy them.

It’s not nice to steal laundry detergent

Boy, can I relate to this story. My husband (let’s call him Larry) has a super huge love of bleach. The way it cleans, the way it smells—he is a bleachaholic. Too many times in the past, I’ve removed clothes from the washing machine or dryer to find white spots. White blotches. Fabric eaten away. I finally banned the bottle from inside the house. Of course, with the current coronavirus scare, bleach is now part of our daily life, but not, I hope, in large quantities.

bleach, cool links 3-21-20 edition


Read this story of a college student who got a little revenge on someone who kept stealing her laundry detergent. You can guess the outcome.


Vincent and the Doctor

starry night, van gogh cool links 3-2120 edition

I’ll admit it, Matt Smith (Doctor Who #11) is not my favorite doctor. That honor goes to #10, David Tennant. However, one of my favorite shows of 11 is Vincent and the Doctor, in which Vincent van Gogh travels ahead in time and visits the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. There, he overhears stunning praise of his works. Actor Tony Curran gives a tear-worthy performance when he hears how the world considers van Gogh as one of the best artists ever.

Go here to see a snippet from the show.




Keep writing, and wash your hands!


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The Dreaded Passive Voice #ThrowbackThursday

The Dreaded Passive Voice

Okay, I’ll admit it. When it comes to using passive voice in writing, I’m a low-life snob. I’m better than that. I know enough not to let the dreaded passive voice into my sentences. When I critique someone else’s work, you can bet I’ve commented on the number of times they used “was”.

Imagine my chagrin/humiliation/embarrassment as I edited one of my own manuscripts and found not just a few instances of the dreaded passive voice, but many, many sentences. Oh, the indignity. Oh, the horror.

passive voice




What is Passive Voice?

For all the new writers out there (and, apparently, me), a definition of passive voice:

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