Here’s the thing about plotting – everyone does it a different way.

Not only does everyone do it differently but sometimes it’s done different ways by the same author for different books.

Sometimes people plot meticulously paragraph by paragraph. Some people write down major plot points on post-its and rearrange them. Some people don’t plot at all before they start and just dive straight into writing.

But what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, and it’s important to remember that. Plotting is as personal as language and you have to find your way of doing it.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


Take a Walk by Christine Duncan

It was my husband who reminded me how I used to handle writing blocks. No, he is not a writer. He is a steel detailer. He draws the details of an architectural drawing so that the fabricator knows how to make it and the contractor can erect it.
He mentioned that he has learned that when he is working out how do something on a drawing, he takes a walk. It helps.
I used to do this all the time with my writing, so I knew just what he meant. Sometimes part of the creative act can’t just be put on paper right away. You need to work it out. Or as you may know, sometimes our brains work on our work in progress when we are no where near it,either physically or mentally.
Problems solved.


Here’s a exercise

You know how in team building courses (oh, how I hate those things!) they sometimes ask you to share something you’ve never told anyone else? A secret? (I always refuse)

Ok, think of a secret about your character. Tiny or large. Anything from the time they stole three sweets from the shop to murder. Write it down, fold up the bit of paper, put it away for a day or so. Think about it during that day.

Then think about these questions. Write down the answers without writing down the secret.

Do they think about this?
How often do they think about it?
How does it make them feel?
What do they think other people would do if they knew?
Do they want to tell other people?
How does it affect the way they behave towards themselves, towards others, towards the same situation?

This helps you know your character better. When you write, you don’t have to say what the secret is, but the effect is has on character will be noticeable, even on just a very subtle level.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Writing Quotes by Christine Duncan

I’ve been writing today in my head–but not on a work in progress. I’ve been writing rants at my neighbors. This is not productive. So instead of a blog, I will give you a couple of quotes–well three, since this is the Rule of Three–and I wish you a great week.

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” Phillip Roth

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Stephen King.

“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” Vincent Van Gogh

Break or break

I know, I’m very very late. The truth is, I’ve been taking some time off.

I fully intended to work this weekend. I have things to read and things to write. I am also so exhausted I am ready to drop, yet so stressed I cannot sleep

It’s no good writing under those circumstances. So I locked it away. No writing, reading only for pleasure, get out of the house and away from the work. It’s needed.

You need breaks. You need a moment to breathe. You need to let your brain take a rest every so often. If you don’t, you break.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Choices by Christine Duncan

My nightstand is piled high. Right now it holds four magazines, two mystery novels, a book about writing, and a book about making more time for what you want to do. I could whine about all the stuff I have to do but the truth is simple. It is the end of summer and the work week is about to start.
I think I NEED to read. Have a good week everyone.

Unteachable Spark

I’m teaching a creative writing course soon. Every writer needs another source of income and I’m thinking of making this mine.

However – I can teach the nuts and bolts. I can teach all the tricks. I can give advice. I can set exercises. But how do I teach that moment of inspiration?

We can all do a workmanlike piece of writing, following all the plans and rules. But what’s needed is the spark. The one that transcends rules and ignores plans. The only advice I can give is to daydream, and wait.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad