book ideas, plot, writing

Bell’s Pyramid of Writing

I’ve been reading Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell and it is an excellent resource. Last week I was struck by all the different ways to generate plot ideas. So what do you do with all those ideas? You’ve got to narrow them down and the way to do it is with the Bell Pyramid.

There are three layers to the Bell Pyramid. We’ll start at the base and work to the top.

Passion: A novel takes a long time to write, so you must be passionate about the plot you choose to write about. Rejections abound in the publishing world and many times it is because the work presented is “cookie cutter” work. Writers will follow the crowd and write what is selling instead of writing the book in their heart. You must feel passion about your plot to sustain your writing through the lenth of time it takes to write it.

Potential: You have to consider the possible reach of your plot idea to an audience. The way to do that is to put yourself in the shoes of an invester. Would you want to invest thousands of dollars in a book about cleaning a fish? Hhhmmm. You don’t need to write to the largest possible audience, but you do need to focus on a specific audience and write a passionate story to that audience. You want to write romance? What kind? Historical, suspence, contemporary, etc… It is not a rule, but a guideline as you write what you are really passionate about.

Precision: You’ve found what your passionate about and think the potential is there for a readership following. Now you must trim away anything that is not in line with that potential. If you are writing for suspense, don’t get distracted from that focus. You don’t want anything to distract from the potential.

I thought these were very helpful as I am gathering up ideas and trying to figure out which one to write about.

How do you decide which idea is the one you run with?

book ideas, plot, weight loss

Fat-Less Friday & Plot Ideas

For my Fat-Less Friday, I am announcing another loss! Woohoo! I stepped on the scales and held my breath. The lady at the computer stared intently at the screen and, after a long wait, looked up at me and smiled. I sighed in relief and eagerly looked at the sticker she stuck into my book. I lost 2.2 lbs, which gives me a total of 8.2 lbs.

I am well pleased.

My writing status:

I’ve been musing over ideas for my next ms and while I have a few ideas, I haven’t really dug deep and fleshed anything out yet. I started taking my book Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell to work and reading it during my lunch break. Can I just say, “WoW”?

Chapter 3 has really hit home with me as it delves into how to gather up plot ideas. He has a Top 20 list of ways to get plot ideas that just held me enthralled! I can’t wait to try a few of these. Here are just a few:

  1. Flip a genre. An example of this would be The Wild Wild West. It is just James Bond set in the Old West.
  2. Obsessions. You know, money, looks, ego, etc. Ahab obsessed about a whale in Moby Dick. Create a character, given them an obsession and see where they run.
  3. Titles. Create a great title, then write a story to go with it.
  4. Steal from the best. Yep, you read right. Bell says even Shakespeare took other’s plots and weaved his own magic into them. We’ve all seen movies with similar plots. Take a plot and ramp it up, make it new, let it sing!

Bell had so many great ideas for generating great and interesting plots. Now I just need to sit my backside in the chair and let my mind go roam wild and free. I’ve definitely got to let some things go. Hhhmmm. TV and the new shows coming on are very tempting, and oh, the books in the pile of my bed are calling! I’ve got to learn to let things go.

So how do you writers brainstorm ideas? Do ideas come to you in your normal, everyday life? Or do you sit yourself down and get down to business?

What things to do let go in order to write? Is it painful?

book ideas, weight loss, writing

Fat Free Friday!!!!

Mood: Happy! Happy!

Why? Because when I weighed in at Weight Watchers last night, I had lost 6.4 pounds! In one week! I’ve never done that before, and I was shocked, but oh, so excited!

Weight Watcher Challenge: To incorporate exercise in my day.

Mood: Not so happy. Seriously? I’m just getting used to my stomach growling. I’m just figuring out how to calculate those points. I don’t want to increase my sweat gland production on top of all that!

So I having been thinking alot about what to write next. I’ve had some ideas brewing, but am not sure what to do. Have you ever had ideas but thought it might be too close to home? Too real? Too honest? Well, I have. I have a great premise for a series, but will have to really change it up some to make it acceptable. All very cryptic, I know. 🙂

So this weekend, I hope to get these ideas fleshed out some and down on paper. Maybe seeing it laid out will help me decide what direction to go.

I’m really praying about this, because before I wrote my first MS, I did not seek the Lord, other than ask for His help in making my dream to write a book come true. This time, I want His leading in what to write. I want to be in His will this time and not just write to fulfill my desires. I don’t know, but maybe I will grow more as a writer if I am writing for the greatest Author of all.

Here’s to a great day, even though it is quiet in cyberland.

book ideas, personal, time management

I Think I’m Back!

I am breathing easier. I’m rested. I am back in the land of the living. And I’m so incredibly glad. August used to be my favorite month, but now…not so much. I understand the need for overtime at my job in August, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I really tried not to complain too much, but found myself looking for my cranky pants and slipping them on with ease.

I know my family is glad to have me back. They will enjoy a cleaner house and now I can cook some real meals. We can all sit together at the dinner table, which is one of my favorite times of the day. I love the sharing and the laughter that only comes over a shared meal.

I’ve missed my online friends and feel out of the loop, but I have to admit that there was some relief in knowing I really did not have the time to check on the blogs I follow. I know I put it on myself, but still, I feel guilty for not stopping by and leaving comments on everone’s blog. I wish I had a good balance, because now that I am back at work, I need to manage my time so that I have time to work on the rewrites in my book.

I also want time to begin to flesh out the ideas for my next book. I have several ideas running through my mind and I am praying to see what God wants from me. I think He wants a contemporary. How strange, since I love to read historical. 🙂

Here’s to a new day. A new beginning. A fresh start. Happy Monday!