Daily Archives: March 17, 2011

Hey Ann Dee . . .

. . .what do you say to another marathon?

I’m calling you sometime today so we can plan our March Madness Marathon.

The rest of you–we want you to start preparing for the three days we’ll all write together. It’s still a weekend or two away but . . .


Here’s what we want you to do:

1. In 25 words or less, write a simple plot of what your story is about–even if you haven’t much of an idea. If I had done this before for Miles from Ordinary, I would have said, “A girl is left to care for her crazy mother and her dead grandfather keeps showing up.” That was sort of the idea of the story when I started the book. I think.

2. Write up a list of characters that might in the book. Remember that big long list we had you do some time ago describing everything about a lot of people you know? Well, that’s gonna come in handy now. Draw from that list.

3. What is it your character wants? Spell it out–even if you’re kind of vague. In my book it might have been Lacey wanted to get rid of the ghost, or that she didn’t want to do things alone.

4. Jot down several subplot ideas that you might use for the marathon. Writing them down doesn’t mean you have to use them. But thinking things through a bit might help you as you write. These ideas will help you as you plump your story up. They’ll offer the main plot support and get you through the icky middles.

5. Finally, write yourself a letter. This is a letter of congratulations before you even attempt the writing marathon. In the letter, write down how you see the story unfolding, the pacing of things, the events, the climax and then the end. Keep the letter to about two pages. Don’t fill it with all your beautiful language. You’re jotting a note to yourself saying you know you can do this and here are some ideas of how things might turn out. You’re writing a word-map.


Whew! Are you excited??? Well, I should hope so.


If you get the chance, come see me at the Barnes & Noble at 2 pm on Saturday (the one in West Jordan).

Don’t forget to wear green today.

Hug your family.

Do something for those in Japan.


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