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Terms of Endearment

Since Katy and I often brainstorm together on story development for her writing projects, I thought it be fun to come to this year's ACFW conference and learn more about the process. I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the information delivered by some great presenters. I'm sure I only absorbed a small fraction of what was taught, and I may have even dozed off once or twice due to the non-stop schedule. Nevertheless, I will attempt here to illustrate some of the elements that the experts agree make fiction more compelling:

Noble Goal: The intention to spend all day Saturday helping with housework.

Conflict: The fact that two very important college football games are on TV this Saturday.

Tension: A sense of foreboding due to not remembering if I actually promised Katy I would help with housework.

Micro-tension: Katy and I standing in front of a pile of dirty dishes. Our eyes meet.

Dark moment: Those eyes are irresistible. I blurt out that I am available all day and in fact, Katy deserves much more help than I have offered in the past.

Denouement: I was wrong. The football games are next Saturday. While working together, we find time to discuss Katy's writing project and apply some of our newly gained insight and inspiration to her story.

Epilogue: Now, instead of only being able to remark "Good scene!" or "I don't get this.", I'll be able to offer the much more helpful, "The character arc of your protagonist lacks sufficient motivation to raise the stakes and advance the story."

Katy will be so glad I was paying attention.

September 25, 2009 | Permalink


ROFLOL! I LOVED you and Katy's posts, and I am SOOOOOO happy to see you back writing here at Marginal, Doug! It was great to see you two in Denver. I know Katy was thrilled to have you there with her. She may not be quite so thrilled by now. LOL!

Posted by: Deb Raney on Sep 25, 2009 11:13:44 AM

Deb: Thanks for the comment! It was great to see at the conference. I love the redesign of your site. When Katy's writing, she may now have to insist that I only speak when spoken to.

Posted by: Doug on Sep 25, 2009 12:12:08 PM

This is great! You and Katy are quite a team.

Posted by: Nancy Wood on Sep 25, 2009 10:51:26 PM

You two are a hoot! Writing conferences in Canada are never this practical.

Posted by: violet on Oct 7, 2009 10:30:28 PM

Nancy-Thanks!. Hope your golf trip was fun!
Violet-Growing up in NY, we spent most summers exploring beautiful eastern Canada. We definitely need to look up Canadian writing conference schedules!

Posted by: Doug on Oct 8, 2009 9:57:43 AM

That epilogue was rather "Tom" and now we will need a class of "Doug's big words"!

Posted by: Lynett on Oct 18, 2009 5:02:13 PM

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