Monday, March 28, 2011

Character/Plot/Setting

What am I reading now?  The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin)
Annnd. . . what do I think about it so far?  It's been a loooong time since I've read a self-help book. Fact is, I didn't think I would again. This book is a great exception. It isn't written by a psychologist/therapist. It isn't written by a motivational speaker. It isn't written by someone who overcame a horrible circumstance in life. It is written by someone who just wanted more happiness. Don't we all.

Character/Plot/Setting
Clint Johnson taught a class a couple of weeks ago at the League of Utah Writers that I got to attend. I've heard that "When the student is ready, the teacher appears". (Buddhist proverb--right--from The Happiness Project book!) The session was great. Maybe I've heard what he was talking about before--but I doubt it. And since I'm heading into revision, it seemed like just the thing I needed to hear.
     Every paragraph should do triple-duty: It should help the reader get to know the character better, enrich the setting and  advance the plot. He suggested this be one of the things you do after you finish the first draft.
I want to go back to the stories I've written and use his ideas to improve my writing. Really there's no reason to write a new story if I have lessons to learn in the old ones.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

That's refreshing to hear someone else say there's no reason to write a new story when you still have lessons to learn in the old one. My husband thinks I'm beating my book to death. In reality, I'm just learning as I go. Over and over again.