Cloudy Days and Writing Ways

Posted By on November 7, 2012

Following Footprints

Yesterday was so full of stuff I had to make a late date with my laptop.

The beloved and I went here in the rain. We went there, in a city where rain turns traffic into the world’s largest parking lot. Before we knew it, we were eating dinner out last night because nobody in the abode wanted to belly up to the oven.

I discovered, after a day away from the ms., that I had to do a little drilling. My hero needed some back story. Back story often motivates a character’s responses to conflict in the moment, and if it’s really doing its work, it plants the seed of change that allows a character to grow. The incidents that make Mr. Hero stand his Alpha ground may also give him a reason to stop repeating safe, but heartbreaking choices that aren’t making him happy. (Of course, until Ms. Heroine shows him he’s safe, being vulnerable with her, he has no idea his heart is even bruised. He’s just Mr. Alpha Hero, ruling his Ms. Heroine-less world.)

As I’ve mentioned, bewailed, and bemoaned (any difference between those last two?), I’m a pantser at heart. I have a scene in my head and the story builds around it. I may think I’ve started at the moment the story had to begin, but that moment can slip all the way to the end of the book by the time I finish editing. Last night, after a day of one-errand-after-another, I realized I had a hero I love, but I didn’t really know him. Those Alphas–they like to taunt you with their arrogant silences. Like the little beach bird above, I had to follow the footprints Mac is leaving in my story, to track him to his essence. (Hint about credit coming below for writers who’ve had the benefit of Michael Hauge’s workshops.)

Not a lot of word count yesterday, but I did some much-needed work! And once again, I used the information KM Fawcett posted on Attacking the Page, when she summarized Michael Hauge’s Six-Stage Plot Structure. Maybe one of the most helpful writing posts ever!

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2 Responses to “Cloudy Days and Writing Ways”

  1. KM Fawcett says:

    Hi Anna,

    I found your blog through the pingback on my blog post. Thanks for the mention! I was excited to see it, and am glad you found my Michael Hauge summary helpful. Good luck with your writing!!

  2. admin says:


    Thank you for the great post! I really find it useful because you’ve simplified Michael Hauge’s notes so that I can get my characters right back on track in a short brainstorming session. I’ve used your post three times now, and I just suggested it to another friend this weekend! I should have posted all this in the comments for your summary blog! I am your testimonial! 😉

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