While unable to write, I spent a lot of time reading blogs and books about writing. One blog stood out from the crowd so much that it now has a home on my bookmark bar. That blog belongs to the author, Jami Gold. Her blog has already been listed as one of the top 100 resources for writers.
I’m telling you folks, there is an absolute treasure trove of info in here. I spent almost a week reading through her posts, taking notes and saving the downloadable worksheets. This lady even presented beat sheets to me in a way I could finally grok!
Speaking of those sheets, one of the first things I did was sit down with Jason’s Story and plot it out on one of these. I thought I had a clear idea of the story. As a pantser, I thought I’d hit all major plot points in my “general idea of how things should happen.” I found myself missing six points on the beat sheet and two were out of place, occurring much later in the story than the beat sheet said they should. I was surprised, frustrated, and also left feeling much as if someone had just pulled down a heavy curtain and let light flood into my mind.
I grew up knowing stories, and story-telling. Much of that was because my grandmother taught me to love stories, and more importantly, to love the crafting of them. I still have and use many of her own writing references. But I took a break for almost 20 years while I raised children, and then wandered around lost for a few years after they were grown. Writing had turned into something I “used to do.”
I’ve also learned that stories today are not the same as stories were in the early 90’s, when I was writing and getting published. (Note: I worked under a different name then.) Stories like the Dragon Riders of Pern or The Belgariad aren’t the stories on shelves today, and it’s because the audience, and thus the story telling, has shifted. The light that flooded my mind was that realization – that the storytelling I used to know will help, but I need to learn a slightly different way of telling stories if I want to be successful with my writing now.
I don’t know if the web site I linked for you today will bring about quite such a powerful moment for each of you who are reading this, but I have no doubt it will do nothing but provide you with additional tools and resources to strengthen your writing and help you elevate your craft.