For Writers

A thing learned is a gift to be shared. Here are some things I've learned about writing that I hope will benefit and inspire other writers. I've organized these thoughts into thematic collections, but they're not necessarily intended to be read in any particular order. Jump in wherever you like. 




Recommended Reading/Viewing

Books on writing I've found helpful:

The following are books I refer to in the Power Point presentation on Story Structure:

Eight Point Structure

Save The Cat Structure

The Hero's Journey Structure

The Hero's Journey Structure (Explained especially for Writers)

The Virgin's Promise Structure

Story Trumps Structure

Videos about writing that I've learned from:

The first video in the series about seven point structure that I recommended in the Power Point presentation.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

An excellent discussion with Michael Hague about his six point plot structure, and about structuring stories in general.




Exploring Story Structure

Possibly the biggest learning curve for me in becoming a writer has been story structure. What makes a story, a story? What separates it from an essay, or a vignette, or a report? 

How do I know when "the beginning" transitions into "the middle?" How do I keep the middle moving toward an interesting climax at an appropriate pace?  And unless the characters die somewhere in my story, the consequences of the major events of the story will go on affecting them for the rest of their lives. At what point does the denouement actually arrive at "the end"? 

How do I connect the events in my story so that they build on each other and form an elegant, cohesive whole that is a "story"? 

A solid understanding of basic story structure has helped me answer all of these questions.  In this section, I share what I've learned. 



Writing Lessons From Autism

For the past nineteen years, I've had the privilege, and the often intense challenge, of being the parent and full-time primary caregiver to an interesting young man living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have both learned a lot and grown a great deal during our nineteen-year (so far) journey together. Now that we're entering a stage of life in which he is increasingly able to manage without me, I'm enjoying the opportunity to delve into other things, such as writing--and one thing that has surprised and delighted me is how the lessons I've learned through my experiences with my son also help me be a better writer. I'd like to share some of those lessons here, in the hopes that others will also find them helpful.