Sometimes my disciplined life prevents me from advancing in ways that I’m hoping for.

I rarely embrace interruptions to my rigid schedule, but this week, on a whim I signed up for a class from author Rachel Weaver for writing the three dimensional novel or memoir through 49 Writers. I’m so glad I did. I have two manuscripts in need of purposeful revision and I’m not making the progress I need.

author rachel weaver

author Rachel Weaver

Rachel Weaver has a breakout novel Point of Direction that’s received rave reviews. I hadn’t read it just yet, so it was a gamble, but my most revised manuscript has a flat, and I need help.

She was brilliant. I enjoyed the conversation and the writing exercises, but it is her eight tips below I’ll use to inform my work. (I borrowed that fancy phrase!)

Here are Rachel Weaver’s 8 Essentials to Storytelling

  • What is your inciting incident?
  • What are your protagonist’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the key conflict?
  • What is the protagonist trying to do?
  • What major setbacks does he/she face?
  • Pepper the story with subplots
  • What is the point of no return for the protagonist?
  • How does your story end?

For me, I’d never once thought about how important it is to know the protagonists weaknesses and strengths before getting too far in to the writing. I’m light on subplots, too. No wonder I have a flat!

So for the next while yet, you know where I’ll be.

If you get a chance to pick up a copy of Point of No Return, do it! Better yet, catch her at a reading near you, or ask her to Skype in to your book group.

My wish for you this week is an unexpected surprise by taking a detour from your planned agenda.

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