Over and over a writer hears that taking a side path, a branch off from the planned route can add, add, add to our work, even as the writer worries about the time it takes to travel them. Yes, I've been down three side paths since last I posted.
1. I took some serious time to do 'writing craft' research on 'plot climax' from as many sources as I had on hand and available through the internet. As a result, I came to understand that my climax was actually a couple chapters prior to where I thought it was. Okay, you're scratching your head going, 'how the f****** hell can Meg not know where the blasted plot climax is after all that time!?!" Turns out, I have one climax that births another that follows immediately after that one. The first is a physical plot climax followed by a final massive mental/emotional climax puzzle to figure out. I'd erroneously figured that the mental section was the massive plot climax...
Decided after research that I had to make the physical climax even more satisfying for the reader and make it the top of my upside down plot chart. Then the mental section is an odd twist that extends that height, or might even be considered to slip down and then get pushed over the top again before resolving the book.
That might seem minor, but it put a whole new spin on how much I had to put into the physical plot climax scene...
Then 2. I've been listening to a "Great Sentence" MFA lecture series from a retired Univ of IA professor. It's a complicated, but fascinating class on sentence structures from cumulative sentences, suspensive sentences, etc. From that reading, I ripped apart Carrie Vaughn's short story from Dark and Stormy Knights to critique when and where she used them in her work to heighten tension, build suspense, etc and also a Meg Rosoff book for the same detail. Both use cumulative sentences in different but fascinating ways.
Both research side roads have paid off in huge dividends when I look at the overall effectiveness of my WiP.
3. An assignment on 'order', not flashback, but conscious reveal of back-story in book real time woven into the work has made three beautiful counterpoints of jeweled nuggets that simply make the emotion zing off the pages. Thank you, BK Loren and the Univ of IA writer's festival!
- May - 2016: Upcoming, I'll be participating in Desert Sleuth's Donald Maass Workshop. I'm afraid it sold out months ago, but if you have questions, contact me.Apr - 2016: A 2nd Kami Short will release in the Malice Domestic anthology in Bethesda MD. I'll also be moderating a panel with authors Karen Pullen, Sue Cox, and Gretchen Archer. Don't miss the fun! I'll have special edition signed copies of the 1st Kami Short from the SinC - Desert Sleuth anthology to hand out for free.Apr - 2016: An adult short story, Big Horn Mountain Carnivores, was selected as the adult category winner in the Tempe Community Writing Contest loosely associated with Arizona State University! The e- & print release where I read a portion of the story was the greatest fun. Thank you everyone who came by! Free download here (scroll to bottom):Aug - 2015: Politics of Chaos was released at an event attended by the awesome NYTimes best-selling author Sara Paretsky! Also, a flash fiction entitled, "Lightning" was 3rd runner up in the national 2015 Writers Police Academy's contest.
July - 2015: NYC FBI headquarters. Many thrilling authors were there, the presentations were fantastic, and the experience was a solid 15 on a 10 point scale. Thank you to the International Thriller Writers for inviting me. Thank you to the men and women of the FBI.
MAY - 2015: The Poisoned Pen submitted Chaos Theory for the 2015 Edgar's young adult novel award. Please note that submission is NOT a nomination. Still, it is an exciting development.
MAR - 2015:Tucson Festival of Books booksigning! Great time by all.
FEB - 2015: CHAOS THEORY, released by The Poisoned Pencil, an imprint of The Poisoned Pen Press - one of the nation's largest publishers of hard-back mysteries.
MAR - 2013: Meg was honored to receive a year long mentorship from author Jan Blazanin through the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Iowa. Ms. Blazanin praised Meg's multiple characters' distinct and age appropriate voices.
Her writing blog is located at megevonne.blogspot.com contains reviews and writing craft tools.