Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Basic Plots: Vonnegut’s Man in Hole

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. I’m back again to talk about story structure (admittedly an obsession of mine).

Love him or hate him, one of the twentieth centuries most influential and prolific authors was Kurt Vonnegut. Though he studied at some of our nation’s finest institutions (including my alma mater), he never studied writing. And when he wrote his thesis for his master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago, it was initially rejected.

Why am I telling you this?

One, to tell you to keep at it. Because years later, his thesis was accepted. Eventually, hard work pays off.

And two, because even though Vonnegut didn’t study writing, he was a master of the craft because he studied people. And you can’t write good fiction without knowing people.

Vonnegut posited there are five basic types of story structures: Man in Hole, Boy Meets Girl, Cinderella, From Bad to Worse…

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Name – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

They had a good chat while sharing the park bench and he was sad to see her go when she finally left. He kept thinking about her and her lovely smile after she was gone, and he kicked himself when he realized he forgot to get her name. He decided to come back the next day in hopes of seeing her again – and finally get her name.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “name”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/tuesdayuseitinasentence-name/


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Chapter Length #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

I was recently asked in an online group what length a chapter should be. I’ve discussed this before here, but I’m always happy to repeat myself. In my opinion, there is no hard and fast rule.

When we commit to writing daily, our writing style grows and changes. Fifteen years ago, I wrote long chapters, some over 4,000 words.

However, as time has passed, my writing style has evolved. Chapters have become shorter, averaging between 1,500 to 2,250. Some will be much shorter, for reasons I will go into further on down this article. Some might be longer if the story demands it.

However, it’s a good idea to consider comfort of your reader. Many readers want to finish a chapter in one sitting. I’ve attended seminars given by authors who say they have a specific word-count limit for their chapter length, a personal choice.

I’ve read and enjoyed many…

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In The Corner Of My Mind – Stream Of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt is “in the corner”. Country music fan that I am (I grew up listening to country music, thanks to my dad), as soon as I read that, I was struck with an earworm. I had Alabama’s song “Jukebox In My Mind” start playing in my head, even though I’ve not heard that song in a very long time.

It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? How a song that you’ve not heard in a very long time can suddenly pop up in your mind? Or you just happen to hear a song you haven’t heard in years and you can still remember all the words? It happens to me a lot of times, since I have a rather eclectic taste in music, liking all sorts of different types of music.

In case you’re not familiar with the song and are wondering how it fits this prompt, it starts out “In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox.”

Take a listen to it, if you’d like. Alabama has been on of my favorite bands since I was little.

In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox
It’s playing all my favorite memories
One by one they take me back
To the days when you were mine
And I can’t stop this jukebox in my mind
 
I don’t need no quarters
Don’t need any dimes
You filled it up forever
When you said goodbye
 
Heaven knows I love old melodies
They were meant to ease the pain
But the kind that’s playing on my mind
Are driving me insane
 
In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox
It’s playing all my favorite memories
One by one they take me back
To the days when you were mine
And I can’t stop this jukebox in my mind
 
Song by song those melodies
Were meant to ease the pain
But the kind that’s playing on my mind
Are driving me insane
 
In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox
It’s playing all my favorite memories
One by one they take me back
To the days when you were mine
And I can’t stop this jukebox in my mind
No, I can’t stop this jukebox in my mind

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday:


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Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision? – by Louise Tondeur…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Jane Friedman site:

While I was planning my current novel and annotating that plan, I asked myself a series of questions in the annotations. I know I’m not the only one to make notes on a draft in the form of questions, but until recently I wasn’t aware that I was creating problems for myself by not categorizing the questions. (I’m taking part in a coaching program for writers called Dream Author, run by bestselling crime writer Sophie Hannah, and this realization came to me as a result of one of the exercises we did.)

Some questions have to be answered before I can make any progress with a draft. But others are simply the result of indecision; I could simply make up my mind and move on, knowing I can always change my mind later.

Now I am convinced that two things can hold me back (for years…

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Made – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

She stared up at the stars as Carl Sagan’s quote about how we are all made of star stuff ran through her head. A strong sense of longing to be up there among them embraced her, as if she belonged there.

This day-late post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “made”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/12/30/tuesdayuseitinasentence-made/


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SPOOKY PHISHING SCAM TARGETS TRADITIONALLY-PUBLISHED WRITERS – Written By Victoria Strauss

Writer's Treasure Chest

Apparently not even traditionally published authors are safe from crooks. Victoria Strauss on her ‘Writer’s Beware’ blog describes one particular case on her blog. Please read it and be careful. Thank you.


Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

The New York Times has published the story of a strange international phishing scam: unknown actors targeting traditionally-published writers, posing as their agents or editors to obtain copies of their unpublished manuscripts.
Earlier this month, the book industry website Publishers Marketplace announced that Little, Brown would be publishing “Re-Entry,” a novel by James Hannaham about a transgender woman paroled from a men’s prison. The book would be edited by Ben George.

Two days later, Mr. Hannaham got an email from Mr. George, asking him to send the latest draft of his manuscript. The email came to an address on Mr. Hannaham’s website that he rarely uses, so he opened up…

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Crossing Genres: #Fantasy & #Historical Fiction

Legends of Windemere

Different Genres

Here we are for the last ‘Crossing Genres’ post unless somebody requests pairing another one off with ‘Fantasy’.  I’m open to any that I can slip into January.  Not sure any will be as difficult as this one.  One genre is completely fictional to the point where you have to build an entire world from scratch.  The other is fictional with a solid base in reality, so people can connect to it.  Still, there are overlaps that I can think of.  Not much, but the advice for one can still work for the other.

FANTASY & HISTORICAL FICTION

World Building

This might throw you off a bit because many don’t connect world building with Historical Fiction.  We know it’s a big part of Fantasy, especially if your story takes place somewhere that isn’t Earth.  You need to design cities, magic systems, histories, cultures, landmasses, oceans, religions, flora, fauna…

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