Author Jim Lynch On Writing

It finally has sunken in that when I am writing I need to focus on writing a book that I would like to read. Researching ideas is a good idea, but Jim mentions that it is a favorite way to procrastinate. I agree, I do this a lot. I hope you enjoy this short video on writing tips from authro Jim Lynch.

Story Checklists That Work

I always seem to need a little help on keeping track of the events that should take place while I am writing. I visited a screenwriters site and the checklist provided is very helpful. Take a look at Alexandra Sokoloff.

Story Elements checklist

I was teaching this Screenwriting Tricks for Authors class at the Jubilee Jambalaya Writers Conference this past weekend and I compiled a list of all the story structure elementsI’ve been breaking down (okay, I’ve undoubtedly left some out…).I thought I’d post it here, too.It’s a great list to use when you’re brainstorming index cards, because even if you don’t know the exact scenes yet, you can write the elements on cards and stick them into your story structure grid in relative order and feel like you’ve done a whole day’s work. Hah!

No, what I really mean is, when you’re writing out cards for just general story elements, it, you will be shocked at how great scenes suddenly come to you that will fill in huge gaps in your story. If not right that second, then after you sleep on it, or a few days later.

The post on doing index cards is here, and I’ve linked to more in-depth discussions on each individual act, too.



– Opening image
– Meet the hero or heroine
– Hero/ine’s inner and outer desire.
– Hero/ine’s ghost or wound
– Hero/ine’s arc
– Inciting Incident/Call to Adventure
– Meet the antagonist (and/or introduce a mystery, which is what you do when you’re going to keep your antagonist hidden to reveal at the end)
– State the theme/what’s the story about?
– Allies
– Mentor
 (possibly. May not have one or may be revealed later in the story).
– Love interest
– Plant/Reveal (or: Set ups and Payoffs)
– Hope/Fear (and Stakes)
– Time Clock (possibly. May not have one or may be revealed later in the story)
– Sequence One climax
– Central Question
– Act One climax


What’s In Your Writing Vault?

I may be considered a writer hoarder. But I keep ideas, tips and books for writing in journals, file cabinets and on sticky notes for later use. Apparently, I’m not the only one. Here is what Edie Nelson at Novel Rocket has to say about keeping things close at hand.

Two tall metal file cabinets for work or home use

Two tall metal file cabinets for work or home use (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12 Things Every Writer Should Store in The Writing Vault

by Edie Melson@EdieMelson

Saving for a rainy day isn’t just good financial advice—it’s good writing advice. We all have those times when inspiration doesn’t choose to shine on us. But if we’ve been storing valuable things, we’ll be able to continue to make progress.

  1. Ideas. Every single writer should have a system of keeping track of ideas. I have several.
  • I always have a file on my computer for blog post ideas. Any time I’m at my computer and come up with a good idea, I open that document and record it. If I come across a cool idea on the web, I paste the URL and a quick description of what I think I could write about.
  • I also have a documents for book ideas, guest post ideas, short stories, really anything I could write about. And I keep them separate and well labeled so I can find them when the idea file runs dry.
  • I have a place on my iPad where I can record ideas.
  • I have a place on my phone where I can keep ideas.
  • Finally, incase electronics fail me. I always carry a small notebook in my purse. The trick here is to remember to transfer those ideas to my other files so I don’t lose them!  READ MORE HERE.
By Kristi Bernard Posted in Writers

Story World Tips


When you mention world building to a bunch of writers, most are instantly going to think about fantasy worlds. Makes sense since that’s the genre that does the most world building from scratch, but every story needs a rich world, even if that world is set in the good old USA. Luckily, the same tricks genre writers use to flesh out their worlds can also be used by non-genre writers.A Room With a View

One of the strongest tools writers have for world building is our point of view character. She can ground the reader by what she sees and provide context for those details. She can show what’s normal and what’s unusual for that world by how she reacts to things. Just as readers have never been to Middle Earth, they might not have ever been to the Midwest. Sure, they’ll have a general idea what it’s like (corn, flat, farms), but imagine how much richer we can make that world if we treat it like the reader has never seen it before. Especially if our world isn’t what the average person thinks of when they hear the location. READ MORE HERE.