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Basic Story Plots- Quest

Posted by on Feb 21, 2013 in Basic Plot Points, Children's, Genres, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, New Adult, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Thriller, Westerns, Writing, Young Adult | 2 comments

Basic Story Plots- Quest

There comes a time in every writer’s life where you’re about to start another project and you’re faced with a tough question: Which plot am I going with? Is your new project all about revenge? Is it a story about a change or metamorphosis? Is it a Romeo and Juliet story about a forbidden love? Either way, welcome to the second installment of Pen and Muse’s Basic Story Plots project. Each week we want to introduce you to a different plot point. Hopefully we can help and be that swift kick in the inspiration booty that you need.  It doesn’t matter if this is your 20th novel, your first novel, or your very first flash fiction. If there’s no plot, there’s no story. This week’s basic plot point is: Quest Details: Quest plots involve your protagonist / main characters being on the search for something. Whether it be person, place, thing, animal, or mineral, your protagonist will not rest until it’s found, obtained, or resolved. Traditionally, the quest story has three facets that seem to be ever-present: The Motivator or motivating situation- In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry gets his Hogwarts acceptance letter. In The Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers as tribute after her sister’s name is picked. It’s always a good idea to start your story as close as possible to the starting action. The Journey- This is where everything takes place. This is the part that will hopefully ensure your reader can’t put your book down. Your reader at this point should understand that the journey is about to take place, and should understand why this journey is happening / where the protagonist is going. They may have no clue about all the hardships you’ve planned for your MC or who dies (if anyone), but they need to know the journey has commenced and why it’s important. Tell the story. Make your protagonist wallow through that swamp of sadness, barely escape pirates, or be pursued by crooks in search of treasure. In Defiance, the journey begins when Rachel and Logan head into the Wasteland. In Harry Potter, the journey starts at Harry’s term at Hogwarts for the school year. In The Hobbit, this is when Bilbo Baggins decides to go along with Gandalf and the other dwarves. The Goal- Normally at the end or towards the end of your book, the goal needs to be addressed. Did the protagonist meet their goals? Did they fail? Did they realize that they only accomplished half of it? Or does the protagonist have multiple goals, accomplishing one and ending the novel one step closer to the other goal? For example, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry finds the Sorcerer’s Stone. He thwarts Voldemort’s evil plan but he doesn’t destroy Voldemort. This leaves his stretch goal still unfulfilled and perfect for a sequel, but his immediate goals and journey were met.   Other reading material with a Quest plot: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein (Fantasy) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (Fantasy) The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordon (Fantasy) Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (Urban Fantasy)   What are your favorite quest plot novels? What tips do you have for someone writing a quest novel? Let us know in the comments below!  ...

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New Release Tuesday 1/29/2013

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Genres, Historical Fiction, Horror, New Adult, Reading, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Thriller, Young Adult | 0 comments

New Release Tuesday 1/29/2013

New Release Tuesday If there’s one thing I love, it’s new books. If there’s another thing I love, it’s where all the new releases in a week look SO good! Isn’t the cover of The Madman’s Daughter gorgeous? Check out the new releases out today 01/29/2013. I’m also nerdily excited for the NA new release we have out today. I know there’s a lot of controversy over what to call them, but it doesn’t matter to me. As long as I can hungrily devour them! YA Science Fiction / Dystopian Prodigy by Marie Lu Goodreads blurb: June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong? In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action. Where to buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble   YA Historical Fiction The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Sheperd Goodreads blurb: In the darkest places, even love is deadly. Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood. Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect. Where to buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble   Fantasy Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin Goodreads blurb: Evangeline is eighteen years old when her grandmother gives her the ultimate gift-a scent she has created just for her. From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, her entire life changes. Previously unnoticed, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Men dance close to her; women dip their noses deep into her hair; even the cats outside her bedroom cry to be near her. Gabriel, the quiet student Eva has admired from afar, falls head-over-heels in love with her. But soon the gift begins to control Eva’s life: strangers follow her around, sniffing and touching her at every turn. When Eva meets Michael,...

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#PitMad

Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 in Children's, Contests, Genres, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, New Adult, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Thriller, Westerns, Writing, Young Adult | 0 comments

#PitMad

What is #PitMad? First off, if you don’t already follow Brenda Drake, you need to. She is brilliant!!! She is a middle grade and young adult writer who also happens to be a fantastic literary resource and organizer of amazing writerly contests. Recently, she hosted Pitch Wars over at the YA Misfit’s website  where certain writers were selected and mentored to get their pitches and manuscripts ready for agents. So if you’re reading this Brenda, thank you SO much for everything you do! For those not chosen or anyone who desires, Brenda Drake is also hosting #PitMad over on Twitter today. What is #PitMad?  #PitMad is a twitter pitch party that uses the hashtag #PitMad. You pitch your book in less than 140 characters (not easy, but it’s fun to be creative) and agents stop by to peek. Normally, if an agent or editor likes your pitch they will favorite it, meaning they would like to see more. Check out their twitter feeds to see what they’re looking for. Normally the agent or editor will tweet something earlier saying, “If I like your twitter pitch, send me the query and first ten pages” or whatever it is that they would like to see. Agents can also @ reply to you and tell you exactly what they want from you. It varies per person. Don’t forget to check the feed too. Some agents will post things like, “if it’s a contemporary YA novel about dinosaurs” please pitch it directly to me.” Pay attention. You never know what agents or editors may be looking for. And please,  for the sake of writerly love, do not forget to root for your fellow writers. Offer them encouragement! We’re all in the trenches together. If things don’t work out today, remember Pitch Madness is coming up again in March! We’ll keep you informed! There’s still time today to get your #PitMad pitch in!...

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Basic Story Plots- Revenge

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Basic Plot Points, Children's, Genres, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, New Adult, Non-fiction, Romance, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Thriller, Westerns, Writing, Young Adult | 0 comments

Basic Story Plots- Revenge

Basic Story Plots- Revenge There comes a time in every writer’s life where you’re about to start another project and you’re faced with a tough question: Which plot am I going with? Is your new project an adventure? A Romeo and Juliet story about a forbidden love? Something else? Or maybe you’re experiencing symptoms of that dirty bitch named Writer’s Block. Either way, welcome to the first installment of Pen and Muse’s Basic Story Plots project. Each week we want to introduce you to a different plot point. Hopefully we can help and be that swift kick in the inspiration booty that you need.  It doesn’t matter if this is your 50th novel, your first novel, or your very first flash fiction. If there’s no plot, there’s no story. This week’s basic plot point is (insert drum roll here): Revenge Details: Revenge plots revolve around retaliation and reciprocation, a tit for tat so to speak involving the protagonist, antagonist, or a main characters. One of these characters (or more than one character) seeks to deliver payback for an injustice done to them, whether it be something real or perceived (imaginary). Example: Since I’m a Shakespeare loving fiend, let’s use “Hamlet”, one of his famous plays. Basically Hamlet loathes the new man (his father’s brother) that his mother has married and his father’s ghost speaks to Hamlet asking him to set things right. Hamlet discovers and confirms that his uncle is actually his father’s killer. This information paired with Hamlet’s rage (and a lot of other stuff I left out for time sake), drive Hamlet to madness and causes him to revenge-kill his father’s killer (his uncle) to make amends. Other reading material with the revenge plot: The Berenstain Bears and the Bully by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Children’s) (Also if you want a good laugh about it, read this article) Ten by Gretchen McNeil  (YA Mystery) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Classic, Historical Fiction) Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (Horror) A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (Fantasy) Also, I found this hilarious article on Perfecting Your Revenge Plot from the Onion. It’s worth the chuckle. What are your favorite revenge plot novels? Is this your favorite novel plot to write? Let us know in the comments below! (but you can call me Jolene Plotter and the Chamber of Write Tips)...

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