Here is my portion of the lesson from our February PENS OF PRAISE meeting. I have included Sarah Grosskopf's website link at the bottom of my post so that you can visit her excellent contrbution for that lesson also!
“HOW Did THAT Get into MY Manuscript?” Bloopers, errors, and wacky information…Have you finished a writing project only to find problems that could have been avoided? Let’s explore some positive avoidance methods:
List of characters chart—including looks, traits, talents:
Chapter by Chapter (This lists Physical location and time and what major happenings, setbacks, and victories the character or characters’ have per chapter.
Timeline: Have you ever had to chase down wayward actions of your character? How about mix-ups or confusion on important detail(s) of your character(s)? I’ve decided to use timelines and charts religiously in future so that I can keep track of who did what-when-how- why- etc. and who they were with and when. Where they are at and what is their goal and hurtful lie to overcome and their dream to aspire to. Etc. etc.
Example of a basic timeline that can be embellished as the story builds:
Main characters for the timeline example:
Redford comes to town. Place of his biggest failure.
Redford discovers a body and is suspicious of 3 different people.
Redford travels to England in search of a major clue.
Redford returns to Manitowoc in time to save his love interest from being murdered.
Character # 2:
Tom meets with Redford at the Lake where Redford’s girlfriend drowned years ago.
Tom hides information about the murder he and Robert committed from Redford to protect himself.
Tom travels to England in search of information.
Tom returns to Manitowoc in search of a woman he is looking for related to the murder. A woman who Redford feels responsible for.
Robert sees Redford and Tom and talks to them
Robert discovers the body and is suspicious of 3 different people Whoops wrong person! :0
Instead, Robert hides the body and barely gets away
Robert flees to England and takes evidence about his accomplice for blackmail
Robert escapes Redford and takes the first plane back to Milwaukee to kill his accomplice.
A grammar check: Grammarly.com
Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon - Debra shares the chart that can organize these critical pieces of story. She offers examples too. Quite the valuable how-to guide for writers of fiction!
You will not wish to miss Sarah Grosskopf's teaching!
Editing Fiction: Avoiding Bloopers, Errors, and Wacky Information
Words are not just words. They are thoughts and inspiration that have been behind every relationship and every deed--good or bad throughout time. If you have that burning desire to communicate and explore, come peruse my pages, teachings, and short stories. Allow inspiration to anchor your dreams on the written pages of memoirs, devotions, poems, or stories, both short or long! Luxuriate in the creativity you were born to share!
Sarah Grosskopf is a beta reader, writer, and copywriter extraordinaire! I highly recommend Sarah and have known her for years. She has taught and encouraged Pens of Praise members with her humor, instinct, and highly praised skill sets. So you may consider this an invitation to discover details about Sarah Grosskopf. Here is a link to her website!