Of Woodpiles and Word Piles

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By Davalynn Spencer I recently had a cord of firewood delivered to my home. A cord is roughly a stack that is four feet high, four feet deep, and eight feet long. The depth of the stack or length of the logs varies and, therefore, affects the price and identifying name: full cord, face cord, stove cord, etc. However, my wood …

The Freedom of a Path in the Woods

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, Plots, Story Structure, writing 1 Comment

By James R. Hannibal Long ago, while attending the US Air Force Academy and working as a summer survival instructor, I wandered away from a campsite looking for firewood. Our search took us deep into the unmarked woods of the Rocky Mountains’ front range, where the sun sets quickly. The light dimmed. The air grew colder. One of my students—we’ll …

What Is Your Hero Pursuing?

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, Story Structure, writing 1 Comment

by Henry McLaughlin We’ve all heard story is about conflict and tension. And that is definitely true. Stories about happy people living in Happy Valley don’t excite readers. Frankly, they can be boring. The story becomes a story when something disrupts the status quo. As John LeCarré once said, “The cat sat on the mat is not a story. The …

Write Like a Pirate

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Characters, Friends of ACFW, Learning, Plots, Story Structure, writing 2 Comments

By Kariss Lynch Remember that scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, the one where the not-so-refined Miss Elizabeth requests parley with the pirate captain? She thinks parley is a Pirate Code granting her protection. Sadly, she didn’t quite know her audience. She is quickly informed that the Pirate Code is more like guidelines than actual rules. Writing is a lot …

Plotting and Structure of Novels

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by Brenda Taylor Plotting novels is a chore for me, because I am a panster by nature. Instead of sitting for a great length of time thinking, plotting, and structuring a story, I want to write and let the storyline fall where it may. I’ve learned, however, my panster method is not the best way. It leaves too much to …

Story Structure

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By Katherine Reay As I begin a new story, my mind turns to structure. No matter how much I say I’m an “organic” writer, I need solid hooks on which to hang my musings. I can get lost easily if the basics of the road aren’t cleared in front of me. Whether you think the “rules” of structure are important …