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This Week On Writers Abroad, 11th May
Category: Site News

As we gear up for our next anthology, we take this opportunity to wish Val all the best for the future in her life and her writing. She is leaving the group but, before she goes, will contribute a poem to the anthology.

Monday Muse Vesna has given us a variety of prompts to get us thinking and writing: a list of objects and concepts to mix and match, several last lines, three themes and a selection of images.

Blog Chris N has written Time and Tide, our blog entry this week.

Bragging Stool Glyn placed second in the Poetry Pulse competition. Paolas piece about her appearance, with Rilla, on Ittadi, a popular Bangladeshi television show, has been printed in the June issue of The Oldie.

Anthology: Submissions for the next anthology are open. We have begun to read the material received and vote on it, as well as getting to work on our own submissions.

Our next formal chat is on Sunday, 24th May.

Hope everyone has a productive writing week. Happy writing everyone!

Knowing Where I'm Going
Category: Writing
Tags: plot structure writing

I often lament about how long it takes me to get anything written during the short chunks of time I have available each day. Since my time is limited I need to make the best use I can of it. The one thing that Ive found most helpful when Im writing my first draft is to have the story plotted before I start writing. Then I have a map to keep me going in the direction I want to go.

I first thought about how important plotting was after reading How I Went From Writing 2000 Words A Day to 10,000 Words A Day by Rachel Aaron. The key point she came back to over and over was that you cant increase your writing output in a productive way without knowing where your story should be going. The lesson was invaluable to me.

Once I had decided that I would outline my plots before I started to write I needed to know how I should structure these plots. Ive read a few books, blog posts and other instructional materials on outlining a plot and ended up with too many choices. Theres the three act structure which consists of the set up, a conflict and a resolution to the problem and then theres several plot structures that have varying numbers of points in the story arc. Most of these arcs include a set up, inciting incident, rising action, conflict and resolution. Often the theories are saying much the same thing but the whole thing does get a bit confusing.

The one that I find the easiest to remember and use is the Four Part Structure. Its not radically different from any of the other theories I just find it succinct and easy to grasp.

Below Ive paraphrased the basics of Storyfix.coms explanation of the Four Part Structure:

The set up is exactly that. It sets up who the characters are and what the problem is.

The second part is the response. This is where the main character responds to the inciting incident in the first part of the story. Depending on the length of the story, there may be one or more attempts to solve the problem but the character isnt successful and its not clear yet whether or not he will be.

The third part is the attack. The character finally figures out what needs to be done and attacks the problem in an effective manner. The problem still isnt solved but the character is on the right track.

The fourth part is the resolution. The character finally accomplishes what he needs to do to solve the problem.

Thats just the basics of it. You can read the detailed explanation on Storyfixs website.

What plot structure do you use? Or do you plot before you write?

This Week On Writers Abroad
Category: Site News
Tags: writing

This is the last week of 2014 and were in the middle of the holiday season so things are a bit quieter than usual on WA but there are still some writerly things happening.

Monday Muse Jo has set a couple first sentences, as well as the theme How Time Stopped Around You, to get us thinking. She has also provided two intriguing images, including a headstone that has a link to Christmas.

Blog Crilly shares some interesting information about health and writing with us.

Bragging Stool Vesna holds the stool uncontested this week. She was hired for her first copywriting job by a hotel in Toronto.

Anthology Genres: Theres one week left for you to weigh into the discussion about which genres (non-fiction, fiction, poetry) the next anthology will include. If you havent voted on the forum thread, please vote by Monday, 5th January.

The January Challenges have been posted. There are a variety of competition opportunities, including contests looking for longer entries.

Its the time of year again for reflection and goal setting. Our Writing Goals 2015 forum is now open for you to lay bare your soul and commit yourself to your writing goals for the coming year.

Our next informal chat is on Sunday, 11th January.

Best wishes to all our members for a bright year ahead in every aspect of your lives and lots of writing success. Its a few days early but Happy New Year to all WAers!

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