Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman.

Missy here. Before I talk about this book, I'd like to share a quote used at the beginning of chapter four.

Writing a book is like driving a car at night. You only see as far as your headlights go, but you can make the whole trip that way.

--E.L. Doctorow

I just loved that quote! And I was inspired by it, ecouraged even. So now, on to talking about the book.

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction To Life, by Noah Lukeman

A couple of weeks ago after Lindi’s post titled The Plot Thickens, I mentioned this writing how-to book I’d been hearing about. Well, I ordered the book and just picked it up. I haven’t had a chance to read much yet, but I thought I’d share a little of what’s in it.

Lukeman spends the first three chapters talking about characterization. And it takes up nearly half the book spacewise! So obviously, character is important. Here are some other chapter titles: The Journey, Suspense, Conflict (the chapter I had heard so much about), Context, and Transcendency.

This book came up in a discussion about writing conflict. One author said her editor had just told her she had too much conflict in her story and to tone it down. Another spoke up that she never has enough conflict. The latter is one of my problems that I’m still working on. So I’m really looking forward to reading this book and doing the exercises at the end of each chapter.

I believe we should be learning something and working on our writing all the time. Is there any particular subject you’re studying or trying to improve right now? Any writing classes you’re taking?



  1. Sounds like a must-read for writers!

    Conflict would be my biggest trouble spot as well. Sometimes there's enough, but it's an area I continue to work on...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. So you're in my boat, huh, Diane? :) I'm a person who doesn't like conflict in real life. So it's hard for me to really stick it to the characters! But I'm working on it. I'm working on a new book proposal, and I'm listing ideas for conflict and am trying to make sure it's escalating, building toward that big black moment.

  3. Hey, I'm celebrating today! I got my author copies of my June book, His Forever Love, in the mail today!!! So exciting to finally see it in print. :)


  4. This sounds like a great book. I just bought Plot and Structure, James Scott Bell...I'm stoked about that one. Haven't read it before.

    Thanks for the post.

    Happy Easter!

  5. Missy,

    I want to get this book! Sounds like something I HAVE to read. Thanks forsharing.

  6. Lynn,
    You'll love the book. Let us know what you think.