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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Plot Summary of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Let’s flashback to the 80’s. Ferris Bueller is a 1986 classic. Here’s the basic plot summary:

Ferris Bueller loves to skip class because he always gets away with it. It’s his senior year and he wants to ditch one last time. This time, he fakes being sick and gets his best friend, Cameron, who actually is sick, to join him, along with his girlfriend, Sloane. Hot on their heels is Principal Rooney trying to catch him in the act.



Here are the 5 main plot points.

The Signup


Ferris Bueller convinces his parents that he’s sick.

The Gunshot


His best friend, Cameron, who actually is sick, comes over in his car. Ferris convinces Cameron to get the Ferrari and then they pick up Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane, from school.

The Halfway Point


The threesome enjoys a day out in the city: fancy restaurant, a baseball game, and more.

The Wall


They realize the Ferrari got too many miles added to it and in an effort to roll the miles backward, they end up crashing the car. Cameron is beside himself and Ferris feels bad about making his friend feel bad.

The Finish Line


Ferris just barely runs back home and jumps in the bed right before his parents get to his bedroom. Of course, there are tons of things that happened that I left out, but these are the five main plot points, the major turning points in the story.

Plotting doesn’t have to be super complicated. Start off by identifying your own five plot points and pick a scene to write.

What's your favorite part about this movie? Favorite quote? Share your comment here.



Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot



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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Three Things Every Writer is Grateful For

Books, books, and more books. Sure, we all love books, but what specifically is every single writer grateful for? Something to write WITH, something to write ON, and someone to read what we have written. Thanksgiving is the time we celebrate the things we’re grateful for.

Thanksgiving is when we take an extra moment to actually give thanks. I thank God for my family, my friends, my fellow writers, my readers, my home, my job, my health, my talents and abilities, and so much more.

As a writer, I’d like to give just a little more thanks today for a few specifics.




Thankful for Writing Utensils


I love me a good ballpoint pen and mechanical pencil. Most writers I know tend to collect lots of writing instruments.

Come to think of it, when I was a child, I had a pen and pencil collection. I collected all the cool, unique pens and pencils that came my way. I had a pen encased in purple plastic. At the end of the pen, it spelled the word LOVE in cursive. I had a short, stubby pen that was clear with colored balls on the inside. It wrote in pink ink. I kept my Piedmont pencil from my 3rd-grade field trip to the airport. That airline no longer flies the skies. I had a fuzzy red pencil with colored stars on it. I had an entire pencil box full of fun writing instruments.

Today, my favorite pen and pencil are from CROSS. Of course, I’ll write with just about anything. Colored pencils, crayons, blood, keyboard, voice, etc. For without a way to capture our ideas, we couldn’t be writers.

Grateful for All Kinds of Paper


Paper has been around for centuries in a variety of formats. Papyrus. Leaves. Gold plates. Bark. Cave walls. Sand. Skin. Screens. Without paper, or an electronic device with a screen, our pencils would be kind of pointless. (Don’t you love the pun?) My preferred canvas is a journal. Though I’ve written many, many words on napkins, cereal boxes, envelopes, bookmarks, permission forms, and lots and lots of sticky notes. Then again, sticky notes come in as a close second to journals.

Without Readers, Writers Would Starve


The whole point of writing isn’t to fancy how we turn a phrase or languish in the fluidity of our words. The point is to share a message. Our ideas. With others. We want someone to listen to us. Maybe even argue with us. We tell stories, persuade outcomes, educate, entertain, inspire, and uplift. Without readers, we would die. Thankfully, the thirst for knowledge and entertainment isn’t going anywhere.

Today, I want to thank YOU for being one of my loyal readers. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for your comments. Thank you for opening my emails. Thank you for comments there as well. Thank you for interacting with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you for being a part of my online world. Thank you for listening and caring. Thank you for being YOU.

One day, I’ll actually have a book to share with you - not just my blog. But until that day comes, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and continue to write. And of course, AFTER that day comes, I will also continue to write.

With that, I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving full of family, friends, love, and laughter. Full of good food, fun, and all the writing utensils, paper, and readers you could ever hope for.

Keep on keepin’ on…

What’s your favorite pen or pencil? Did you collect them when you were younger? What’s something else you’re thankful for as a writer? Share your comment here.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Writers Who Run Monthly Giveaway Contest

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Awesome Author Treasure Box


Many writers struggle with creativity, productivity, confidence, and so much more. I'm hoping my brand new contest for writers will help one lucky winner each month to combat those issues.


free giveaway contests for writers and authors

What's Included


Enter the #WritersWhoRun Monthly Giveaway Contest for a chance to win the Awesome Author Treasure Box mailed straight to your home, which includes:

  • a journal
  • pens
  • a bookmark
  • a mug
  • Dove chocolates
  • a scented candle
  • a framed art print of the "10 Commandments for the Writer"


Confident Writer Resource Bundle


All contestants can also get the Confident Writer Resource Bundle of 4 printable PDFs to help you become a more confident and productive writer. The more you share with others, the higher your chances of winning the Awesome Author Treasure Box.

To unlock the Confident Writer Resource Bundle, all you have to do is get 150 points, and you get 50 automatically just from entering! The Resource Bundle includes the following downloads:
  • Surprising Writer Mistakes TIP SHEET
  • Power Up Your Focus WRITING WORKOUT
  • Persistence to Publication CHECKLIST
  • Writer's Block Breakthrough GUIDE

Share For More Chances to Win


I'll choose a brand new winner every month, beginning in October 2019. Trick or treat!

For every referral who enters the contest from your unique personal invite link, you'll get an additional 25 points, so that's your incentive to keep sharing on your favorite social media channels each and every month.

I can't wait to mail out the very first prize box! Good luck!

ENTER THE CONTEST HERE!




Learn How to Map Out a
Basic Plot For Your Own Novel






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Friday, August 23, 2019

You Know You're a Writer (Who Runs) [9 of 10]

Patience, My Friend, is a Virtue


I like to think that everyone has a passion. Maybe they don't. I don't know what the ratio is for those who have a passion vs. those who simply have a hobby, but a passion is something that drives you. It can often become an obsession. It's not passive. A hobby is for relaxation.

I am passionate about writing - and you likely are too. I'm also passionate about running, but writing definitely takes a front seat there. If you like writing and/or running, you'll love today's quotes.



You know you're a runner when running 5 miles is more fun than standing in line.



You know you're a writer when revising is more fun than waiting in line.


Running 5 Miles in More Fun than Standing in Line


You know you're a runner when you have more patience running for over an hour than you do standing in line at the store for 5 minutes.

You could run in place to pass the time. Or start planning next month's workout sessions.

Or you could just be patient like a normal human being.

Revising is More Fun than Waiting in Line


You know you're a writer when you have more patience re-writing the same paragraph for an hour than you do waiting in line at the bank for 5 minutes.

You could get out your notebook and start jotting down ideas for your next story. Or write down physical descriptions of everyone else standing in line and let your mind wander about where they came from and where they're headed. Let your mind wander.

So, the next time you have five spare minutes, take a moment to write something. Or just pretend you're still waiting in line.


Until next time, keep on keepin' on!


RELATED POSTS:
You Know You're a Writer [1 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [1 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [2 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [2 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [3 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [3 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [4 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [4 of 10]
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You Know You're a Writer [7 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [7 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [8 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [8 of 10]



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Friday, August 16, 2019

You Know You're a Writer Who Runs [8 of 10]

When Half the Luggage is Packed Before You Actually Start Packing for Your Trip


When I realized that the only time I ever traveled was for running events, I knew I was a runner. I never said I was fast or rail-thin, but I do love to race! The goal of running is to feel good. Sometimes, it's to get a new PR. Other times, it's simply to get up and move, which consequently always makes me feel good.








Traveling for a 10k Race


You know you're a runner when your running clothes and shoes take up half your suitcase on trips!

One of my favorite races (aside from charity races that promote literacy) is the Cooper River Bridge Run - the largest 10k foot race this side of the Mississippi.

I've even traveled 12 hours in a car just to participate in an 8-mile trail race. We only stayed for 2 to 3 nights. Of course, I stayed with my sister, but my bags were packed with running gear! LOL.

Heading to a Retreat or a Weekend Writing Conference


You know you're a writer when your books, notebooks, and laptop take up [the other] half of your suitcase on trips!

Yes, we writers love to travel for races and writing events. It's a wonder we have any room left in our luggage for regular clothes!

I imagine the day when I'll have a whole BOX full of books to sell at a conference! Until then, I'll keep going to conferences and retreats. Heck, even after that day comes, I'll still continue attending writing retreats and conferences.

SOOO... the next time you travel, be sure to pack your bags (with running gear and writing tools). And try to save a little room for a pair of jeans and your toiletries.

Until next time...

Keep on keepin' on!


RELATED POSTS:
You Know You're a Writer [1 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [1 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [2 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [2 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [3 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [3 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [4 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [4 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [5 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [5 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [6 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [6 of 10]
You Know You're a Writer [7 of 10] | You Know You're a Runner [7 of 10]



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Friday, May 3, 2019

Plot Summary of Stargate

A 1994 Sci-Fi Adventure Movie

Even though I’m not a huge sci-fi nerd, I did watch Stargate a couple of times. Once when it came out. And once a few days ago.

Here’s the basic plot summary:

“In modern-day Egypt, professor Daniel Jackson teams up with retired Army Col. Jack O'Neil to unlock the code of an interstellar gateway to an ancient Egypt-like world. They arrive on a planet ruled by the despotic Ra, who holds the key to the Earth travelers' safe return. Now, in order to escape from their intergalactic purgatory, Jackson and O'Neil must convince the planet's people that Ra must be overthrown.”


A professor and a retired Army Colonel unlock a galactic gate to an ancient Egypt-like world where they become stranded and in order to get back home, they must convince the people that their dictatorial leader must be overthrown.


To turn this summary into a one-sentence logline, it might look like this.

A professor and a retired Army Colonel unlock a galactic gate to an ancient Egypt-like world where they become stranded and in order to get back home, they must convince the people that their dictatorial leader must be overthrown.

This simple plot summary of the Stargate movie can be further analyzed with the following breakdown into the 5 main plot points.

The Signup


Daniel Jackson, an Egyptologist and linguist, is invited to a military base to help solve the coordinates of a hieroglyphic “stargate”. If he was never invited, they stargate would never have gotten solved, and thus the story would never have happened.

The Gunshot


Jackson solves the puzzle and opens a wormhole where he and several military members travel to a distant planet. There’s no turning back now. The “race” has begun!

The Halfway Point


One night, Ra’s ship lands atop the pyramid structure and a large-scale battle ensues. Jackson dies, but Ra puts him in a tomb-like healing contraption so that he can heal.

The Wall


Jackson’s love interest, Sha’uri, is killed. He is emotionally at his lowest.

The Finish Line


The people of the planet Abydos learn the true identity of Ra’s soldiers and revolt against the “kingship”. When they join forces with Jackson and his military soldier comrades in the war against Ra, they are able to defeat Ra and win the battle so that the humans can return to Earth.

There are a lot of things that happen, obviously, in between these five main plot points, but this is Stargate stripped down to its essence.

Even if you’re like me, and you’re not a sci-fi nerd, what’s your favorite book or movie in the genre?? Share your comment here.

Outline Your Novel With a Simple Plot



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Monday, April 8, 2019

Plot Summary of My Girl 2


When I watched this movie with my two kiddos, I knew I had to include it in the Plot Arc Library.

My Girl is a story of a spunky 11-year-old hypochondriac tomboy who isn’t afraid of death, but when her best friend and neighbor dies saving a ring she had lost, she experiences death first hand.

Fast forward a couple years to My Girl 2, and Vada Sultenfuss is a maturing young lady vying for her own independence. When her teacher assigns a report, she decides it’s time to learn more about her mother who died during childbirth.

In My Girl 2, Vada Sultenfuss is a maturing young lady vying for her own independence. When her teacher assigns a report, she decides it’s time to learn more about her mother who died during childbirth.

The Signup


Vada Sultenfuss is assigned a class project to write a paper about someone she has never met, but still admires. This gets her thinking about her late mother.

The Gunshot


Vada buys a plane ticket to California, where her mother graduated high school, and she plans to stay with her uncle Phil during spring break.

The Halfway Point


Once in California, Vada learns that the high school her mother attended burned down. But eventually she and Phil’s soon-to-be step-son, Nick, are able to track down an old yearbook.

The Wall


After visiting several people that knew her mother, Vada learns that she might have a different dad and feels betrayed, lost, and like she doesn’t belong anywhere in the world.

The Finish Line


She tracks down the man she thinks might be her dad and gets to see old home movies of her mother and learns a song she used to sing.

Of course, there are lots of other things that happen, even after the Finish Line, but this gives you the gist of the 5 main plot points.

If you'd like to see more plot summaries, you can read Ferris Bueller's Day OffWonder Woman, Jurassic Park, or Shrek.

What’s the last movie you watched or a book you recently read? Share your comment here.



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Monday, April 1, 2019

How to Write a One-Sentence Pitch


When people find out that you’re writing a book, they’ll ask you what it’s about. Having a short one-sentence summary (aka logline) as your go-to resource will help you quickly share what your novel is all about. It’ll save you the frustration of floundering around for the right words so you don’t have to tell the backstory of your secondary character and explain why something important happened 10 years ago, blah, blah, blah.

You’ve likely been in that situation before, whether as the writer telling what your book is about or as the listener feeling sorry for the writer struggling to share the plot succinctly. This list of 10 examples comes from a mix of movies and Newberry Award winning novels.

When people find out that you’re writing a book, they’ll ask you what it’s about. Having a short one-sentence summary (aka logline) as your go-to resource will help you quickly share what your novel is all about. It’ll save you the frustration of floundering around for the right words so you don’t have to tell the backstory of your secondary character and explain why something important happened 10 years ago, blah, blah, blah. You’ve likely been in that situation before, whether as the writer telling what your book is about or as the listener feeling sorry for the writer struggling to share the plot succinctly. This list of 10 examples comes from a mix of movies and Newberry Award winning novels.

Using a Logline Generator to Help You Write Your Own Loglines


A logline is a one or two sentence description that condenses your book’s dramatic narrative into the essence of your story’s plot. As you read through these examples of short novel pitches, you’ll begin to see a pattern. But before you dive in, I’ll go ahead and share the formulas with you so they’ll be more recognizable. The first variation applies to the first four examples. Replace the ALL CAPS with your own words. The second variation (among others) can be applied as well.

Quick Pitch Formula


Variation 1: When CHARACTER ACTION (ie. finds, is thrown back, recruits), he/she ACTION (uses, must make sure, discovers), STAKES (but, or, before).

Variation 2: CHARACTER must ____ STAKES, but ____.

Tips to Remember When Writing a Novel Pitch

  1. Keep it short.
  2. Avoid using names.
  3. Include the main character, the conflict, the goal, and the stakes.

Elevator Pitch Examples for Authors


  1. Aladdin: When a street urchin finds a lamp with a genie inside, he uses the lamp to turn himself into a prince in order to win the heart of a beautiful princess, but an evil vizier is after the lamp too.
  2. Back to the Future: When a 1980s small-town California teen is thrown back into the '50s during an experiment that goes awry, he must make sure his parents fall in love or he'll cease to exist.
  3. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: When a sixth-grade girl recruits her 9-year-old brother to run away with her to a museum, they discover a mystery they must solve before returning home.
  4. The Phantom Tollbooth: When a bored ten-year-old comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room, he drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey, meeting all kinds of interesting characters.
  5. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH: A widowed field mouse with four small children must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death, but her youngest son has pneumonia and must not be moved unless someone can come up with a solution.
  6. Holes: Stanley Yelnats, a very unlucky boy, gets shipped off to Camp Green Lake to serve a sentence he doesn’t deserve: digging holes all day, but when he discovers a secret, he tries to expose the truth to lift his family’s curse.
  7. Where the Red Fern Grows: Billy and his two coonhound pups roam the Ozarks trying to catch the elusive raccoon and win the gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest.
  8. Bridge to Terabithia: A 5th-grade boy befriends the new kid in school (a girl) and they work together to oust the school bullies, stand up to parents, and face their fears.
  9. Aquaman: The human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land.
  10. Black Panther: Faced with treachery and danger, the young king of the African nation of Wakanda must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.

You might also like "How a Book Pitch Changes with Each Revision".

If you would like to see more writing related "how-to" guides, you can read How to Get Published, How to Personalize a Query Letter, or How to Overcome Writer's Block.


Now try to write your own novel’s logline with a one-sentence summary using this simple pitch formula. Share your comment here.



Outline Your Novel 

With a Simple Plot




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