Tag Archives: How to write

Day 12 NaNoWriMo Letter ‘L’ For Logline

Letter ‘L’ For  Logline

Is this like a  story question? Yes.
Or is it a premise sentence? Yes.
Or is it just a logline? Yes. yes, and yes.

Since today is ‘L’ day I will stick with Logline. Even though I have seen this used as the ‘story question’ and the ‘premise sentence’.

I have seen descriptions and ‘how-to-do-this’ all over the web.

I will show you what  works for me. When writing your ‘Logline’ for your novel, ask yourself three questions.

Then, play with your answers.

First question: what is the inciting incident, that thing that happens

A rabbit runs into the garage….

Second question: who is your protagonist?

Jenny …

If I put those two together I will get:
When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny …..

What is Jenny’s goal, the protagonist goal?
When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out.

Third and last question: Will she succeed? Add your own people, places or things that are out to stop your protagonist.

When the rabbit runs into the garage, Jenny decides to chase him out. But, will she succeed when she is up against her kids who want to keep the rabbit, the dog who wants to chase the rabbit, and her husband who loves rabbit stew.

When the (inciting incident) causes (the protagonist) to react (What is your character’s goal?) And will he succeed (when set against what?)

Have fun setting up your logline…

Teach me, David Mamet, You Are My Only Hope

I am enrolled in David Mamet, ‘Teaches Dramatic Writing’ Masterclass course

David Mamet ‘Teaches Dramatic Writing’ Masterclass course


I started the first of twenty-six videos, and I am going to post my thoughts and bits of the class here.

Check out the class by clicking on the link in the left top sidebar.

Happy New 2018!  let’s get going with a new Masterclass.

Who is David Mamet?

David  Mamet has written 39 plays, 29 screenplays, and 17 books, and he directed 11 films. If you have ever seen ‘The Unit’ or House of Games then you can see his ability for dramatic writing. Not ringing a bell yet? Then check out imdb.com. His list is impressive checkout IMDb

I will give you a taste of the first video in  David Mamet’s Masterclass series.

01 Introduction

This starts out with sounds of people talking. Some upset asking questions; asking to learn something. Then David Mamet walks in and sits down on a tall stool, then we see him at a desk.

And we hear “Oh, have I got your attention now? Good!”

“They say, when the student is prepared the teacher appears. So the same is true of most of the lessons you gonna learn in any… I don’t know of any art, -but certainly in any craft. When you’re ready to learn it you will. –if you want to– and if you need to; and if you don’t want to and don’t need to -you ain’t ready yet. Or maybe you don’t want to. I always say, you know, the arts, my experiences is like running away to the circus. You know. If you got something to fall back on the circus don’t need you, circus don’t want you. You gotta runaway, say OK, I’ll leave, BUT your gonna have to kill me. “

“…Being a writer is a lot like being a beaver their teeth itch, that’s why they cut down trees.

David said he will talk about, “a kind of unified field theory of aesthetics” where we can regularize how we perceive and how we write.

It is a cause and effect…a  survival mechanism.

A plot is an exercise in cause-effect. A plot, a scene, a movie script

Analytically Propounding a theory,  does it make sense to you?  It can make a great tongue twister until you are ready to learn it, to hear it, to understand it.

Think of it as a logical progression while you’re writing,  your thoughts need to see the action. The way I see it… is like a two-year-old, kicking a screaming for candy. He wants that candy, not because he loves candy, but because his mother isn’t paying attention to him, ‘look at me’ she is not looking, instead, she is talking. If he doesn’t get the candy he will cry himself to sleep. If he gets it, he will be so wound up he will be climbing the walls. Cause and effect.

“I’ve always been more comfortable sinking while clutching a good theory than swimming with an ugly fact.”~ David Mamet quote

I will post my comments about video #2 in David Mamet’s Masterclass in a future Blog.  In the meantime, check out his class by clicking the link in the left top sidebar.

Thank you for reading. 

Second Lesson Passion & Habit James Patterson’s MasterClass Writing Friday

Friday’s writing . I am on lesson two in James Patterson’s MasterClass.

Video two: Passion & Habit

James Patterson starts with, “someone said, you’re lucky if you find something in life you love, and it’s a miracle if someone pays you to do it.”

Now I have heard other people say something similar, but for me, at this moment, James Patterson said it in his second video lesson.

This second video was filled with a positive, uplifting talk on his path to being a writer.

He spoke of his Vanderbilt professor, Walter Sullivan.

He tells us he stayed a week in a Trappist monastery trying to find himself {or was it the inner writer?}

Read. Read. Read! Practice! Practice! Practice!

James Patterson’s grandfather loved to sing on the way to work. His grandfather’s advice was, “…just remember when you go over the mountain to work in the morning you got to be singing.” Which, that advice, flows into ‘find something you love to do.’

Hmmm! My Grandpa’s advice was, you work until you die. Singing came with a beer, baseball and lobbing pigeon eggs at his neighbor.

James Patterson said, “Pick out what you think, you can handle and deal with…”

His first novel was turned down by thirty-one publishers. After five rejections he could have given up.

I can tell you what I learned from these video classes.

*Pick a time to write each day and write!*

This class may or may not click for you. It is possible that after listening to James Patterson’s video lessons, you will jump up and yell, Ah-ha! I got it! You will hug everyone and say, I now understand how to become a well know, well-read, rich author. Or not…

Feel like it. Get into that habit. That ritual. Make writing a joyful thing.

“Be driven by passion”

James Patterson still has the same passion he had when he started writing.

He tells us to force yourself to write whenever it is comfortable for you to write. Once it becomes a habit you won’t have to think about it.

His first book never got published. Mr. Patterson said, “that was yesterday today is today. He has been through rejection insecurities. He admits he has had a lot of rejections. He has the scars from those rejections.

Patterson said, “Keep that passion alive, it keeps you going through the hard times and makes you enjoy the good times”

Making a new habit is hard. Writing is hard. You have to open your imagination to create something new. Habits are easy when they come with immediate gratification.
For an example, cell phones; you get a new phone. Pretty buttons. Yeah, look at me with the shiny new toy. So you call, text, show it off. You feel good. So you keep using it. It feels even better than chocolate. You just developed a habit. A habit of using this phone and it started with ‘instant gratification.’

The million-dollar question is, how can I get into that habit of writing daily? A habit that comes without all the bells and whistles and a million likes. Do this; Elbows bent, hands held at shoulder level, palms up; add a slow silent shoulder shrug. That stupid grin is just for effect.

I have been trying to set a  habit of writing each morning. Ignoring the phone. Ignoring everything that calls out that isn’t writing.  Research has a tendency to pull me off track. I found that writing straight through, no editing , no wondering about details. Just writing.  I got to get rid of that delete button…

Write, write, write! Write without a pat on the back. Write without showing my stories to family and friends. Write to set the habit of writing at the same time, in the same place, every day.

Set up your habit. Do your happy dance with a song.  Pat yourself on the back. Then tell me about it?

Plans to Post every Friday about James Patterson’s MasterClass

James Patterson Teaches Writing. In Mr. Patterson’s MasterClass, there are 22 video lessons and exercises. I will be posting about each lesson, once a week, for twenty-two Fridays.

This is from the class page. ~

“James teaches you how to create characters, write dialogue, and keep readers turning the page.”

And this is from the class page:~ “100% EXCLUSIVE CONTENT

For the first time, James Patterson teaches you everything he has learned. Only available through MasterClass.”

We shall see…

I will write about the class, giving you my impressions, and some of my notes.

I had started this class last year and I was unable to finish due to a car accident. My brain was rattled. I was unable to comprehend what I was reading. Instead of giving up and not reading, I became angry and reread paragraphs. I used a blank piece of paper to cover the part of the page I wasn’t reading.

Then, I wrote… I wrote anything that came to mind. Mostly what I wrote didn’t make sense. Still I wrote.

The accident happened while my husband and I were sitting at a red light and discussing where we would stop for an early dinner. We had just left my doctor’s office. I have been seeing this doctor for years; he has treated me for two bouts of cancer. I see him every year; he monitors my blood and thyroid levels, ensuring all my numbers are in line.

The truck that hit us was in the right lane, the driver decided he wanted to get over to the far left, so he could turn on route 83. There were a few things he didn’t take into consideration. The van in front of him, the red light and the speed limit. And the rest of the cars on the road!

He slammed into a van, then pushed the van into the back of our car. The light changed just as all this was taking place. The cars in front and to the right moved forward. Metal screeching and tires squealing as we were thrown forward. Luckily my husband had left enough space between us and the car in front of us, so as we were hit, we were able to avoid engaging a fourth car in the accident.

Back to James Patterson’s MasterClass. Tomorrow I will post the first lesson. See you then…

If you want to work along with me…Click on the MasterClass widget located on the sidebar.