Sunday Salon: Pinch points and throughlines and subplots, Oh My!

Studying the Craft: Well, this has been an interesting week.   I'm taking an online workshop through savvy authors from Carol Hughes about Crafting your Deep Story.  It's making me analyze Blue Steel and helping me figure out how to edit the story.   Realized my bad guy was in the background for the majority of the story, plus it's supposed to be a romantic suspense story and there isn't a whole lot of romance happening.  Carol's  Deep Story workshop is teaching me all about the layers and throughlines in a story.  Did you know there are four throughlines to every story?  Makes sense now that I've heard about them.  

1) Overall  - which is your overall story line
2) Main Character - which is the protagonist's character arc
3) Obstacle Character - which follows your obstacle character such as my bad guy
4) Subjective - which follows the relationship between the protagonist and contagonist (my lovers)

Then she gets into how to figure out character arcs, plot point and pinch points.  Plus  The Hero's Journey as described by Joseph Campbell. I knew about his mythology series which we have on the shelves but I'll admit haven't read any of didn't know about the Hero's Journey.  Talk about head spinning.  But it is helping me see what is lacking in the story so far. It's going to be an intense four weeks.

Reading about Craft:  Read the first chapter  Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose.  Decided to make it my breakfast book otherwise I'll keep setting it aside for something else. 

Writing:  To busy editing so backing this down to writing one page a day in my journal until I get back into the writing phase.  Still need to type up all my handwritten pages of Blue Steel so that's a goal for this week.

Exercise:  Did the treadmill 5 times this week and I still need to figure out what to do for Monday and Thursday.  Can't seem to get motivated on my work days.  Goal is to exercise every single day for at least 20 minutes.  Change Write Now challenge is great because I have to check in with my team mates every day. Keeping me on the straight and narrow. 

Networking:  Managed to visit more than 5 rowers a day.  Will stick with goal of 5 a day and if it ends up being more than's a plus.  Need to work twitter in at least once a day - we need a twitter meet up time - otherwise feel like I'm talking to myself.

The Sunday

Pleasure Reading:  I finished "The Rose Labyrinth" by Titania Hardie. Didn't think I'd ever say it, but it was so much better than DaVinci Code.  It was so much better, more interesting and the characters are more likeable. The characters really delve into history, philosophy, and religion while trying to solve the puzzles and is a lot to absorb. Not something you can read fast. I also read Sarah Addison Allen's "Garden Spells" while treadmilling. A really charming story.  Also decided to spice up my A to Z challenge by choosing only new to me authors to read.  Have many in my TBR pile.  This week I'll be reading "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt and my nook book to read while treadmilling is "By the Light of the Moon" by Dean Koontz.   

52 Books in 52 Weeks: The challenge is off to a great start and have 100 plus people who are joining in and posting links on the blog.  Check it out - we have an eclectic group reading all sorts of interesting books.  New post and check in posted every Sunday.

Blog goals: Attempt to be less sporadic with posting.  Commit to Tuesday - First Chapter, First Paragraph; Wednesday - Row 80 short chatty check-in; Thursday - Book Review;  Sunday - Sunday Salon.  Now let's just see if I can start pre-writing and scheduling posts and get ahead a bit, especially since I don't come online until 4:00 most days.  May be biting off more than I can chew. We'll see how this week goes.  

See how other ROWers are doing here and leave them a bit of encouragement.

Oh and did I mention I mentioned my Year of Writing Deliberately on the NaNoWriMo forum Year of doing Big, Fun Things Together and fellow Nanowrimoian Kaelyn loved the idea and is now setting up a Year of Writing Deliberately website to track those who decided to join in and list their goals and achievements.  Stay tuned for more developments. 

Happy Reading!

"There are books so alive that you're always afraid that while you weren't reading, the book has gone and changed, has shifted like a river; while you went on living, it went on living too, and like a river moved on and moved away.  No one has stepped twice into the same river.  But did anyone ever step twice into the same book?  ~Marina Tsvetaeva"


  1. sounds like you did well this week - I'm glad someone else reads while excersising!!I'm doing a couple of workshops with savvy

    all the best for next week

  2. Robin, I love your reading challenge, 52 books in 52 weeks. I'm definitely going to check it out. I'm after my husband to build me something for my treadmill so I can read while walking. It's a great way to multi-task, plus the walking doesn't feel like such a chore. Good luck with your Row80 goals!

  3. I love reading while exercising! But, that's not the main thing -- editing is so intense, the class you're taking sounds like it's going to challenge you -- always a good thing.

    I so hear you on the talking to yourself thing w/ twitter!

  4. Awesome start to the year. I usually listen to an audiobook when I walk and I try to walk every day. When the weather is nice and I walk outside, it's easy, but I'm less motivated in the winter when I have to take to the treadmill.

  5. So much good stuff going on here Robin. Way to kick butt! And I love the idea of a twitter meet-up time too. Best of luck this week.

  6. Hi, Robin!

    I love how you presented some of what you've taken from your SavvyWriter's class. Now I want to sign up. =)

    And the quote you chose at the end by Marina Tsvetaeva echoed through me, because I know I've experienced exactly what she is describing. Thank you for sharing it.

  7. You're learning a lot. Thanks for sharing how your writing book is helping you.

    So you home school too. What ages? How long? How did you start writing?

  8. You have so much going on! I am sending my son that link for the workshop. He's been working on a novel since he got to Okinawa and sending me the chapters as he's done. I have to say that I'm blown away by his talent!! I like the schedule you set for yourself and it gets you writing almost everyday. Just enough to clear your thoughts from your stories! I'm doing a schedule very similar to yours. MailBox Monday, Tuesday Intro, maybe a review on Wednesdays and Thursdays and then Snapshot Saturday with a few Six Sentence Saturdays thrown in here and there. Have a great week!


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