What are your passions in life?

The Urban Dictionary defines Passion as the act of putting more energy into something than is required. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible. With this in mind, I believe my passion comes with multiple servings and in the following categories: Family, Community and Personal Wellbeing. Unknown

To me, family consists of not only my husband and children, and the immediate members of my family, but also dear friends that I value, love and deeply appreciate.

Community involves my environment, the people living near me – whether in my city or state, the medical staff in local hospitals and educators in colleges, or anyone contributing to the quality of life we all enjoy.

Personal Wellbeing describes the sense of accomplishment I feel by dedicating myself to my health – mentally and physically, and to a project, whether it be writing, organizing or decorating; it is also the gratification I receive by donating my time and energy to causes I feel strongly about.

So as this new year begins a fresh chapter in our lives, let us try to remember what’s important not only to ourselves but also to those around us. Find ways to give back not only monetarily and through products and services but also of your time. It’s important to go the extra mile, as it’s never crowded…and it rarely goes unnoticed.

Trick of the Trade: Pinterest Plotting

When it comes to writing a novel, a well-thought-out plot is an essential element for effective storytelling. Something has to move – to change from bad to good, worst to better, in order to satisfy your reader. This change, from Point A to Point B, can be shown in the following ways: 

  • A physical event (Point A = a psycho killer is picking off everyone in town. Point B = police arrest the killer).

  • A decision (Point A = a character wants to practice law like his father. Point B = the same character decides to be a ballet dancer).

  • A change in a relationship (Point A = a boy and girl hate each other. Point B = they fall in love)

  • A change in a person (Point A = a character is a selfish jerk. Point B = they realize the benefit of donating their time.)

  • A change in the reader’s understanding of a situation. (Point A = a character appears to be a murderer. Point B = the reader realizes the character is actually innocent and made a false confession.)

For authors who find plotting on foam core board the best way to organize your chapters and subplots before developing them, I applaud the endless hours you’ve invested but have no interest in making notes on sticky pads in various colors and later attempting to decipher my writing. Plus the resulting roadmap could prove incredibly daunting, especially when multiple points of view are involved, in addition to unexpected twists and turns in the plot.

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The beat sheet is also a great tool for charting every scene, however, after attempting this method for a new book, I soon realized that I’d spent endless hours on the building blocks for my plot which lacked dialogue or narrative flair. As soon as I began writing, I found myself detouring from my storyline all together and rewriting my sheet to stay current with my story’s evolution.

Ultimately, the solution to organizing my characters, directing their activities, and advancing my plot came with an introduction to Pinterest. Although authors often use boards on this site for compiling ideas, collecting quotes, and categorizing writing techniques, I found it an excellent way to dissect my entire story and to “visually” plot each chapter, as well as each book, with the use of character images, settings, and prop photos that describe the corresponding scene. When a board is completed, it also serves as the perfect tool for creating a book trailer and developing an advertising layout.