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 April, 2001

Visit Our Re-Designed Home Page - www.author-me.com

If [you] can continue to send me more useful information of any sort pertaining to writing it would be greatly appreciated. Your March newsletter has already been of a good deal of help to me. 

Thank you

Dave Fox

Writing Assignment:

Conflict with Character

Now that you've done all the background work, the "easy" part lies ahead. All you need to do is lead your character toward the goal you specified in last week's assignment.

Sounds easy, but even a cursory reading of modern fiction will tell you the opposite is the case. Seldom does the main character take a cakewalk to the goal.

Somehow something always gets in the way. And, if you want to set your readers on edge, it had better be a believable conflict.

For an exaggerated case, think of Don Quixote. He had a quest, but everything seemed to get in the way, didn't it?

Now you need to inflict this unhappy circumstance upon your newly minted character. Worse still, since this is an exercise (the Great American Novel comes later), we ask you to experiment.

 Let's review now. You created a character and setting, and then aimed the character at a goal. Now it your duty to introduce a conflict to interfere with the character's quest.

For next month, then, introduce a character whose role will be to stand between your main character and his or her goal. Direct confrontation is OK, but so is indirect confrontation. The point this month is to bring interpersonal conflict into the story.

One character. Then one scene. Go! We look forward to receiving your exercise.

Good luck!





Reading Assignment

You need to read the recent John Grisham book, A Painted House

We make this recommendation because here is an established author taking the big risk. Instead of developing his tried and true lawyer story themes, John Grisham took a chance.

Here was a popular author who had no need to "prove himself" in a new genre. Yet he took a story from the past, a story which was almost totally ordinary, and he told it masterfully in novel form.

Not that this is just an ordinary work. It points from the past into current times and helps us understand why families moved from working the land to working in factories.

Read the story for technique. In what ways did Grisham make this story grip you?  How did he transform the humble ordinary family into heroes of your attention and concern? If you can understand that, you may be on your own way to author nobility!

Go Back in Time!...

Check out our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (Part 1) from David C. Cook III. Visit... 


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Writerly Websites...

There's a new website redesign worthy of your attention. Explore the freshly reorganized pages developed by Sandy Tritt, who gives unselfishly to new authors who seek her critiques and even personal advice.

Inspiration for Writers:


Actually, Sandy's Redesign is still a work in process. But stop by and leave her a note to encourage her work. Write...





Publishing New Writers,

April, 2001 (no.204)

Editor Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.  Fax (847) 428-8974.

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