Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, 1943
Sometimes I get so immersed in my own little world that I forget how grateful I am for my friends and family. The Thanksgiving season is upon us, and now’s a good time to express my gratitude.

With my father’s failing heath, I’m grateful for the friends and family who have rallied around me with their love and support.

My son, his girlfriend, and their dogs are hosting the family Thanksgiving dinner. I’m grateful not to be cooking, cleaning, and hosting this year.

I’m grateful for my loving daughter who is always there to help whenever I need it.

I’m grateful for my friends and our weekly dinners. Without a solid social network, I might become a hermit.

And I’m grateful for my writerly friends – those who have encouraged, critiqued, published, and read my stories. It’s so easy to get discouraged when the path to the goal is long.

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Subplot Dilemma

Last month, I gathered a year’s worth of scattered, hand-written pages of story ideas, partially written scenes, character development, etc., for a work in progress.

Then I roughly organized those pages and my previously typed computer documents into four sections (the four quarters of the W-plot) in a large three-ring notebook. After shuffling scenes around, I fine-tuned the chronology for each of the four quarters of the plot.

Next, I created a color-coded spreadsheet of the story scenes. At a glance, the colors identify the main plot, the subplots, and the red herrings. But I must admit, categorization of some story elements stumped me.

A subplot requires a beginning, middle, and end, just like the main plot. And, just like the main plot, a problem or conflict should drive the subplot’s action.

A secondary character has a secret. The secret’s thread has a beginning, middle, end, and is driven by a conflict. The entire thread occurs in one act.

Must a subplot weave throughout the entire story like the main plot, or can it be introduced, developed, and resolved in one act?

My color-coding dilemma: is this secret a subplot, or merely a red herring?