That Up and Down Motion Thing
No, not THAT up and down motion. Jeez, you people think about nothing but sex. Oh, wait, that's me. Um, er, anyway...that thing I mentioned a few posts ago is a simple idea my editor mentioned (I'm probably even remembering the term wrong, but "up and down motion" is what stuck in my head) that can help to keep in mind when you're writing scenes.
The idea is that at the start of a scene, if things are going well for your protagonist, then by the end of the scene it all should be going to shit. And then, if you start out the next scene with things going badly, by the end of the scene there should be some sense of improvement, hope, and/or a problem resolved on the way to the overall plot resolution. And so on. This could be either in the internal conflict, or the external, or both.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule, and there is no such thing as a hard and fast rule, and sometimes the best stories throw all the rules in the garbage. But it is a good tool to keep in mind if you find your story feeling flat, dull, not going anywhere, or whatever.
And now, since your eyes seem to glaze over when I start talking about anything remotely useful, I will also point out that I dedicated my April 07 book, Sex As a Second Language, to you Naked Page People. In it, the heroine is a blogger, and her blog posts along with comments from the readers of her blog appear at the start of each chapter. So don't say I never gave you anything.
Am I the only person on earth not participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? I even saw a piece (which I now cannot find) about it on the NPR website. I think that officially makes it a very mainstream kinda thing, yes? And am I the only person who thinks "NaNoWriMo" is the most annoying name on earth?