Tag Archive | Jazz Fest

Struggling with the Plot

When I’m writing, I always plot out an entire story before starting. The three-act structure advocated by Michael Hauge http://www.storymastery.com/ works well for me. I’ve got two new books coming out this year with Soul Mate Publishing. The Taste of Her, and The Jury Scandal. Stay tuned for release dates.
I’m stuck, however, with the current story, Her Faithless Lover.

For my first couple of manuscripts I scribbled out several long-hand pages on a yellow pad, and that seemed to work pretty well. Then I tried using Scrivener but gave it up. I even bought a how-to book. I couldn’t get the program to do what I wanted. So I decided to go old school for this manuscript. I wanted to create the plot in such a way that I could view the entire story. Here’s what I produced: 2014-04-21 08.51.12
It’s not as messy as it looks, but I hit a stumbling block after I’d written about 40 pages.

This story is romantic suspense, and one of the cardinal rules for any type of romance genre (I’ve been told) is to keep your main character likable. The problem I realized was that I had her committing adultery with her cousin’s husband. Bad Move. I took the advice of several fellow authors and changed it so that she’s in lust for him, but never acted. And that was fine, except I had her become pregnant and her lover was likely the father. Getting rid of her adultery changed the whole plot.

Now I was kinda stuck with less conflict, less problems for her, and no villain in the plot. Rats! The next step was to go back and create a threat to her husband, a homicide detective. That’s wasn’t too hard, but I’ve got this whole plot to do over. Rats, Rats, and double rats.

Sadly, the weather has finally turned beautiful in New Orleans, and the distractions are legion. Next weekend Jazz Fest starts, and while I don’t plan to attend, I live too close to the Fairgrounds. That means BIG traffic jams with lots of foot traffic and no place to park if should go out. My driveway saves part of that, but we have four cars for the crowd living in my house (my two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and adult grandson). Worse, people walking and talking outside has my three dogs bark at them here beside my computer. The shortage of peace and quiet almost makes writing impossible.

Enough of my bitching. If you’re a writer, tell me how you rework your plots when you hit a stumbling block. And if you’re not a writer, good for you. Enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

Red Letter Day-First Publication

Today is the DAY. My novella, THE RED HALTER TOP, is out – available on Amazon. Whoopee, Dancing and Singing. Red Halter Top 5 final copy 72 DPI
In the meantime, Spring is almost over in New Orleans. Azalea bushes are finished and returning to big, boring bushes that now need to be trimmed. The one overhanging my driveway especially.
French Quarter Fest starts tomorrow–a three-day food, music and drinking festival on the streets of the Quarter. Here’s a link, if you’re interested: http://www.fqfi.org/frenchquarterfest/ But the bad news is that strong thunderstorms and rain are predicted for this afternoon and into tomorrow. Bummer.
The biggest Spring festival is Jazz Fest – http://www.nojazzfest.com/ This is a ten-day long outdoor festival held at the Fair Grounds, a race track about five blocks from my house. I used to live even closer, and these two weekends tie up the parking, congest the traffic, and from my porch I can hear the sounds of the festival, but not any one musician. There are dozens of stages, big star performers, and it seems like hundreds of food booths and juried crafts for sale. You can’t just show up and try to sell your handicrafts or food. You have to submit samples for their approval. Hopefully, the weather will be better for Jazz Fest. But except for shutting down the huge music stages with all the electrical sound equipment, thunderstorms don’t seem to deter the crowds. See more details here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Jazz_%26_Heritage_Festival . Besides the threats of thunderstorms, the other warning about Jazz Fest is that by the end of April, we’re into summertime. It’s very hot and humid.
So after promoting my novella and promoting New Orleans, I am happy to report that I started a new story as soon as I finished that blog about what to do next. https://aliceakemp.com/2013/03/26/how-do-you-decide/. I opened a folder I’d set up labeled “New Ideas” and guess what I found inside? I laughed out loud. There was only one sticky note with a phrase I’d written down from something I read. The phrase was “He loved the taste of her mouth.” And a whole story opened in front of me – the title: “The Taste of Her” is a murder mystery where the bad guy seeks to lick the women he captures and kills. I’m nearly fifty pages into it and having a great time.

What goes on in the Spring where you live? What are you working on? I’m also finishing a quilt for my husband’s niece. Will post some pictures next time.
Have a beautiful day, and if you decide to buy my book and like it, give me a good review and tell your friends. If you don’t like it, please just tell me. (-: