With the exception of Thanksgiving week, I’ve spent November explaining how I plot my novels. I’ve really enjoyed creating these posts, especially when I’ve been privileged to read your ideas and incorporate them. Remember, this was a “practice” novel, inspired by a comment I overheard at breakfast one morning, and we’ve come a long way…

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Happy Thanksgiving! I’m taking a break from my mini-series on how I write a novel, to wish you a wonderful holiday–if you’re in the U.S.–and if you’re not, to wish you a wonderful autumn day filled with good food and good friends. I thought for fun I’d let O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) write my…

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“Be kind whenever possible. It’s always possible.” – Dalai Lama Do you think that being kind to others is something special, something that we save up for? I get caught in that trap sometimes, forgetting that kindness is possible every minute of every day if we simply remember and pay attention–as well as swallow our first,…

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Welcome to round three of “How Emilie Plots Her Novels.” Note that I didn’t simplify that first sentence and call this series “How To Plot A Novel?” Remember, we’re exploring my way. If someone tells you their way is the right way? I’d take that with a block of salt. Some writers have no idea…

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“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.” -Maya Angelou Maya Angelou has a way of going right to the heart of things, doesn’t she? This is one of our biggest challenges, isn’t it? To live fully and joyfully instead…

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Last week we began a story, or rather I began it with a snatch of conversation overheard at breakfast. Have you been listening for interesting bits of conversation ever since? Have you begun noticing anything that’s odd in your everyday interactions? Has a little voice whispered in your ear, “that would make a good novel?”…

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“Civility is the sum of the many sacrifices we are called to make for the sake of living together.” Stephen L. Carter Did you know this coming Tuesday is election day? OK, it’s a  tiny election day when almost no one is running for anything, but let’s think of it as good practice for the…

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Plotting a novel? I’m about to reveal a novelist’s biggest secret. Come closer. . . promise you won’t tell? Everybody does it differently. That’s right. As much fun as it would be to tell you my way is the only way, I’d be taking my life in my hands at my next writer’s conference. Truth…

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