A Guide to Plot for Narrative Writers

Though some stories and novels are based on unrelated episodes (Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote), known as the “episodic story” or the “picaresque”, and some have a purpose to reveal what life is like for the protagonist without the use of a rising action/rising emotion sense of plot (Flaubert: “A Simple Heart”), known as the “slice of life” story (from the French, tranche de vie), most are traditionally plotted. Here’s a guide to plot for narrative writers.

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awash in music – so inspiring

An exciting development lately has been how much playing music has been in my life lately.

I just helped two music production students last week by backing them up on acoustic lead guitar/vocals/dobro slide guitar, with music faculty Tim Haertel on stand-up bass. We played for IU Southeast’s Founder’s Day Luncheon. It was a fun gig, as the young students wanted to play classics like Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty,” John Denver’s “Country Roads (Take Me Home),” Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly,” and Jackson Browne/Eagle’s “Take it Easy.” I also got to do a vocal solo on the Stones’ “Dead Flowers.” Those songs are almost all ones I used to play in bars, and were fun to resurrect for a new generation of pickers.

Also been rehearsing with roots/Americana/Bluegrass pickers – sometimes with Music and English faculty (Bourbon Sidecars) sometimes with dulcimer/guitar/vocalist Molly McCormick and stand-up bass player David Rodgers (Molly’s Mutts), and now and then at the jam on Sundays at Lettersong Gallery.

Here is my new publicity photo. 

Photo Credit: Sarah Dugan’s iPhone black and white editing magic. Michael Jackman and Monty mutt pose by the homestead chicken coop. 

I’m sure this dive into music is inspiring my poetry and other writing!

Announcement: New Pubs, Performance

So pleased to announce these things that have happened just in the past week:

  1. Community is publishing my poem “Between Two Nothings”
  2. I’ve been asked to be the featured poet next November 12 for the Flying Out Loud reading series, and given the opportunity to invite 3 or 4 of my students to read poetry as well.
  3. Just learned my poem “Three Apologies” will be in the forthcoming issue of Gyroscope Literary Review.