Story Tropes: Love (Video by Nika Harper)

I decided I’m so bad about posting, Ill start to share interesting videos, articles, and web sites that might interest other writers.

Today’s link by National Novel Writing Month YouTube channel, talks about Story Tropes: Love.

What is a trope?

A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect[1] such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices,[2] motifs or clichés in creative works. (wikipedia)

Some writers might consider tropes as cliché’s and should be avoided, but classic story telling often includes tropes because they work so well. They often speak truthfully about the human condition- of characters as well as the readers.

You can look up tons of tropes at which is searchable by genre, medium, and type.


Filed under tip, Writer

2016 Writer’s Goals from Mistakes


A new year. Some new goals. Okay, maybe not so new. I’m still going to write more and publish fiction as well as some non-fiction this year. But if anything 2015 taught me, you have to learn from your mistakes.

Mistake #1Not dedicated the time to fiction writing. I’m finding non-fiction easier to write because it’s simply numbers-time-watch-whiteputting down what is already in my head to paper, but fiction proves more challenging because, you know, characters. They tend to take over the plot and take you in a direction you don’t want to go, or you get stuck with a plot point. If you’re a writer, you know what I mean.

I hoped to do a page a day this month, but I’m finding missing a day tends to overwhelm me. ‘What? Now I have two pages?’ and something comes up. “Oh no, now three pages?” Already, I’m not liking the writing idea at all.

So now, the goal is based on time increments, not word counts or pages. I’m going to write at least an hour a day, if not more. We’ll see if the Writer’s Muse is kind.

Mistake # 2- Too many things distract me. Ideas Blog Graphic 300x300tend to bubble up and nag me to write them instead of my currents project, so I’ll need to tuck the idea away for a later date. I also need to cut way back on the task list, focusing on what is important.

I think I’m a multi-task addict, because I feel kind of a withdrawal when I’m not doing tons of things at once. I hope with practice, I can calm the ‘monkey mind’ and focus on one thing at a time.

These two mistakes lent to much of my non-writing issues. So now, let’s cover my goals for 2016;

1.  Publish my novel. I have about eight chapters in, but already found some reworking that needs done.

2. Publish the two short stories rattling around in my head.

3. Publish another anthology for the writer’s group. That will make it anthology #3, if anyone is counting.

4. Publish the non-fiction e-workbooks I have ‘in the works’. I’ll cover more of that in later posts.

5. Add more blog posts about the actual writing process I go through including plotting, character development, book cover design, and more.

So what are your main writing goals? Add your comments below, or write a blog post and share the link in comments. Winking smile

“Don’t be a writer. BE WRITING!” –

William Faulkner


Filed under The Writer's Journey, Writing Goals

What I’ve been up to…

WP_20151206_09_46_35_Pro 1I am horrible about keeping up with blogging. For the longest time, I just can’t seem to muster up motivation or anything worthwhile to share. Most blogging seems to be talking to the Cosmos, with little in response, so I figured I’d post if only to share these frustrations with the Ether and anyone else who might be reading.

So what have I been doing?

I’ve been tackling the chore of cutting back on things. If you follow my personal blog, I wrote a post about finding focus and productivity. This lent to having several epiphamies that led me to quitting all Meetup groups I organized to only the writer’s group. I  also quit the Score business group, and I try to cultivate more on quality than quantity of my tasks.

Back in October, my sister bought me Fallout 4. Well, no, this isn’t productive. It is the opposite of productive, but I’m sharing to let you know how distracting Fallout 4 can be, too.

I find myself immersed into the alternative future of an Apocalyptic Boston setting, fending off mutants, ghouls, and other bad guys. There’s intriguing storylines, characters, and even developing your own character through this setting.

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Making hand warmers. Not a huge distraction, but, in fact, necessary for my winter survival. My hands get bitterly cold and having these on my hands make a world of difference.

They are easy to make from socks.

  1. Get a pair that feel comfortable when you slip your hand inside. They shouldn’t be too tight at writer or fingers.
  2. Cut off the toe part. This will be where your fingers go.
  3. Cut off the cuff edge. This will loosen socks so they are comfortable so this step is optional.
  4. Gauge where your thumb will be, and make a slit large enough for the thumb to fit through.
  5. Slip on hands.
  6. Be warm!

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Helping a fellow writer with his published book. Dale is a co-organizer with my writer’s group, and he published his new sci-fi novel, Loose Strings .

He showed me I’m in his dedication for helping with his web site and initial book cover. Winking smile

Working on the 2015 writer’s anthology. This will be volume three in our series of published anthologies my group does.

Coming soon!

The new anthology should be available before Christmas.

LPCHelping other writers with their web sites. My business includes the service of web design, but more to the point, I help web designers with their sites if they need it.

Paula Bilyeu

Peni Jo Renner



Filed under Author, Blog Mention, Publishing, tip

Thoughts on the adventure

thoughtsThis year I promised myself to go beyond my comfort zone, or more importantly, what I considered ‘safe’, to embrace the adventure and see where it took me.

It didn’t work out as well as I hoped.

Taking chances includes disasters. You don’t read about the people who didn’t make it. Failing doesn’t make good storytelling, but it is part of the path towards success, to find out what works and what doesn’t work. (And I excel at finding out what doesn’t work).

Get help. Help takes on many forms, not just the help of other people who know what they are doing, but also the encounters with choices, or finding meaning in anything from a quote to a story. Ask for advice, weed out the unhelpful criticism, and move forward.

Rise from the ashes. This is difficult if you don’t have wings, so even if you have to stagger and stumble out of the ashes, that works too. The important thing is that you keep trying, changing your plans if necessary, in order to keep moving forward.

I wish Life was more like a story, where you encounter the Hero’s Journey, where stumbling is only a setback, where you find a the Guide to help you, and where you may not triumph but you do change for the better.

What are your thoughts on this topic; post in comments.

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Filed under Goals, Writer