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MJ Bush
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MJ Bush

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How's the writing going today? =)
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+Susanne Jolley that's a good plan! I like writing the first draft too! But when I type it out I wind up changing a lot 😛 But I hope your writing journey goes well and that you like how it comes out!
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MJ Bush

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Tug on your character's deep-seated NEED.
...Even if it means it's uncomfortable and hard to write.
...Even if it feels like you're going to scare some readers away.
...Even if it bares your soul.

Want to know how to show your character's desire in a way that makes your reader FEEEEEEEL it?

Read this, then tell me...

What does your character desire?
Desires put your character in a position of openness. They affect the story whether or not they fuel an external goal. Do you know how?
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MJ Bush

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And it’s important to remember if Version B ends up being even worse than the original, that doesn’t make Version A any better. It still doesn’t work, it’s just that Version B was worse. So, time to start working on Version C...
I can't agree enough. Editing is a grueling process. Don't settle. Don't give up.
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+MJ Bush you are right
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Saving this to read later.
Unconventional book marketing advice. It all boils down to creating amazing content and promoting it with your own voice. This takes guts and stepping out of your comfort zone. I'm still learning how to do this.

#writing #marketing 
The infamous Tucker Max, self-proclaimed asshole. (Photo: Randy Stewart/ Preface: I've debated doing this post for a long while. Today I bite the bullet. Part of my job is introducing you to valuable lessons and interesting people you might not find otherwise.
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Is your first line setting the bar high enough?
What does it accomplish?
I'm really asking. Share and analyze it in the comments. =)

First priority: raising curiosity
Second priority: presenting the circumstances (particularly showing that something is different or about to be)
Third priority: characterization OR orienting the protagonist within the events

The Total First Chapter Guide:
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MJ Bush
+Di Lung Move it Ya Fool! When it implies what's going on and where and still raises curiosity because something unexpected is said, all at a time in the story when something starts changing. That's a wonderful opportunity to use dialogue for a first line.
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When Characters Argue
Punctuate with action. Like leaving.
Don't let it get drawn out and flimsy.
DO something.

A drawn out argument loses punch, and makes us wonder why neither is putting their foot down or compromising. It makes the positions look weak and the emotions seem insincere.

Action solidifies a position and makes us believe they mean it. Makes us believe they feel it.

Not open to negotiation? Leave.

Ready to fight? Throw a punch.

Bonus: Give them attitudes and multiple things to argue over, then let subtext reign. Even if it lasts longer, this adds substance and keeps the exchange from seeming flimsy and insincere.

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MJ Bush

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I... I can't pick a favorite. But I LOVE the emphasis on narrative art and the ability to convey an entire story with a single image.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to explain the creation of curiosity instead of confusion. For storytelling, it's especially important for first lines. It's the ability to imply enough that the situation is guessable. Norman Rockwell's Happy Birthday Mrs. Jones is a perfect example.

(And yes, this piece is a bit out of date and the museum is now slotted for Los Angeles instead. Either way, I hope to go see it sometime. Or many times.)
There was a great disturbance in the Force this week as George Lucas announced he's locating his new art museum in Chicago instead of San Francisco. But Lucas's art isn't all Millennium Falcon models: There are some seriously fascinating pieces in his collection, all themed around the concept of storytelling.
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MJ Bush

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Random thought for the day:
You get obedience from a dog and cooperation from a cat.
Just sayin'.
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MJ Bush
+Dan Suptic Word.

Becoming The Trusted One takes patience and total commitment to not betraying that trust.

(I love it when she purrs when I pet her paws. You'd never know she was a bit of a touch-me-not.)
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MJ Bush

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In this deconstruction of Casablanca, Linda Gray brings together advice from +James Scott Bell, John Houston, and Elizabeth Lyon to show you how to create a solid plot.

You need three great scenes and no weak ones.

For the definition of a great scene, I would add Jordan Rosenfeld's definition of a scene, "Scenes are capsules in which compelling characters undertake significant actions in a vivid and memorable way that allows the events to feel as though they are happening in real time" to Bell's "Passions run high; stakes run higher. What happens in the scene affects the rest of the story, and in a big way."

I generally prefer to emphasize aiming to write well over avoiding weak writing because avoiding weak writing is an uphill mindset with a tendency to stop at "good enough" or invite shallow rules, but in this case Gray gives us a measuring stick and a good solid rule...

"Would a tired, overworked editor be tempted to put the ms. down there? If yes, it's weak. Either cut the scene or make it matter."

What do you think? What are your thoughts on how to shape (or strengthen) a plot?
Do you have a manuscript that flies off in too many directions, or maybe the opposite—doesn't have enough going on in it to sustain a long-form project? Or even worse, in my opinion, is your manuscript plotted so minutely tha...
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Tu es trop belle mais je connais pas l'anglais dommage bisous 
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Lee Child and Jack Reacher!! <3
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You should be following this collection by +Mike Reeves-McMillan.
...Like this post on four different ways to create conflict so your plot isn't one-dimensional, where he expands on a Writing Excuses podcast and makes it even more useful:

Have I made my point? Follow this collection. =)
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MJ's Collections
Fantasy Editor, analytical creative, far-flung dreamer.
I run Next-Level Storycraft for Geeky Novelists.

  • Goals are more powerful than rules. Know your goal and you can discard the rule.
  • The more you understand about your story, your characters, your world, the more inspiration and options are open to you.
  • Deep, complex characters are the strongest, most fascinating characters you can have.
  • Never stop learning. Never assume someone knows everything about the craft. Never assume you know "enough." Never assume it will be easy.
  • Your process will likely be unique. Follow the path that works for you, for your story.
  • Try new things. It's part of learning, and it's part of finding your process.
  • Plot and character are equally important. Each fuels the other.
  • Understand the rules to break them effectively. This ties back to knowing your goals.
Editing applications will open again soon.

Profile photo taken by +Fabien Andablo

Basic Information
MJ Bush's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
There are only four types of cities

Study finds a way to fingerprint the world's metropolises

Testing Your Story Concept

It makes sense that if you're going to write a book--something that is going to take, for most people, a few months (or years!)--it's a good

Top 10 Favorite Fantasy Tropes

Imaginative Fiction from Author, Reviewer, and Writing Coach Christine Amsden

A Quote...

Busy and productive are two different things.

Limyaael's Rant No.12: Writing Flawed Characters - Curiosity Quills Press

Inspired by some posting on flaws in both the Mary-Sue communities and others. 1. First, make sure that your character really has flaws, and

Is everyone who writes a writer?

“I’m writing a book!” I hear it all the time at parties. While people wouldn’t dream of suggesting they’d become…well, for example, a neuros

Four Reasons Marketers Need to Embrace Google+

In a recent informal MarketingProfs poll, marketers named Google+ their most hated social network. As a marketer who likes Google+, I decide

Use Triangles to Help Your Readers Get the Point

Whatever you're writing, there's always a point you're setting out to make. Oh, you might say, but I write fiction. I'm not trying to make a

Improve Concentration by Minimizing Distractibility

Effective thinking depends on suppressing distracting thoughts and feelings


The best photography in the world

Google+ Hangout Etiquette - BrowneKnows

Google+ hangouts are da bomb, but one rude participant can ruin it for everyone! Whether you're socializing to make new friends or brainstor

Join the 30 Day Video Challenge (May 2013)

If you really want to skyrocket your business and build deep lasting relationships with your tribe, then you need to be on video. I gave mys

Flow Reader (Beta)

***** PLEASE READ BEFORE DOWNLOADING: This is the beta version of Flow Reader, and as such there are missing/broken features and bugs left t


The Future Now

People Without Imagination

People without imagination will often ridicule yours. Don’t be afraid to imagine bigger. I was inspired to write this by a tweet from Justin