David Griffith’s suggested resources for fiction writing

Thanks for a great meeting, it was good to see all of you again! Since I was asked about what resources I’m using for my story plotting, here are the links:
1) Advanced Fiction Writing maintained by Randy Ingermanson
This is the first resource that I found when I started searching for online resources to help me with novel writing. Randy developed a 10-step approach to outlining that he calls “The Snowflake Method” https://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/ because it’s inspired by a fractal curve called “Koch’s snowflake” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koch_snowflake), which is built up by staring with an equilateral triangle and repeatedly adding progressively smaller equilateral triangles to it to produce a beautiful snowflake-like curve. Ingermanson’s approach alternates between developing the plot and developing characters, starting at a very high level of abstraction and gradually drilling down into more depth and detail in each successive iteration. I like this approach, but I was confused by his “three disasters” approach to developing the basic outline. I began looking for more resources to help me, and found….
2) Syd Field’s Seven-Point Story Structure as presented by author Dan Wells in a talk at Brigham Young University’s “Life, the Universe, and Everything Writing Symposium” on the 13th of February, 2010. Dan has also served as a co-host for the “Writing Excuses” podcast (https://writingexcuses.com/) since 2008. Dan’s hour-long talk is available on YouTube in five parts; the URL for the playlist is https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC430F6A783A88697 
This approach develops a story skeleton using 7 major plot milestones:

1. Hook (the characters’ initial state, opposite of the Resolution)

2. Plot Turn 1, or Inciting Incident, or Call to Action (conflict and what the characters must do is revealed)

3. Pinch Point 1 (apply pressure to characters, force them to step up and take some kind of action)

4. Midpoint (the point where the characters decide to take action to solve the main problem or defeat the antagonist, and move from reaction to action)

5. Pinch Point 2, or Dark Night of the Soul, or Jaws of Defeat (characters suffer loss, are on their own, things look very, very bad)

6. Plot Turn 2 (the characters get the “last piece of the puzzle” and figure out that they can solve the problem at hand and escape the Jaws of Defeat)

7. Resolution (the climax of the story that results in the characters’ reaching their final state, which is the opposite of their state in the Hook)

Dan’s suggested development sequence for this outline is: 7→1→4→2→6→3→5. The details are in the YouTube videos, which I found to be informative and a lot of fun. Looking for more detailed explanations on how to develop the outline, I found…..
3) Helping Writers Become Authors maintained by K.M. Weiland at https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ 
This site is a smorgasbord of information on how to plan a novel, create character arcs, write great scenes, etc. She also includes a 47-page (!) story structure database of books and movies at https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/story-structures/ so that you can see the major plot points in a variety of works from many genres (a drop-down menu on the left side lets you pick your genre of interest). I started working my way through her posts a couple of months ago and I’m nowhere near done, but her tips have helped me make my story a lot more coherent and exciting, and I learn new things with each post. She’s also written several books on writing, including workbooks, which I am planning on ordering soon. K.M. Weiland’s basic story structure differs from the 7-point structure described by Dan Wells. I actually think that hers is more complete and makes more sense, although as I said Dan’s talk is a fun intro to the concept.
There are many more resources out there, but these are the ones I’ve used so far. As I keep finding things, I can post links and short descriptions in responses to this post.

Thanks again for the warm welcome!

Alice by Natalie Vanrossum

She was created by the French Government for a space program and the program was scrapped and  long story short  Alice turned into a housekeeper.

  She is round, animated, has wheels, short but extending arms

 The round animated robot is  purple and pink and made of recycled metals and plastic.

Her power button is at the back of her head. Alice is a prototype. If successful

the developers will make more and then sell them world wide. Her laugh is lyrical.

She is able to lengthen herself,  and French is her main language and speaks English

 With a heavy accent and goes by the name of Alice, She wears

a pink apron and always responds  “Oui Madame you

called may I be of service?” She is almost  human.

 Alice does not take kindly to being ordered around, and please

Remember to apologize when Alice  is offended

 She always requires a please and thank you.

When given an order she stops whatever she is doing

If angered curses in French; uses words only sailors would use.

And if idle too long she must be rebooted so please

Remember your manners. She doesn’t require  a remote

Her best skill is cooking. Don’t come into the kitchen

Unless she politely requests your  presence. Please

Don’t be offended if she politely asks you

to leave while she is preparing a meal.  Her favorite

dish is ratatouille but will prepare what you politely

request.  She will do the laundry, dishes, mop

the floor. She hangs the clothes to dry

because that’s what they do in France.

Elegy to my mother by Connie McX

When they flow they take sorrow with them. But not all the sorrow goes with the first flow. There may be a lot of sorrow left.

 In which case there could be more tears. They are for the mother from the girl. 

Even though the mother didn’t know how to nurture, the girl still misses her. 

The girl is surprised. 

She didn’t know the sorrow would get to her in the way it has.

 She now knows she has no mother to talk to.

 She cannot talk to the mother.

 She cannot see the mother. 

Sometimes she feels all alone, and then remembers that she felt that way growing up too. 

It is hard to lose, and thankfully the elixir of tears can take some of the sorrow each time they flow.

Probably little by little thinks the girl.

The girl wants the tears to flow, to relieve some of the sadness.

 But the girl fears tears. 

Her prayer is:

Just not to drown in them please


The girl sat by the mother’s bedside, holding her hand. The girl wished that she could talk to the mother and tell her everything she was thinking. But even when the mother was lucid and could comprehend sentences she could never have comprehended what the girl wanted to tell her.

The mother simply didn’t have the emotional capacity to relate to anybody else’s needs or reality. The girl wishes she could tell the mother that, but the mother always made an excuse to keep herself in the right. The girl felt very frustrated, sad, and even angry. She kept thinking why this mother? Why did I get this mother? And yet here she was right by the bedside of the dying mother. Some atavistic instinct told her to be there no matter how she felt

The girl remembered that once, when the mother was manipulating her, and talking about problems that all the offspring had, she had said oh I wonder why I ever had children. The girl responded inauthentically by saying you did the best you could. Today the girl knows she would want to say yeah why did you.

The girl never had the courage to stand up to the mother. The mother was very controlling and narcissistic. But once the girl thought of murdering the mother because the mother did something so hurtful the girl did not know how else to respond. The girl knew she couldn’t do that, but the thought was there.

The girl had flown in from another state to see her newborn niece. And the mother was very cruel to her at that time. The mother just needed people around to give her attention, to worship and adulate her. The mother never cared what anyone else felt. Because narcissistic people perceive that everyone else is an extension of themselves, and there are no different thoughts or feelings than theirs. and narcissistic people never believe they can do anything wrong. If anything’s wrong it’s always somebody else’s fault. All that was very helpful for the girl to know but it still didn’t eradicate the pain the mother had caused.

The girl hopes the mother will die soon. It is very exhausting to do a deathbed vigil. and yet once that happens there will be no possibility of her ever having a mother. Even though intellectually the girl knows that the mother had no capacity for nurturing, in her heart she still yearns.

The girl wonders if the yearning will ever be satisfied. Or if she will decide to go the same way the mother goes. Off the earth and out of her body. Away from the pain.