Bad Plots and Scary Fish


The Ocean Trench Plot. You need eyes like this to find your way through the story.

I saw the new Mad Max movie the other day, and while I really liked the movie, there were a couple of times when I thought about Plot Fail #4 according to author Therin Knite: The Plot That Never Slows Down. The relentless action of Mad Max did finally take a long deep breath before rushing back to an intense pace, which it sustained for pretty much the rest of the movie.

I like Knite’s blog about The Nine Worst Types of Plot Fails, because it reminds me how far I’ve come in my writing. Looking back at my unpublished work, I can see short stories and novels that have all suffered tragic deaths due to one of these plot fails. My greatest error was the Ocean Trench Plot. My first novel was so deep and impenetrable that I found myself confused and lost in my own story. Even after gutting the novel and fighting to simplify it, I still found threads that while interesting, only distracted and confused.

After that debacle, I spent a few years with a writers group pumping out a short story per month, and the critiques from my fellow authors cured me of all of these nine plot fails.

While I’m not a big fan of lists—and there could well be more than nine plot fails—I think I’ll book mark Knite’s post and check it out half-way through every story I write. It never hurts to step back and think about where a story is going.


The Satisfaction of Print

Since I’m a big e-book guy who believes in sparing the trees and making electrons race instead, many will be surprised by the headline. Hey, so am I, but I had to do it. I had to go print.

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What I Learned About Kobo Writing Life

Mark Lefebvre, Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at kobo, didn’t just come to chat with us at The Toronto Indie Publishing Meetup, he brought us solid information about e-books sales, and he didn’t sugar coat it. Despite indie-publishing potentially throwing book sales wide open, a small number of authors still make a big chunk of the change, just like in the traditional publishing world.

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Worker gathers items for delivery at Amazon's distribution center in Phoenix

Not All Authors Hate Amazon

Author James Patterson thinks he hates e-books and that they’re destroying libraries and bookstores, but in my humble opinion what he really hates is that the new technology allows upstarts like me to sell books that are way cheaper than his novels.

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Today’s the Big Day

When I decided to form the Toronto Indie Publishing Meetup group, I was warned (by Meetup) to expect only two or three people to attend the inaugural meeting. I figured that would be okay, so I boldly took Meetup’s suggestion to have a get together within the month, and I booked the first event smack in the middle of summer. So what if our Meetup consisted of just two or three die-hard fans of indie publishing having a beer?

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