Monday, May 20, 2013

Welcome Guest Lindi Peterson!

Missy, here. I'm excited to welcome back critique partner extraordinaire Lindi Peterson to Seekerville today! Lindi has a new release coming soon from Belle Bridge Books, so read on for a chance to win a copy of Rich in Love! Now, here's Lindi...

The Story of Us...And Them

by Lindi Peterson

Yeeee!!  That’s me screaming—I’m back in Seekerville! The place where food is a must, learning and laughing go hand in hand, and the best writers you’ll ever want to meet hang out.

Seekerville rocks! A big congratulations for your Writer’s Digest Top Website Award. You certainly deserve it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about story. Realizing the difference between story and plot has made a huge difference in the way I approach my first drafts. It’s also helpful for synopsis writing. I have to thank Alicia Rasley for her synopsis notes that differentiated the difference between story and plot. I’ll never forget it. I keep those notes with me ALL the time. Whenever I am writing a new story. defines story like this:
Story**** a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale. defines plot like this:
Plot****Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.

This is how I see it. Story comes before plot. (Stay with me here!) Notice how in the story definition there are the words, designed to interest, instruct the hearer or reader.
The plot is the main story of a novel, play, short story.

Before you get to the main story you need to know YOUR story. And by yours I mean the one the characters in your head are trying to get you to write or type onto that blank piece of paper staring at you.

Readers want to know their story, not their plot. What makes the difference is one little word. One word that writers dread hearing sometimes. One word that doesn’t come into play until the third or fourth revision for some of us.

The word?

Photo credit: Crestock/Odina222


Emotion can take a plot and turn it into a story.

RayAnn Phillips sat on the fast moving train through the city she’d only been in for two days. She held the paper with the address of her new employer in her hand so she wouldn’t have to search her purse when she got off of the train. The city was much bigger than Rossville. She would start her new job in less than an hour, provided she could find the place. Her stop proved to be the most popular. Many bodies pressed into her and she hoped the address would be easy to find when she arrived on the street.

This is a short excerpt. Do we know what is going on?

We do.

Do we care?

Not sure.

RayAnn Phillips wasn’t used to sitting close to strangers, so she scooted as close to the window as she could as she sat on the fast moving train, scrunching her purse, lunch tote and her umbrella on her lap, while holding tightly onto the paper with the address of her new employer. The unfamiliar landscape of city streets whisked by and she realized her toes and palms were sweating. Her second day in the city was her first day on the job, and both had her wondering if she had left her sanity back in Rossville, along with her family and cheating ex-boyfriend. The auto-voice announced her stop, startling her. The train did move fast. Swallowing hard, she double checked to make sure she didn’t leave anything on the train and joined the crush of people exiting. But even being pushed from every side couldn’t shake the loneliness inside. As if mocking, a gray sky greeted her as she stepped onto the street. Refusing to give way to the tears that threatened, she breathed in hope and stared at the address. The address that she could no longer read as the numbers had bled together.   

We know the same ‘plot’ information in paragraph 2 that we learned from paragraph 1. RayAnn, formerly from Rossville, was in a big city about to start a new job. Oh, and she’s on a train.

But from the second paragraph we glimpse a bit of her ‘story.’ We know she’s nervous, lonely, and heartbroken for starters. That’s HER story. The city, the train, and the new job are things moving her along through her journey in life. Her nervous, lonely, heartbroken journey. That’s what readers care about.

We all have a story. Now I’m talking about everyone who is reading this post. We are in God’s story and He’s created a storyline for every one of us. We are all gifted in different ways. For those who are called to write, that’s why we don’t give up. Because that’s our role in the story God has created for the world. When we’ve tapped into the vein of what God has put a passion in us to do, we are falling into 

                  Photo credit Crestock/Fotovika

God’s story.

Can you picture God’s storyboard? How amazing it must look! And you know, I’m guilty of messing up His story sometimes, not knowing which way to go, what to do in certain situations. I’m sure God is up there shaking His head as His storylines become blurred and go off in the completely wrong directions at time. But with prayer, fellowship and knowing who He is, we live in Him, and He in us. Then His storyboard is back on track. We bring to life all the emotions needed for a great story. Let’s remember to tap into those as we write the stories the world was meant to read. As we pour into characters, their stories come to life, and in turn those emotional journeys pour into readers, who in turn tell others about what they’ve read.

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming release Rich In Love.

Brief set up. Heroine Ann Thomas is in Florida at the reading of the will of the father she’s never met. She’s staying in his home, (mansion!) and is supposed to be downstairs for a dinner. She’s broken the heel on the only pair of shoes she brought so Anastasia, ‘the help’ has some extra clothing items she’s going to let Ann borrow for the evening. Ann is in her bedroom waiting on Anastasia. Oh, and Ann has a Jimmy Choo shoe obsession that she can’t afford to fuel. :)

My door opens. I can hardly see Anastasia through the jumble of material she’s carrying.
         Actually it’s only two dresses. She has two pair of strappy sandals dangling from her arm, high heels jutting toward me.
         “Okay, pick one. Coral sundress with tiny black polka dots or this very cute chiffon flowery print.”
         Both dresses are beautiful. “I’ll take the coral.”
         “I knew you would. Here.” She hands me the dress.
         “Where did these come from?”
         “From me. I wanted to help Mama with dinner, and I couldn’t decide what to wear. So I brought a couple of choices.”
         “Thank you. I’ll go put this on.” I head for the bathroom.
         “All right. The shoes are on the bed. See you downstairs. Pronto.”
         Even though I know she’s gone, I still dress in the bathroom. I’m a pretty modest person. After slipping the dress on, I hang my ‘funeral’ dress back in the closet.
         The coral dress is soft. It fits me well. I don’t recognize the name, but I’m sure it’s expensive. It just feels like it is.
         I walk to the bed, stopping about a foot away. The sandals sit on the bed, proud and tall. I know, without a doubt, they are JC’s.
         Stepping closer, I can see the white label with those lovely words, Jimmy Choo. Anastasia has left me a pair of JC shoes to wear for the evening.
         Is this how Cinderella felt? Fluttery heart and all smiles?
         My foot tingles, I swear it does, when I slip the shoe on. My bad pedicure clashes with the elegant shoe, but I don’t have time to do anything about it. I’m already late for whatever it is that is happening downstairs.
         After buckling the strap around my ankle, I quickly put the other shoe on. Coral suede JC platform sandals now adorn my feet. Cautiously, I take a few steps around the bedroom. It’s like I’m walking on air.
         I’m not sure what kind of impression I’m going to give to whoever is waiting downstairs.
         But I’m sure it will be the wrong one.
We learn a little about Ann’s story from this excerpt. She’s modest. She’s not used to high-end fashion. She’s nervous about going downstairs, but wearing a pair of JC shoes give her confidence she doesn’t normally have. And she’s going to project that false confidence on the people at the dinner. I think every female knows that sometimes, right, or wrong, wearing something pretty makes us feel better. No, it’s not a permanent fix, but for the moment, we’ll ride that feeling.

Make sure you have a good plot for your characters, but don’t forget to tell their ‘story’ as they walk through the journey on the pages. Picture God’s story board, find your place in His story, pour into your characters the same passion and emotion we live in, and you will have a great story to tell.

I’m giving away 2 copies of Rich In Love. Print or Kindle version. Winner’s choice. As soon as it releases, I’ll send the copies. **Please let me know you'd like to be entered in the comments.**

Thank you Seekerville for having me today.

Rich In Love

When Ann Thomas is summoned to Florida for the reading of the will of the father she never knew, her life is forever changed. She learns she has a half-sister, she has the chance to inherit millions, and her name is really Angelina. Brett Hamilton, CPA, is assigned to help Ann spend a lot of money in a short period of time. As soon as his ‘assignment’ with her is over, he’s headed to Peru to be a missionary, something he’s felt called to do his whole life. Ann still lives with the pain of having a mother who chose world missions over her. Can Ann risk giving her love to someone who might give it back, or should she ignore her growing feelings towards Brett to keep her heart safe?

I can't help but think my love of reading led to my passion to write. I've always had stories running around in my brain. That's probably why I wasn't very good at math. The fictional characters living up there pushed the numbers out of the way.

It's an honor to be able to bring the characters to life and put their stories on pages.

I live in a small town Northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, with my husband, 2 cats, 1 dog and 2 birds. (The cats rule, by the way!) We're a few hours away from the beaches of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, a couple hours away from the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The best of both worlds, I say.

When God reeled me in and showed me true love, my stories really came to life. For when we know we are loved well, we know we can love well.
My tag line, Happy Endings Are Just The Beginning, guarantees the reader a happily ever after.


  1. I love this! Story vs. plot...

    And your books looks wonderful! I usually go barefoot but I thought the JC shoes were pretty funny. :D

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this with us today.

    I finished a book this weekend by a popular author. She doesn't obey the rules about showing vs telling, but boy can she wring the emotion out of you.
    I was crying in my cornflakes. (I hated to put the book down and carried it with me everywhere until I finished it.)
    I told my husband if I could just figure out how she does that maybe I could get published.

    Thanks so much for sharing, and I'd love to win a Kindle copy of your book. Thanks.

    Jackie L.

  3. Cool post! There are definitely so many things to learn. I love emotion in books! Thanks for the great info!

  4. Thank you Lindi—I fully relate to how a pair of 'good' shoes can boost a girls confidence!

    I've often struggled with 'story' / 'plot' and your article helped to clarify the differences. Emotion makes the story for me.
    I'd love to win one your books!

  5. Morning LINDI and welcome to Seekerville. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Congrats on the new release.

    Have fun today.

  6. Good morning, everyone! I've fed the dogs and started my coffee. Unfortunately, I'm dog sitting the grand-dog, and he tends to bump into me, making me spill it! So I have to sip in spurts. For the moment, he's finally moved away from me and is snoozing. :)

    I'm actually thrilled to have the precious doggy with us for a week! I've missed him.

  7. LOL, Virginia! Yes, it's almost barefoot weather! I can't wait. I've already been wearing my flip-flops and have been in heaven about that.

  8. LOL, Jackie! I love books that do that. You know it's a good one if you can't bear to put it down.

  9. Jessica, I'm glad you stopped by!
    Mary H., I agree. Of course, only as long as those good pair of shoes are comfortable! LOL

  10. Welcome to Seekerville, Lindi! Great to have you here post side. Fun to think about God's storyboard and living the story God has planned for us. The fun of writing is creating a story for our characters. Love the distinction between story and plot.

    In homor of your visit, I brought homemade coffeecake this morning still warm from the oven.


  11. Good shoes and right-size undies should never be disrespected!!!

    LINDI!!! So nice to have you here, chickie! And I love the way you diagrammed the difference between Story and Plot for us... Simple and clear, even I understood it!!! (We all know that I am possibly learning challenged when it comes to lessons... Mary mocks me for it all the time, but she's a big meany-pants.)

    You know keeping ourselves rooted in the intrinsic goodness of a story well-told is a huge thing... Jackie, you talked about an author who broke the rules of show vs. tell.... and some authors can get away with that, but they're rare and usually have an established audience. Established audience = guaranteed pre-order sales so the publisher knows he's going to make money on the book. Nicholas Sparks, Lisa Wingate and Dee Henderson come to mind with this because they've got a solid foundation.

    But Dee started at Love Inspired.

    Lisa did her fun, sweet Texas Cooking romance series for Onyx (I loved that series and that's when I first found her).

    Keep writing. Trying. Re-writing. Have fun! Writing should be an act of love... with mostly smiles!

  12. I think of myself as a storyteller. Maybe that explains the lack of plotting, huh?

    Not sure this is what you were going for but I'm always looking for something to justify my existance.

  13. Lindi, this is rich. It's about storytelling, which is why most of us got into this -- telling the "old, old story" in a new way.

  14. Lindi, you've done it. You took abstract ideas and made them accessible and understandable! And it's like an equation so linear thinkers can apply it!

    Plot + emotion = story

    Thank you!

  15. Plot plus emotion = story. This needs to be a bumper sticker! Thanks, Lindi.

    I want that coral dress too! The shoes won't make my feet happy but I bet they look pretty.

    Please put me in for the drawing for either book. I loved Summer's Song.

    Peace, Julie

  16. I love this! Remembering I need to know my character's story before the main story. Such a good reminder. When I know the character and her story, I'll know how she will feel in the main story.

    I loved your examples and how you showed the difference emotion can make. :)

    And your story sounds amazing! I'd love to be put in the drawing.

  17. Great post, Lindi! Thanks for laying it out so clearly for us. Also, congrats to Anita Mae Draper on her contract AND of course to Seekerville on your well-deserved Writer's Digest award. What a fabulous week for the village :)

  18. Janet, thanks for bringing food! I'm the world's worst hostess! :)

  19. LOLOL, Ruthy! We recently mentioned wearing clean underwear while traveling (the lecture we always got from our mothers). Now we're talking about making sure they fit! :)

    I love Lisa Wingate! But I'm not familiar with her Texas cooking series. I'll check those out!

  20. LOL, Mary! You don't need to justify your existence to us! We love you no matter what. You could just sit there like a bump on a log and we'd still love you. I'm sure you'd still somehow manage to make us laugh, too. :)

  21. Kaybee, thanks for stopping by! Now I have the hymn Victory in Jesus running through my head! :)

  22. You're right, Julie. We need Jan to put that on a bumper sticker. :)

  23. Jeanne, Lindi's example was a good one, wasn't it? It's a great reminder to us to think about as we edit.

  24. Thanks, Mia! And yes, a big congrats to Anita Mae!!

  25. I'm a very "action" oriented writer, and my husband constantly gets onto me about "thoughts and feelings" -- it's even become a joke. He'll drag it out. "Thouuugghhhttsss and feeeeeelings."

    Great article! I love the blurb of the story.

  26. Hallee, my critique partners have to do that with me. I get stuck in action and dialogue and forget the description and thought/emotion. :)

  27. I tell writers involved in critique groups to finish their book FIRST, the whole book, before letting your critique group have a look at it. And that's because a story is a fragile thing. Input in it, before it's fully formed can alter your vision, sometimes subtly so you don't even quite realize it happened.
    But if someone cricizes the direction you take in a scene, it can make you go in a new direction that's not really where you were going at all.
    Finish the book first. Tell your story. THEN turn a critique group loose on it to FIX YOUR STORY, not write someone else's story.

  28. EXCELLENT advice, as usual, Mary!

  29. THought it was time to let you know im in spokane now. THis changing time zones is bad. MEeting autors and readers here. LOved the tour, love squirrels.
    Am exhausted.


    Welcome back. Your story sounds wonderful.

    It's really all about the emotion isn't it? As Jackie said, popular author who doesn't follow the rules but wrings the emotion.

    I remember reading a Nora and I put the book down totally satisfied as a reader. Then I reassessed it as a writer. WRONG THING TO DO.

    Because who cares about rule breaking as long as you deliver the goods. HA!

  31. Mary Connealy sit down. I totally agree with you.

    We are going to talk about critique groups on Thursday in fact.

  32. Welcome back to Seekerville, Lindi. I love the concept of God's story. I've seen such evidence of Him pouring grace upon grace upon me lately - allowing things to happen in His timing, not mine.

    Imagine my blessings as God allowed me to achieve semi-final in Genesis and signing with an agent all within two days of each other.

    His story. His timing. May He be praised.

    Jodie Wolfe

    1. Jodie, it's so exciting to see God working in your achievements!

  33. >>I've always had stories running around in my brain. That's probably why I wasn't very good at math.<<

    Love it! :-) And it explains soooo much in my life.

    Interesting difference between story and plot. It explains a great deal to me about why I've enjoyed some books that, later on when I'm recommending them to someone, I realize are a tad weak on plot but strong on 'characters.' Apparently I'm responding to the emotion in the story as much as, or more than, the plot. Wow ... what insight.

    Nancy C

    1. Nancy C, I agree. I can read a perfectly written manuscript or contest entry, but if it doesn't move me at all then what's the purpose in reading? What's the payoff?

      I bet Vince would agree about Reader rewards! :)

  34. Lindi - so happy to read your excellent post! It really got me thinking, thanks for sharing with us. Your new book sounds awesome and I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

    I loved the image of God's storyboard you painted. I know I've messed the story up from time to time, but thankfully He's always found a way to repair the damage.

    1. And how could I forget to comment on the shoes? I love shoes!!!!

    2. Terri, I'm right there with you on messing up the story sometimes with wrong turns. I'm thankful He's patient!

  35. Lindi just emaile me. She's sick! Has been up since during the night with the stomach flu. She'll try to get by later. Poor thing!

  36. From one Lyndee to another, Lindi -
    Is your middle name Sue, too?

    What a great post. Such clarity (with helpful examples) on a topic that can be easily muddled. Congrats on the new release!

  37. Love this post, Lindi! And so sorry you're fighting a tummy bug--those are the WORST!!!! Hope you feel better soon!

    I have to totally agree with Mary about not letting a critique group get hold of your story until you've got it all down. Or at least most of it. I won't even let my husband start reading my drafts until I get through at least one revision. Too much can change as I start to understand my characters better.

    Like last week. I wrote several scenes thinking I knew where things were headed. Then over the weekend I realized I didn't like that direction at all. New ideas came to me, and this week I'm going back to straighten things out and (hopefully) make the story even better.

    I will always remember attending a Nora Roberts workshop at RWA several years ago where she talked about the "discovery draft." That is so true of the way I write!

    1. Myra, I'm glad your story is going well! I hope you end up loving the new direction.

  38. Great post... Thanks for sharing, Lindi! :)

    1. Anna and Heidi, thanks for stopping by!
      Nancy, I'm glad the post was helpful.

  39. Great information! Emotion is what makes a book memorable and re-readable for me.


  40. Lindi, this was a wonderful post that put into words that "something" I'd been struggling to explain to another writer. Many thanks.

  41. Hey Missy, did Lindi say she caught that bug during chapter meeting on Saturday? I was in that same room with her--yikes!

    Great post, on a necessary topic, Lindi--thanks for the post and I hope you feel better soon!


    1. I hope not, Piper! I hate that I missed the meeting. My son graduated from high school Friday night and all the family was still in town.

  42. Hi Lindi:

    I think your “Story/Plot” dichotomy is very insightful. I give points for ‘emotions’ in my Rewards Per Page index. I also think a good variety of different emotions is important.

    However, I use a different “Story/Plot” dichotomy. My view just provide a different way to look at this question. One does not replace the other but rather one should enhance the other.

    I view the plot as the exact sequence of events in a novel.

    I view the story as what the narrative is about. Story does not have to follow the scenes in the novel. Telling the story may not even mention the flashbacks that appear in the novel text.

    Telling a story and how to best to write that story can be very different things.

    I think a synopsis should be approached as a story and not as a plot summary.

    About emotions:

    Emotions can make a story worse as well as better. Emotions can make us like characters and even make some characters more sympathetic but emotions alone cannot turn a so-so story into a good or great story. I think it is best to start with a story that screams to be told. A story you can’t wait to get down on paper. See it. Tell it. Then write it in the best possible way to make a reader become breathless with delight! (Well, why not? Aim high!)

    A Question:

    I have “His Best Catch” and “Summer’s Song”. I liked “His Best Catch” very much but I thought it would have been stronger (at the ending) if it had been in third person. IMHO, of course.

    While you are on the subject, do you have any comments about using ‘emotions’ in first person as opposed to using them in third person?


    P.S. Do you have any more courses coming up with Missy? What about the Seekerville night school? I really enjoyed your course and would love to take another.

    1. Good point, Vince. The plot should be chosen to highlight how the characters need to change in the story. To enhance each other.

      I'm still laughing about apoplectic judges! I can just imagine it. :)

  43. Hi TINA:

    I think rules are designed to help new writers avoid the common pitfalls of writing. Rules are helpful as long a writer needs them. When you know the lay of the land, then you can take greater liberties without undue danger.

    For example: there is no inherent reason why a writer could not have five different POVs in one scene. It would just be very hard to do without confusing or losing the reader. It would also take the right scene where such change in POV made sense in telling the story. In the right scene, with a skilled writer, it could be done. Like asking five witnesses to describe how they saw the same crime unfold.

    “Mary how did you see the crime?”

    They won’t believe me. Should I say something they will believe or tell the truth?

    (Mary then goes on to describe the crime but the reader is not told if she is lying or telling the truth.)

    You could carry this out for each of the five witnesses -- giving a little of their thoughts each time. This could provide a depth with an economy of words that might well be impossible by any other method.

    I imagine a contest judge would become apoplectic reading an entry like this but a reader might not have any problems at all. I believe J.D. Robb could do this very well in one of her police stories.


  44. Vince, it's Monday. I don't want to scare you so early in the week....but I totally agree with you.

    1. Lol, Tina. I bet your comment just made Vince apoplectic. :)

  45. Jenny, glad you got to see some pesky squirrels! Have fun in Spokane!

  46. Welcome Lindi! So happy to have another "Georgia Girl" with us, AND a cat person too--YAY!

    Thank you so much for sharing this post today--emotion is something I need to work on in my writing (I have it nailed in real life though, LOL).

    Congratulations on your writing success! Please put my name in your drawing.
    Hugs from "South of Atlanta,"
    Patti Jo :)

  47. P.S. Just now read about Lindi being sick....SO sorry. Bless her heart--I'm praying she'll be well SOON. ~ PJ

  48. LOL, Patti Jo! Last weekend was our pastor's 25th anniversary of his ordination, and they "roasted" him at a special event. Since he's a transplant from Minnesota to the South, they were teasing him about the real meanings of "Bless your heart" and "We love you to death."

  49. Lindi, I love your description of story vs. plot. I'm not good at verbalizing it, but I know it when I read it! :)

    Scatter the character's emotions on the page and the story explodes.

  50. Thank you, Lindi! Yes, EMOTION! I'm going to look for ways to get more emotion into my writing. Your before and after examples were great. And I smiled at thinking of God's storyboard!

    Jodie, fun to read of God's timing in your life.

    Jenny, enjoy beautiful Washington state.

    Lindi, prayers that you feel better....

  51. Seekerville! Thank you for the prayers, they worked and I'm here. Finally!

    Virginia--I love to go barefoot. And I'm not a shoe girl, but I know plenty of them and they are hot for their shoes.

    Jackie--I bet that author was great at telling stories. There's an extremely popular author who has been writing for years..she tells a lot, but yet, sucks me in every time. :) I've scrolled down the comments and I like Mary's advice about writing the whole draft. If you can get the 'story' out there onto the page, the rest will follow. Your characters have a story to tell. A lot of my first drafts are pages and pages of dialogue. I learn so much from them, then I go back and layer, and layer, and layer, and well, I think you get it. Keep at it!! We'll be crying in our cornflakes reading your book. :)

  52. Jessica--Glad the info was helpful.

    Mary---Something clicked with me when I read Alicia's post on synopsis writing. It gave me the visual I could relate to when I'm writing.

    HI Sandra and Missy!!!

  53. Janet--Hi!! Thanks for bringing the coffee cake. I was too sick to bring anything! But much, much better now. Praise Him!!

    Ruthy--Hi--I'm glad you could understand the post...I'm a pretty simple gal, I write one POV...although a new series I'm about to pitch has, 2, can you believe it, 2 POVS. Wish me luck and clear-headedness. :) Is that a word?

  54. Yay! Lindi is back to the land of the living! Maybe just barely, but I'm glad you're here! :)

  55. Mary--I know you are a storyteller! :) I really had to work my way into thinking that way about myself. Confession time--I think sometimes (such weak verbage as maybe I don't want to fully admit to this) that I get lost in the story that I want to tell and it goes awry. I must focus!! But then, when it does come together there's nothing like it.

    Kaybee--Yes. We are all gifted in different ways to tell some of the same stories. There's room for all of us. :)

    Jan--so glad this was helpful. :) I'm linear as well.

    Julie--a bumper sticker--I bet it would sell at conferences. :) I saw that coral dress online and had to put it in a book. So glad you enjoyed Summer's Song. :)

  56. Mia--I liken this writing thing to bowling. I know "HOW" to bowl. Where to stand to hit what pins, but I don't always, in fact more often than not I don't do it right, but I have the tools. So goes writing. I've learned a lot over the years, and know I still have more to learn, but at times I end up winging things, then going back and applying the things I learned.

    And I join with you to congratulate Anita! That is awesome news. :)

    Hallee--I really have to work at it as well.

    Jenny--so glad you checked in. I love Washington State. My brother lives there. :)


    Jodie--Congrats on the Genesis semi-final and landing an agent. Awesome!!

    Nancy C. I hope my bosses where I work don't ever read my bio--I work a day job doing accounting! But there are calculators and excel programs. :) When it comes to plot I'm following the KISS theory. This is probably why I don't write suspense or mysteries. But I do love to read them.

    Terri--glad you liked the post, and yes, God always rescues. Always.

  57. Lyndee--Yes, girl, my middle name is Sue! :) I love it! Glad you liked the post, Lyndee Sue.

    Myra--I am feeling much better! And I am a huge fan of the discovery draft. I have such a hard time writing any other way.

    Anna--Hi--glad you liked the post.

    Heidi--I agree. I love reading emotion.

    Nancy K--I love the way God works. :)

    Piper--HI there. I hope I didn't get the bug there. :) I haven't heard of anyone else being sick. Glad you liked the post.

  58. Vince-I have to say, I'm glad I got to be a part of bringing you and Tina together in agreement on a Monday. :)

    I agree with your take on emotion. And story.

    As far as writing in first vs third, for me, I can better convey the story, and emotion, telling it from a first person style. I think we all have different strengths and ways we work. I am trying my hand at some third person writing now. Trying to strengthen that part. But I love writing in first person, and I hope it comes across as readers read.

  59. Oh, that's too funny, Lindi Sue!

    Glad you're feeling better. :)

  60. Hello Ga girl, Patti Jo-Love what you wrote about living out the emotion in real life. I'm with you, girl. And thanks for your prayers.

    Pam--love your description--exploding stories!! That's what I want to write.

    Sherida--thank you for your prayers. I love thinking of God's storyboard.

  61. Hi Mary:

    We have large tornadoes all around us in Tulsa. There are now (4:55pm Central time) six separate severe storm weather warnings in effect for the same area near Tulsa. The supercells are moving very slowly. A violent tornado is on the ground right now near Nowata.

    This has me thinking about Mary’s existential comment:

    “I'm always looking for something to justify my existence.”

    Well, before you can justify your own existence, you will need to justify existence’s existence. For while one is embedded in the other they are both part of the same cloth. Like a whirlpool in the ocean. I don't believe any philosopher has been able to do this.

    I think Tina caused this chain of thought by agreeing with me. I may need to go down to the storm cellar until I recover my equilibrium.


  62. Anyone With Friends & Family in Tulsa can listen to KRMG radio on the internet. The storms have Tulsa surrounded. Warnings due to last at least five more hours. I’ve been in Tulsa since 1971 and I have not seen so many different storms in the area at one time.

  63. First, Vince's storms have me thinking STORY LINE ALERT!!!! in large-font letters....

    Second, get downstairs, what are you thinking, man?????

    Third, I love that Tina and Mary agree on the "critique" factor because I'll join that parade... Know your story before you worry about the plot and mechanics. The arc of getting there will bridge itself more naturally if you know the beginning and the end and why things should never work out... and that feeds the middle, keeping it lifted high above the water. No sagging middle.

    And I'm so glad you're feeling better, Lindi! Oh, I hate stomach bugs, I'm a Wuss-of-the-Highest-Order!!!


  64. Hey Lindi, great post! It's just in this past year that I figured out the difference between story and plot and I believe that's the main reason I've finally sold.

    But I still have a long way to go so I'm copying and saving your post.


  65. Vince, once the bad weather has all passed, please let us know you're okay!

    Anyone else in OK and thereabouts, please check in and let us know you're okay. I'm just heartsick watching the news right now, showing the rescue at the elementary school.

  66. Hi Missy:

    It seems to be safe now in the Tulsa area. We had six different storms near Tulsa at one time and instead of a perfect storm, where they combine to cause horrific damage, I believe they acted to diminish each other’s power. I’ll check the forecast in a minute. They were not so luck in the OKC area. Many prayers needed.


    1. Vince, thank you for checking in. I'm glad y'all around your area are okay.

  67. Lindy,
    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing.
    I'd love to have a Kindle copy of your book!

  68. I enjoyed the excerpt for RICH IN LOVE thank you. I look forward to reading more, so please count me in.

    Print or Kindle.

  69. Interesting post, Lindi. Loved both your examples. Is 'Girl on the Train' from one of your books as well? Now that you've told us WHAT the difference is between story and plot, I'm hoping your next post will be ways HOW to layer in that all important emotion. For now I'm going to take another look at the comparison examples with highlighter in hand. Yes, I'd love a chance to win a copy of your new book.

  70. I've got everyone entered in the drawing. We'll announce the winners on the Weekend Edition on Saturday. So be sure to stop back by!

  71. Vince, I don't think we answered your question. We don't have any plans right now for doing any other workshops. Although Lindi has done the same one by herself on Savvy Authors.

    Dana, be sure to check the labels section for any other posts on emotion and layering. Maybe you'll find something helpful. :)

  72. Dana, I asked Lindi that same question. The girl on the train is just an example she made up. :)

  73. I would love to win,enter me!
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless! Oh and if I win I would choose the print.
    Sarah Richmond

  74. Thanks, Lindi, I REALLY needed the part about being part of God's story. I've always known I was called to write, but it took most of my life for God to make me understand I had to do it. The stories come from Him, I just write them. Now that I've finally finished the novel that has taken me too long to write, I don't know what to do with it. Other than my newspaper column and a few magazine articles, I've never published anything. I don't know what to do next and I was considering giving up until I read your encouraging advice. Now, I know I'll keep trying to figure it all out. (Any hints from already published authors would be helpful.) Thanks again and, yes, I would love a copy of your book. Leona Loller

  75. Thank you for this as post. I read all the time and never really thought about the story vs. the plot. Please enter me in your giveaway! I would love to read your book!
    Barbara Thompson

  76. Hi Lindi...Great excerpt! I love the point of view. It makes me feel like I can really get to know the character. I would love to be entered into the drawing for your new book! :)

  77. LINDI!!! PLEASE FORGIVE ME BECAUSE I CanNOT believe I missed your post, girlfriend, but that shows how bad Mondays are for me!!

    Emotion, YES!!! DEFINITELY what makes a story for me, and your before and after example was excellent. I have one of your books on my Kindle that I've been dying to get to, and after reading the clips here, simply cannot wait!!


  78. This sounds like a great story. Thanks for having the giveaway. Please enter me.