I'm Whistling, Dixie!

3:01 AM Elizabeth Seckman 34 Comments


Thanks to Alex Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts. Nancy Gideon, Bob R Milne, Doreen McGettigan, Chrys Fey, Bish Denham, and Pat Garcia for giving us a place to share the fear and find the support writers need to stay in the writing game. 
Join the IWSG Here! Check out the website Here!
                            ******

Many years ago, my mother came home from a beach trip. She brought me a book. A category romance from Silhouette. 

The gift from my mom
Well now, I wasn't one to read that stuff. I liked to think of myself as a bit of an advanced reader. A lover of the finer volumes. The classic tales- Dickens, Bronte, Steinbeck...even the verbose Hemingway- those were my books. 

My mother said, "Look ya book brat, just read the damned thing. I stood in line to get this for you."

Long story short? 

I loved it. 

Wonderful characters that were as quirky and real as any breathing human. Settings that made feel like I was on a stage created by a master of set design. And a touch of humor that made me grin as I happily turned one page after the other. 

I had a new favorite writer. 

Another long story shortened...I emailed the writer and found a lady as wonderful as her words. And this year, while vacationing on the Outer Banks, I finally (after years of online stalking!) got to meet her. 

Dixie Browning and me
(No, I didn't vomit and most of my sentences were coherent- I hope.) 
Now, I'll introduce you to her. 

Meet Dixie Browning. Dixie has written over 100 books under the name Dixie Browning, Zoe Dozier, and under the collaborative pen-name, Bronwyn Williams, with her sister, Mary Williams. 

Dixie doesn't understand the meaning of the word quit. She's an artist (for real- she can draw and paint as well as she writes) who knows- if you need to make a piece work and you think a bit of ketchup or mustard will do the trick- then off to the kitchen you go

She runs on instinct, not insecurity. 

And seriously, couldn't we all use a dose of that?

So, I asked Dixie to stop by today and share some wisdom with us. 

Here's the advice she had to share:


-- This worked for me.  It might work for you.  Visualize a linear plot--she's headed in a certain direction, what sidelines her?  Lost tickets?  Flat tire?  some emergency?  Where does the sideline take her?  Who's there? How does it complicate her mission?   You can block out a series of events, each one steering her, physically or emotionally, in a different direction.  

-- But first you have to lead the reader into your book.  My method was to give the reader something they could identify with.  Your heroine is waiting in a long line and gets the hiccups.  She just got fired or had her purse snatched or runs into an old flame with his new bride...whatever you choose, do NOT throw a complete cast of characters at your reader in the first few pages and expect her to keep up with them.  

-- If you have a favorite author, try analyzing their story line, chapter by chapter.  Get a feel for pacing, then transfer it to your own story..  

Good luck...I'll be watching the bestseller lists for your names.  
 
Dixie, exhibiting her art
Check out Dixie's books: 

Got a question for Dixie? She's always happy to help! 

34 comments:

  1. I love discovering new writers....and I especially love it when they become one of my, if not my, new favorite writers. Glad you found someone who works out for you on so many levels....and it's great of you to promote her. We bloggers need to do more of that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's like getting a surprise gift that is just so amazing, right? Love it.

      (I never really thought of it as a promo. Just me bragging, but hey, if it helps her sell a book, I'm all for that too!)

      Delete
  2. What a fun post! Visualizing a linear plot then the things that knock the character off course - brilliant! Thanks for sharing these tips. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was my pleasure. Dixie will throw out nuggets of advice and I write them all down in my trusty writer diary.

      Delete
  3. Dixie is quite amazing! So many books. She takes away all excuses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes she does. She is definitely a lady to look up to!

      Delete
  4. That's so awesome!!! I wrote so many Harlequins and Silhouettes back in the 90s and met some awesome writers. I remember the name Dixie Browning. I was always so starstruck to meet romance authors during that era!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried writing them...I could just never sell them to an editor. LOL. So cool that you remember her :)

      Delete
  5. Had the hiccups yesterday haha all can sure relate to those.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great advice.
    I love it that you got to meet her in person.
    100 books? I'm in awe.

    IWSG #119 until Alex culls the list again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. I'd have to write at least two a year to catch her. And don't forget all the paintings. Wow. I am a slug!

      Delete
  7. What a neat story, especially that you got to meet her in person. And the tips are great. I smiled at the hiccups.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's great you got to meet her! She's got some great advice, and the portfolio to back it up. Woot!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's amazing! So wonderful you got to meet her. I remember feeling the same way about romances when I was younger. No way was I even going to look at one, but they are greatly underestimated. Romances have all the awesome things every other genre has plus a love story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more! I'm a total romance junkie now. Well, good romances- the kind with plot and characters I want to hang out with. You know- the kind you write :)

      Delete
  10. Wow what an awesome experience!! And a great picture too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's fantastic! So awesome that you got to meet her :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. That's a lot of books. How amazing to meet someone you admire! And here's to awesome authors!

    ReplyDelete
  13. How cool you got to meet her! I like her advice, but the last time I analysed my favourite writer I absorbed his style, and it took a lot of editing and rewriting to find my own voice again :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is one awesome post. You're so lucky you meat one of your favorite authors, I like your mom for standing in line to get you that book, Aww moms are the greatest. And Dixi sounds amazing, 100 books? wow! as for her advice I can't agree more, some of the best stories I read start with me identifying with the main character, I aim at doing the same in my writing. Analyzing books sounds good to, I should try it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That reminds me, I should do some more reading.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So glad you got to meet Dixie. She sounds awesome and even stopped in to give advice? Damn Liz, you met an angel. Books of all kinds can hook you if you keep an open mind. 😊

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, Elizabeth...

    How wonderful to meet an author you have loved for so many years, and NOT be disappointed after meeting them... She sounds like a HOOT... Happy you had such a wonderful time with her...

    DIXIE.... THANKS for the advice!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Pretty neat, ELIZABETH, that one of your favorite writers actually submitted some writing for you to post on YOUR own blog. That's not something that happens every day... or lifetime.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  19. Isn't it great to meet someone who's inspired you? She gave some wonderful advice, too!

    ReplyDelete
  20. How awesome you got to meet one of your idols! I loved her simple and forthright advice. (At least it seems simple the way she put it - probably not so easy for us mortals.) I'm plotting out a new WIP over the next few months, I'm definitely going to use her suggestions. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. WOW what an inspiration! Dixie sounds amazing and how cool that you got to meet her. She certainly gave some very useful advice. And another wow for your blog! It's looking amazing. I love it :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  22. How exciting to get to meet a favorite author. I have yet to meet any of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love that you got to meet one of your favorite authors. That's a great pic of the two of you, btw. :) Thanks to Dixie for sharing some of her wisdom with us.

    Your blog looks amazing! Love you!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. It's so awesome that you got to meet one of your favorite authors! Love the tips! :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...