I'm Whistling, Dixie!
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!