Coincidence in Romance and Mystery

By Anne K. Kaler

Anne Kaler Head ShotRomances deal with character development while mysteries depend on plot development. The hybrid of the two genres is called romantic suspense which often depends on coincidence to make a satisfying read. However, something vital gets lost when coincidence strays into the realm of the unbelievable ending.

Ann Hood’s recent novel The Book That Matters Most is such a hybrid because it involves so much unlikely coincidence of events. In fact, the book itself combines many tempting devices on its journey to a happy ending. Remember that the romance genre usually ends with the restoration of order to a disordered society and the promise of continued order through a marriage and the possibility of new life. On the other hand, the mystery genre ends with the satisfaction of justice being done to restore order. Mystery often has an innocent pair of young lovers to carry out its eventual hope for order in society.

So where does coincidence come into play? Continue reading “Coincidence in Romance and Mystery”

Puzzles and Writing and the Human Mind

By Anne K. Kaler

Puzzle DoneIt is finished. The puzzle, that is. The writing is never finished.

The writing is truly never finished, never polished enough, never edited sufficiently because the story never fully ends in my mind. The characters and events continue to exist in my internal universe. I am never satisfied because I feel as if I have abandoned my created children on an alien planet without a working spaceship.

That’s why I do puzzles when I write. I need the constant encouragement that there is an end in sight — that there actually is a last puzzle piece to plunk into place, the only place in the material universe that it will fit.

So why do I persist in both endeavors? Continue reading “Puzzles and Writing and the Human Mind”

Plot Lines and Puzzles: How to Master the Craft of Writing

Anne Kaler Head ShotBy Anne K. Kaler

My plot line, you ask. No, no, I say, I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you.

What I am really saying is that I have no plot and possibly no ending and very possibly no novel at all. . . on paper. What serves me as a plot is like an elusive butterfly floating somewhere in my mind waiting to settle down so that I can capture it. Quick, hand me that butterfly net, please.

The mind of a writer seldom determines the entire plot of a piece of prose before the actual writing begins. While the brain may be able to retain knowledge by repetition – think nursery rhymes or familiar songs – the mind does not work that way. Think of the familiar drawing of the brain as a series of connecting dots and lines. Each dot is a separate experience which must reach out and touch another experience to become active and solidified. Continue reading “Plot Lines and Puzzles: How to Master the Craft of Writing”

Jigsaw Puzzles as Writing Strategies

By Anne K. Kaler

How can a jigsaw puzzle help you with your writing?

Let’s start with the metaphor of your writing as a boxed jigsaw puzzle.Anne Kaler Head Shot

You already have everything you need to complete the puzzle picture on the box because no puzzle maker would stay in business long if he left out some pieces. Those writing pieces are lodged securely in the storehouse of your brain, just waiting for your agile mind to activate them. So you already have all the pieces within your life experiences.

Just like the jigsaw puzzle box your mind contains all the “pieces” necessary to re-create “the picture on the box.”

But there’s the problem, isn’t it. After you open the box, spill the pieces out on the table, shuffle through them, just where do you start the re-creation process? Continue reading “Jigsaw Puzzles as Writing Strategies”

2017 Writing Center Calendar

By Linda Donaldson

Our PSB Writing Center’s calendar of 2017 workshops, classes, discussion groups and Writers Guild meetings is now always available through the heading Calendar of Events appearing as a link at the top center of our blog. The calendar is organized by date.

To register and pay online for any program, visit PSBI website’s Writing Center page http://www.psbi.org/writingcenter and choose the programs you’re interested in. During inclement weather, we urge you to refer to http://www.psbi.org for cancellation information.

Following is a summary of 2017 calendar:

First, classes that offer something for everyone!

  • Creative Writing is Needed for ALL Writing – 8 classes
  • Writing as a Platform for Social Change – 7 classes
  • Writing Short Stories in a Year – 7 classes
  • Write a Novel in a Year – 6 classes
  • Journaling and How to use it in Your Other Writing – 8 classes

Dates for our 2017 Writers Guild Meetings: March 19, April 16, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17 and October 15.

Save These Dates!

  • Spring Writers Conference – Sat., April 8, 2017 at 9:00 am – 3 pm
    = Ready! Set! WRITE!

Plus two Susan Wagner Workshops!

  • Labyrinths & Wellness Writing Workshop – Sat., July 15, 2017 at 9:00am
  • Poetry Writing Workshop – Sat., October 21, 2017 at 9:00am

There are Discussion Groups of Pearl S. Buck’s works held each month from March through October. The Book Discussions are from 2:00 to 3:00pm on the 3rd Mondays of each month. The Short Story Discussions on the 2nd Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:00am.

Welcome back to Anne Kaler, Sue Wagner, Anita Nolan, Sandra Cody and Orlando Barone as returning presenters. We look forward to Janet Ruth Falon’s new course: Journaling and How to use it in Your Other Writing.

We’re proud to offer such a comprehensive list of programs. Three cheers to Cindy Louden for coordinating these offerings!!!

 Now, more than ever, we have an abundance of reasons to Keep Writing!

 

2016 Wraps and 2017 Beckons

By Linda Donaldson

Here is a much-delayed recap of our October 2016 meeting, followed by a call for submissions to our Spring Issue of the 2017 Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal.

We began our last 2016 meeting with an Authors’ Tour of the Pearl S. Buck residence led by Cindy Louden that highlighted both Buck’s libraries, her office, and Richard Walsh’s office. Continue reading “2016 Wraps and 2017 Beckons”

Fall 2016 ♦ Volume 1, Number 2

Pearl S. Buck Literary Journal

From Gateways to Graves

Seeing the works of Pearl S. Buck through her use of the strong symbol of gateways, our first issue of the PSB Journal centered on that theme from her best known novel The Good Earth. The theme of the second issue of the PSB Journal grew out of that natural cycle of our human existence on this planet. What starts to live must also come to death and, so, the theme became our writings on the Living Earth and the Dying Earth.

Since the Journal is an outreach to continue the awareness of Pearl S. Buck through her life, her literature, and her legacy, we found especial inspiration in two recent events which confirmed Pearl’s resurgence into the literary limelight after years of neglect. Continue reading “Fall 2016 ♦ Volume 1, Number 2”