Michelle Helliwell

Fairy Tale Inspired Historical Romance

Sunny Days, Sandy Beaches, & Writing workshops

Today is my last day of vacation and it's been a busy one - hosting some friends from the UK for a few days, popping over to PEI with my family for a bit of a camping weekend, then back again. It has been crazy hot for much of July and early August, but much of that has begun to subside (thankfully)!. I am thinking about people in British Columbia, Alberta and California however where the heat has driven deadly and destructive fires. 

 Light House at Western Point, PEI...where the water was warm and jelly fish free!

Light House at Western Point, PEI...where the water was warm and jelly fish free!

I did a fair chunk of work while I was on vacation, wrestling with my work in progress. My laptop had died in the days before my vacation so thanks to Google Drive and my good old reliable scribbler, I got a new first chapter whipped up and edited a few more. 

I've also been busy on the author front. I was very pleased to be invited by Scott Manor House in Bedford to talk about my books and writing. It was a lovely evening, so a couple of familiar faces and plenty of new ones, and had some great questions about writing.

 My name on a big old sign...gulp!

My name on a big old sign...gulp!

And this weekend, I was at one of my favourite spots, Prescott House, with one of my favourite people, Contemporary Romance author Donna Alward talk about story structure and finding a critique partner (which is pretty tough sometimes, but I've always been blessed with terrific ones). The room was filled with familiar and new faces, and great conversation. 

 Beautiful Prescott House in the sun...it was raining the day we did our workshop but still lovely!

Beautiful Prescott House in the sun...it was raining the day we did our workshop but still lovely!

I've long struggled with story structure, and if you're a writer, there are terrific resources online (Structuring your Novel by KM Weiland is highly recommended). I've mashed up a few of these into my own personal worksheet that I use to help me, often in my editing phase, since I'm a pantser, to ensure my stories are as tightly written as I can make them. I've been asked to share it so I'm doing that HERE. Please use it for your personal use only, and for more indepth thinking on this, I will recommend the following:

Structuring Your Novel and Creating Stunning Character Arcs, K.M. Weiland, Helping Authors Become Writers

Save the Cat, Blake Synder

Goals, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon - not really about structure, but if you are a character driven writer, you need to understand this to structure your book.

Hope you are enjoying your summer! I'm going back to the day job tomorrow and still (still) plugging away at book four, Nothing Magical About Midnight. Look for it this fall, and I'll be having a cover reveal for it soon, so stay tuned!