Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tangled Roots


The dogs and I like this tree on Polecat Creek. The dogs always check deep under the tangled roots to see what surprises lurk hidden.

The tree reminds me of writing fiction—a plot complication branches off, tangles with other complications, and eventually returns to its roots. Many of this tree’s roots are exposed; the creek carries away the soil that keeps the tree anchored. One of these days, the dogs and I will walk the creek and find our favorite tree has toppled.

A writer has to be careful with details and complications. Make the story too complicated—too bogged down in detail— and the plot topples over.

A good plot originates from one event that intertwines with other events but is always rooted in believability. The hidden surprises are a bonus.

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