Comments: 4

Hi, all my great friends and followers.

The photo with this post was taken by an unknown photographer of the front of the high school that is the setting for much of  my novel BRIDGETOWN HIGH.

A looooong time ago (I won't say how long) I took a college creative writing course. The professor gave us many techniques to create believable characters, settings, etc., and to create a plot. Since it's been so many years, I've forgotten most of what I learned there, though I'm sure I have internalized most of it anyway, but one thing that still sticks out at me is what he made us do for the final test. It was a "blue-book" essay, or rather short story writing final. He wrote one sentence on the chalk board, obscure, seemingly meaningless, and told us that it had to be the first sentence in our story. Then he wrote another sentence, seemingly unrelated and equally obscure, and told us it had to be the last sentence in our story. Our task was to fill in the middle and make it sound logical. It had to be 500 words. It was tough. I struggled with it for nearly 20 minutes. Then I outlined what I thought could be a possible connection between the two sentences, then wrote the story. It took me about an hour to write it (we had an hour-and-a-half), but I got an "A" on the final, and in the class.

I only mention that because I've found it to be one technique in creating a plot -- know the beginning and know where you want to end up. Then, connect the dots. Do I get side-tracked? Sure. But I make sure all the stray plot lines eventually come home again, and I make sure they really contribute to the overall theme of the story I'm writing. If not, they get cut.

Yes, I write a rudimentary outline of the plot in paragraph form, and I try to keep to it, but sometimes I have to modify it. But that's okay. As they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day."
If you want to see what has become of using that technique, get a copy of BRIDGETOWN HIGH and read it. You can either get an electronic (Kindle) copy or paperback copy at Amazon. Or, if you are reading this post on FaceBook, check out my blog at www.paulwwest.com.
After reading my book, it would be great, and helpful, if you would write a short review on Amazon and Goodreads. Many thanks.
More on:  , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Monday, April 09, 2018

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


  1. Way to go Paul. This sounds like a good read. I'll go pick it up.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Just taking a look around your new website; very nice! Full of great tips, tools, and techniques. Thanks for sharing your knowlege with the rest of us. Visit my website at, www.wildwestproductions.net

  3. Thanks for looking around at my "not so new" blog site.