Category Archives: Writing

Sound Words Add Punch to Writing and Conversation

woman with eyes looking to right with right hand cupped to ear listening
Thank you for letting me use this image, Morguefile.

“Sound Words Add Punch to Writing and Conversation” by Joan Y. Edwards

Swish! The door closed quickly behind me.
The little girl squished between her parents at the theatre.
Yada, yada, yada. The latecomers went on and on with their excuses.

Onomatopoeia is a figure of speech used when someone creates a word or words to imitate, resemble, or describe what you hear when people, animals, and inanimate objects makes sounds. I call them: “Sound Words.”

The song, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” demonstrates the use of sounds to make this song more fun…an oink, oink here, a cluck cluck there.

When my nephew, Peter was 3 or 4 years old, he used onomatopoeia. (He didn’t know it, but he used it.) He climbed up on a bookcase to get a little drum. He and the bookcase came tumbling down. He said, “I climbed up and it said, “Timberrrr.” I was glad he was okay. His words made us all laugh! It broke the tension.

I am sure most of you use onomatopoeia (sound words) without even thinking of it. It comes naturally to many people. As you notice more sound words, you will get in a rhythm and think up your own.

In his Chief Storyteller blog post, Ira Koretsky lists nearly two hundred onomatopoeic words in 11 categories. Fuel for getting your ears tuned in for sound words.

Listen to see if your favorite characters on TV shows or in movies use onomatopoeia to describe their current situations or recap an event.

Use sound words in poems, conversation, text messages, emails, or memoirs about your childhood days. Any occasion is a good time to add new words to your very own onomatopoeia (sound word) collection. Using sound words adds punch to your writing and your conversation. 

Phyllis Heaton shared a sound passage with us:  “The campfire snapped and spit glowing sparks up towards the harvest moon. In the vast darkness something make loud crunching sounds as it moved across the fallen leaves that lay on the forest floor. I shivered and wondered whose idiot idea it was to camp in the Sleepy Hollow woods.”

Thank you, Phyllis.

Please share your favorite sentences using sound words with me in the comment area. If you give me permission, I’ll add yours to this post with your first and last name.

Resources for You

  1.  Ira Koretsky. Chief Storyteller. “Onomatopoeia, a Powerful Way to Improve Communication:”
  2. Joan Y. Edwards. “Sounds Can Heal:”
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “Sounds of Words Bring Characters to Life:”
  4. Jules Horne. “Sensory Writing-Sounds, Music:” 
  5. Julie Shackman. “How to Use Sounds in Writing:”
  6. M. Harris Editor. “Write Onomatopoeia:”

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 264 subscribers and over 1,772,619 visitors. Thank you.


Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle Firebird Book Award Winner Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide Practical ways to help you and your elder survive.
Gospel-Based Crossword and Wordsearch Puzzle E-Books (pdf) Fun for Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, Homeschool, Home Bible Study, Senior Centers, and Nursing Homes.

I Missed You. Now I Have a New VPS Server!

“I Missed You. Now I Have a New VPS Server!” by Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Subscribers and Visitors to my site:

It seems I had too many bots, sites, and people hitting on my site. So many hits that it caused my site and the other websites that were on the same server to crash. So they suspended it on September 12, 2022.

So to solve that problem: I paid for a (VPS) Virtual Private Server so that If I get a bunch of hits on my site, it will not make another person’s website crash. The pages and images load faster.

Bluehost installed the SSL – Security Certificate to guard visitors for free.  When a site is secure, it has https in front of it. It also shows the little lock symbol to the left of my website name, joanyedwards.

Many sites send robots to spy on other sites. In the early days, Captcha phrases worked well at stopping robots. I hate captcha. I get flustered after 15 minutes trying to find an elephant in a series of pictures. I can hardly ever figure out the pictures and I evidently don’t do the hearing thing well, either. Now, they say Captcha phrases may not catch all the bots. So I am looking for a way to seamlessly get you to my posts without a captcha thing.

two girls walking in field of wildflowers having fun
Thank you, Pixabay and Adelkazaika!

Celebrate the hard work that agents with Bluehost and I did to make this happen. Here are the steps we took.

1. Pay for the VPS  server.
2. Buy new FTP software. Mine was 12 years old. Funny, old software couldn’t move the gz files generated now.
3. Check to make sure all files copied and moved. At first I was missing the theme. Then I was missing all the images. So I had to go back to old shared site files and download the missing files and upload them to new server.
4.Today Bluehost representative moved the domain to the new VPS server and added the lock SSL security certificate for it. Voila.

We were in business. Back to a new normal. Sounds like a movie, doesn’t it. I had all these crises  and dilemmas. I didn’t realize this was going to happen. I had to invent a few new ways to inspire myself to keep going to get the site live again. I didn’t want to close down my site.

Please tell me if you can tell that the site loads faster and pictures load faster. Let me know if you have problems getting to the site. If you notice a page or picture is missing, let me know that, too.

When I reach 2 million visitors to my site, I am going to add another gift for subscribers. I have over 1,733,690 visitors now. I will also make it available to those who have already subscribed.

Are there any subjects you would like for me to write about for you? What inspires you? Poetry, songs, quotes, steps to goals?

Be thankful for what you have.
Ask for what you want.
Believe you’ll get everything you need.
Enjoy being you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle
Firebird Book Award Winner Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?

Joan’s Elder Care Guide
Practical ways to help you and your elder survive.

Gospel-Based Crossword and Wordsearch Puzzle E-Books (pdf)

Fun for Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, Homeschool, Home Bible Study, Senior Centers, and Nursing Homes.


Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 263 subscribers and over 1,733,698 visitors. Thank you.



Anthony Mondal – Poet

Anthony Mondal, poet with Laddie, his wife's dog..
Anthony Mondal, poet with his wife, Karen’s dog, Laddie.

“Anthony Mondal, Poet” by Joan Y. Edwards

Anthony Mondal has been a subscriber to my blog for a long time. I thought it would be fun to interview him as a poet. He agreed to be here with us today. Thanks for coming Anthony.

Anthony: You are welcome. I am excited to be here!

Joan: Let us begin:

1. Where did you grow up? Was this in the city, suburbs, or country?

          I grew up in a small town outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

2. Have you traveled a bunch?

          Yes. I have travelled all over the mainland USA and to  Canada, UK and in parts of Asia. I love traveling and would love to see more of the world but the Pandemic has put a serious question mark over that!

3. What is one of the hardest things to overcome as a writer?

I am still working on establishing myself as a Writer/Author. I self-published one book, “Dialogues with Myself” and had one book published through a hybrid publisher, A Burst of Sunshine. I have had a slew of blue collar jobs to keep myself afloat.

4. When did you start writing poems?

A long time back…way back in New York City (Manhattan) around August 1995.

5. Do you have any poems that would inspire people to never give up?

I consider my whole body of work as a testament to the indomitable Human Spirit!

6. What are the rules you follow for your poetry?

          I am not very fond of rules, period! In poetry even less so but after writing a poem, I keep reading and rereading my poems till an internal nod happens in my head and then I know it is done.

7. Who are 3 of your favorite poets? 

          I have love and admiration for many poets. It is extremely difficult and unfair to the others to narrow it down to 3. However, I choose these 3 poets:  Charles Bukowski, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Arthur Rimbaud.

8. What advice do you have for people who want to get their poetry published?

           I think I am the wrong poet/writer to give that advise because I myself am  still looking for a proper true publisher and a home for my body of literary works. Also being a Poet/Author for over 2 decades I realize that it is individual luck and circumstances that plays a huge role in your life…which is unique to each individual poet. But do not be discouraged. Keep submitting!

9. What resources did you find helpful to you in getting published?

          When I lived in NY city I went to the library and opened  up the latest literary digest and wrote down the names of the publishers or literary grants folks. I sent them query letters.

10. What resource was most helpful to you in writing your poetry?

          I am very image driven so I definitely use                    YouTube to watch poet/writers and author documentaries or for that matter anything that I am drawn to that holds my interest and fascination.

A Burst of Sunshine” by Anthony Mondal

“Dialogues with Myself” (ISBN 1-58915-022-8)  out of print now.

Visit Anthony at his website:

Thank you very much Anthony Mondal for sharing your love of writing poetry with us.


Please leave a comment to encourage  Anthony Mondal and other writers. I wish you all good luck in getting your work published.

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 262 subscribers and over 1,575,363 visitors. Thank you.

 Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2022 Joan Y. Edwards

Writer Essentials for Submitting: 4 Steps

purple onion design

Writer Essentials for Submitting
Image by silviarita from Pixabay

“Writer Essentials for Submitting: 4 Steps” by Joan Y. Edwards

I am not an editor, publisher, or agent. I am an author and illustrator who wants to encourage you to submit your work so it can be published.

Below I have outlined steps to follow to submit  a great article, poem, puzzle, devotion, illustration, short story, chapter book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, adult novel, song, stage play or screenplay.

You’ve got a great story. Follow these 4 steps and you’ll have the Essentials for Submitting: Go for it.

Writer Essentials for Submitting 

Step 1 Get your work critiqued, edited, and proofed.

Step 2 Choose the publisher, editor, agent, or contest for this writing project.

Step 3 Write the pitch, query letter, cover letter, resume, bio, and/or proposal as required by the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest you chose for submission this time.

Step 4 Time to Submit to publisher, agent, editor, or contest.

Resources to help you improve your writing and/or to inspire you to write more!

A. Learn from reading the works of other authors:

  1. Best-Selling Authors for Children

2. Best-Selling Authors for Adults

3. Books on the craft of writing.

At the top of my site, you will find headings for:  Writer Essentials for Submitting; Step 1; Step 2Step 3; and Step 4.

Please leave your questions and comments here or email me at
Keep writing. Keep submitting.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © Joan Y. Edwards 2010-2022

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Happy New Year 2022

colorful circle with Happy New Year 2022 in middle

“Happy New Year 2022” by Joan Y. Edwards

Happy New Year 2022!
I welcome you with open arms!

Each day is a test.
Get your rest.

Each day has surprises!
Be amazed.

Each day you grow stronger!
Embrace your strengths.

Do something new each day!
Learning gives you power.

Forgive yourself and others.
It empowers you to receive patience, compassion, and understanding.

Do something small for your friends,
It will be grow big in their hearts.

Pray for each stranger you meet.
Prayers heal places where hurt dwells.

At the end of each day, be thankful.
Thankfulness gives you more of everything you need!

… Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright December 31, 2019 Joan Y. Edwards

Dear Reader,

I wrote this New Year’s Eve  2019, it still seems appropriate for 2022!  So I changed the 2019 to 2022.

I wish you an abundance of good things, amazing accomplishments, great health, wealth, and happiness!

Thanks for reading my blog.

I plan to update the plans to help writers get ready to submit their manuscripts or screenplays. I am hoping to make other changes to help you,


Joan Y. Edwards

Give Each Character a Distinctive Voice by Joan Y. Edwards

Give characters a different voice
Give Each Character a Distinctive Voice Thanks to Pixabay for the picture of the little boy.

“Give Each Character a Distinctive Voice” by Joan Y. Edwards

It is so much fun to watch movies and read novels and children’s books where you can tell who is talking the moment the words of dialogue spill out on the page!

Does he talk fast most of the time which makes you miss some important information?
Does she talk so slow you forget what she said to in the beginning?

Is his voice low pitched like a bass?
Is her voice high-pitched and grate on your nerves?

Is he always late?
Is she always early?

Is he agile and talented like an Olympic champion?
Is she afraid of being clumsy in front of others?

Is he prejudiced but can’t see it in himself?
Is she fearful in areas where she is a minority?

Does bad luck follow him around?
Is she always in a crisis mode?

It is important for readers to be able to know without a doubt who is talking or who is doing a certain action because it helps them have a running video in their mind of what is going on and perhaps figuring out why and wondering what is going to happen next.

What readers know about characters keeps them involved in your story.

The more you know about your characters and their history before the moment they step into your story, it will help you make your story more believable and give your characters traits that pull readers to them. These little quirks will make your readers want to find out what happens to them. They will see themselves in this situation and wonder what they would do. They want to see if the characters do the same thing they would do. They will want to find out if the clumsy character  can get through the crisis without falling down this one time.

Think about your favorite character. What are 3 adjectives to  describe them. What makes them different from the other characters in your story? What will cause them problems getting along because they are so different?

One of my favorite characters is Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny a screenplay by Dale Launer. She is intelligent, always wants to help Vinny, and although she doesn’t look like it or act like it, she is an expert in all things about cars. This fact ends up helping Vinny save his cousin and his friend from being convicted of murder.

Another favorite character is Juror 8 played by Henry Fonda in “12 Angry Men,” adapted from a teleplay by Reginald Rose. He was the only juror who believed the teenage boy was innocent at the beginning. He convinced the eleven other men on the jury to change their minds. There were a few who would rather say the boy was guilty so they could get out of there in a hurry.

My third favorite character is Ichabod Crane from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. He is so thin and his horse isn’t much heavier. He is scared of his own shadow and believes anything and everything others tell him. Which makes it so funny when he gets frightened because no one will ever venture where these men were murdered and their heads severed from their bodies. I like Walt Disney’s cartoon version better than the  version better than the 1999 Version with Johnny Depp. Both are great productions, however, the cartoon version brings out the humor better for me.

Please leave a comment telling me your favorite character and three adjectives or sentences to describe him or her along with the name of the book or movie in which we will find them.

Happy Writing!

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2021 Joan Y. Edwards


1, “7 Effective Ways to Give Your Characters Unique Voices:” 
2. “Character Trait Descriptive Adjectives:”
3. “How to Define Your Character’s Unique Voice:”
4. “How to Write Dialogue:”
5. “How to Write Natural Dialogue  in 11 Steps:” 
6. Karen Woodward. “How to Create Distinct Characters:”
7. “Character Questionnaire:”

From my website:

Goodness! How Could I Have Submitted That Manuscript?

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 255 subscribers and over 1,380,438 visitors. Thank you.

To Add Tension, Use Short Sentences and Words

woman with boxing glove on left hand hitting man on chin
Thank you to Ryan McGuire and Pixaby for this image called “Argument>”

“To Add Tension, Use Short Sentences and Words” by Joan Y. Edwards

As a writer, the way your put your story together helps the reader get excited about your story. Where there is stress, anxiety, or tension, shorten your sentences and your words for the action.
If things are going smoothly and no change is in the wind, long sentences relax the reader. Don’t make them too long! Don’t make all the sentences the same length. You don’t want to put the reader to sleep or get bored. You want each sentence to add to the spark of your story.
Here are a few examples from books or movies to help you understand the use of short sentences to increase the tension, anxiety for your action.

1. Tomorrow Never Dies by Bruce Feirstein

Can you feature the humor that would come about with a James Bond movie with the script with a lot of long dialogue when James Bond is hanging in the air over a waterfall.
Instead of: “There has to be an easier way to earn
a living.” suppose he said,
“I’ve done a study of different occupations in the United States and Russia: teacher, policeman, cashier, football player, and doctor. One of them has to be an easier way to  earn a living. “

2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

“Where’Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
The opening paragraphs of the book are short. A lot of friction going on because Fern’s father is planning to kill the runt of the litter of pigs. It would have been harder to read a long drawn out description of the pig, the farm, and of Fern, what she was wearing, etc.

3. Back to the Future by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale 

PDF copy of Script:
Daily “Back to the Future:” 
Go to line 210 –
Marty’s afraid that Brown will be killed by the terrorists. Notice the short sentences and short words at the part where he’s going back to the future.
Marty says, “Oh No. I’m too late.”

4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

In 1936 Margaret Mitchell wrote a  history of the Civil War in Gone with the Wind
Scarlett O”Hara says, “Where shall I go?”
Rhett Butler says: Frankly, my dear. I don’t give a …..


5. Liar, Liar written by Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur

Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar has a tough time convincing himself that the pen is blue after his son wishes that his father wouldn’t lie again. Here’s the scene on YouTube: Liar Liar – Jim Carrey – The Pen is Blue Scene (HD) – YouTube

6. Dial M for Murder (1954) by English playwright Frederick Knott.

Caught by the Wrong Key Scene (10/10)
In each of the six examples above, the sentences and words are short to help create tension, and suspense in books or movies.

What are some of your favorite sentences or groups of sentences that give readers the full tension of the story because of their brevity in words or length?

Thank you to the people who left a comment and shared their writing.

For the Contest – However, no one posted a story about the woman hitting the man in the chin with the boxing glove.


Bridget McNulty. “Pacing in Writing:”
Earnsy Liu. Technical Communications Association. “How Many Words Make a Sentence?”
Joslyn Chase. The Write “Story Pacing:”
Quinton Collins. “The rhythm, the pace, the mind control: Syntax in writing:”

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2009-2021 Joan Y. Edwards

I hope you’ll subscribe to Joan’s blog for articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 255 subscribers and over 1,334,114 visitors. Thank you.


What Is Your Plot?

What is your plot?
What Is Your Plot?

“What Is Your Plot?” by Joan Y. Edwards

I’ve always heard since I was a little girl that a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  So plot is the beginning, middle, and end of a story. However, that’s not very specific. For me, that doesn’t ring with the explanation of all a good story has to have.

Wikipedia says: “The plot for a story is a sequence of events carried out by characters or nature where each event affects the next one through the principle of cause-and-effect.”

Beemgee states that each event in a story changes something either in the plot or in the way we, the audience or readers, perceive the characters.

In a story we tell the actions and reactions of the characters. This gives us clues to the emotions that run rampant in this situation for them. A story without a problem is not a true story.. It may list events but if they don’t cause a problem for a character, there is no real story. 

I think the following statements give better hints at what you need to make a great plot. What do you think?

1. Exposition (Beginning-Act 1)

 In the exposition, you give setting, time, and characters, both main and opposing ones along with their flaws on an ordinary day before the bottom drops out of the floor beneath the main character.

2. Inciting Incident

Inciting Incident brings the story’s major question, suspense, and action into being. It creates a problem between two or more characters in the story  –  usually the main character and an opposing character.  Usually the main character wants something and he cannot get it. Something bad happens that causes the main character a big problem both within himself and using the powers he has at the present moment, he can’t fix the problem. Show the inner and outer struggles of the main character for each event. The problem can’t be fixed with one swish. Tell who or what caused the event, how it happened? What happened as a result? 

3. Rising Action Event A (Act II)

Rising Action  Event A is the second problem or worsening of the original problem either caused because of the action, inaction, or reaction of the main character to the problem. Rising Action shows that the first thing the main character does to combat the problem makes it worse and he fails.

4. Rising Action Event B (Act II)

Rising Action Event B is the third problem or worsening of the original problem because of the action, inaction, or reaction of the main character. It may show the second thing they do to combat the problem but it doesn’t work either, It can be a complete surprise and turn the story in a different direction than readers first thought. it makes things unbearable and they believe it will stop them from succeeding with their goal.

5. Climax  (Turning Point, Middle, Act III)

Climax is the event that shows things at their very worst.  Everything seems hopeless. Something happens to make the problem so bad that the main character cannot ignore it any more which makes it the turning point of the plot. The main character is forced by circumstances beyond his control to take action to solve the problem. It’s the point of no return for the main character. He will either win everything or lose it all.  The main character uses his powers to win the fight and attain his goal, or suffer defeat forever.

6. Falling Action Event A

Falling Action – Event A Shows what happens as a result of the win or loss in the climax. It’s a different world with a better ordinary day. The main character faces new problems in a different way than he did before the climax. 

7. Falling Action Event B

in the Falling Action – Event B, the reader finds out what happened as a result of the climax part of the story. This part tends to relax the readers.  It gives readers the happy news and the sad news; of what happened because of the win or loss of the main character in the climax of the story. It tells what happened to the characters in the subplots, too.

8. Resolution (End)

Resolution is the part of the story where the conflict is over and the story concludes. The readers get a look at what the future holds for the main character and the opposing character.


List of Unrelated Events

If you have a list of unrelated events that happen and the list doesn’t tell you who or what caused the event, how it happened or why it happened, or how one event is related to another by cause or effect, it is not the full story, it is not the plot.  

Below are examples of events with no  evidence that any of the events caused one of the other events.
Could you put them in chronological order and give us reason to believe that one of them caused another one to happen.

Accident occurs at Fourth and Main Street, Middleton, Mississippi
50 dogs escape from city pound, Middleton, Mississippi
Old Folks Home closes, Middleton, Mississippi
New mayor takes office, Middleton, Mississippi
Fred Langston moves from Middleton, Mississippi

All of these could be main events and cause problems for many people. These facts, as written above, don’t tell how these events are related or how one could have caused another one. If it doesn’t tell what happened as a result of the first event or any of the events in a story, it does not relate to the plot. of this story.  Here are some words that Edusson says show cause and effect:  because, since, as, and so. Can you name others?

What are some of the keywords that tell you the sequence of events?

A few time order words from are:: ”first,” ”next,” ”after,” ”today,” ”then,” ”before,” and ”finally.”  Are there others that come to mind?

Can you figure out the time order of the following story without time and sequence words?  Adding keywords to show the sequence of events will help.

  • Santa fell down the chimney.
  • We shouted “Merry Christmas”‘
  • Santa put the gifts under the tree.
  • We offered Santa hot chocolate.
  • Santa drank his hot chocolate.
  • Santa left with a boost up the chimney.
  • We heard a noise on the roof.
  • Santa yelled “Good-bye.”

After adding key time event words, you can put this story in the correct order.

In your novel, you want to describe each plot event. You want to explain:

  • What happened? 
  • What happened as a result of an action?
  • Who or what caused it? (a person or nature that is responsible)
  • When did the event take place?
  • Where did the event take place?
  • Why did the event take place?
  • How did the event take place?

Thank you for reading my blog.  I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or question about plot. Share the plot of your favorite movie or one of your published books, or share what  helps you write a great plot? 

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Firebird Book Award Winner Flip Flap Floodle Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Copyright © 2009-2021 Joan Y. Edwards

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 243 subscribers and over 1,235,875 visitors. Thank you.



  1. Hannah Muniz. “What is Plot Definition?”
  2. “How to describe a full plot event,”
  3. Carol Baldwin’s book, “Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8” also has graphic organizers in it and a CD packed with good writing process explanations:
  4. James Scott Bell. Writers “The Two Pillars of Novel Structure;”
  5. “Plot of a Story:”
  6. “Story Essential: Plot:”
  7. “What? I Need a Plot?” 
  8. Ken Miyamoto. “Plot Vs Story: What’s the Difference:”
  9. Kristen Kieffer. “3 Awesome Plot Structures for Building Bestsellers:”
  10. Lit “Plot:” What is the Plot of a Story? – Definition & Examples – Psychology Class [2021 Video] |
  11. “Plot – Definition and Examples:”
  12. Penlighten. “What Does Resolution of Story Mean?”
  13. “Sequence of Events Lesson:”
  14. “What is the Plot of a Story? Definition and Examples
  15. Template “45 Professional Plot Diagram Templates (Plot Pyramid)”
  16. “Plot Diagram Templates:”
  17. Wikipedia. “Plot:”
  18. Your “Plot of a Story Examples:”

New Romance Novel “It Happened at Percé Rock” by Melanie Robertson King

Couple in white with book title It happened at Perce Rock

Melanie Robertson-King is thrilled to announce the release of the  third book in her It Happened series featuring the Scott and Layne families, set in picturesque locations in Canada.

Don’t you love the cover? If you like romance novels set in intriguing locations, you will like Melanie’s books.

Blurb:  Beaches meets Born on the 4th of July

When Melissa Scott flees to the village of Percé, she’s determined to leave her painful memories behind her.

Gareth Young, a soldier with the Canadian Forces, never got over losing his friend in the war in Afghanistan. Nowadays, he’s happier in his own company than that of others, until she enters his life.

Despite her recent breakup and knowing rebound relationships don’t work, Melissa falls head over feet for the handsome military man, only to discover he comes with enough baggage to fill an army cargo plane.

Will the couple be able to work through their issues and achieve a happy ending together?

Front and Back cover for It Happened at Percé Rock by Melanie Robertson-King
Front and Back cover for It Happened at Percé Rock by Melanie Robertson-King

Excerpt from It Happened at Percé Rock:

At the set of wooden stairs leading to the shoreline, Melissa picked up Buddy and descended. It was a short walk from here to the shoal, where she would cross. Once she reached the bottom, she put the dog back down, and the pair struck out.

Water lapped over the edges of the causeway and pooled in the lower sections of the sandbar. Melissa lifted her dachsie before stepping from the drier beach towards the mammoth chunk of shale and limestone. A lump formed in her throat as she stood gaping at its near-vertical cliff faces.

With Buddy tucked under her arm, she picked her way across. Unsure if it was due to the time of day, the time of year, or the bad weather forecast, there were not many people wandering around. No one strolled along Rue Mont Joli either. Strange.

Because he was well behaved and came when called, Melissa had no qualms about unclipping Buddy’s leash and putting him down. At first, he stayed by her side, sniffing the ground or raising his nose to catch a whiff of something. The scent of rotten eggs wafted through the air, no doubt brought on by rotting seaweed, occasionally overpowering the more pleasant aromas.

Melissa made herself comfortable on a boulder and pulled out her phone while Buddy amused himself. She had no new messages. Not hearing from Iain was a blessing. Maybe he realized they were finished.

She took pictures of the village from this vantage point and Buddy playing on the sand and pebbled shore. She was far too close to the rock to photograph it. She would have to wait for another time. The quay where the tour boats left from would be the best location. Melissa snapped a couple of selfies with Percé looming behind her — some smiling, some with pouty lips before returning the device to her back shorts pocket.

Loud barking and growling jolted her from her reverie as Buddy antagonized a company of gannets. Squawking seagulls soared overhead. One landed nearby and stared at Melissa with its beady yellow eyes. It took a few steps closer, ruffled its feathers and stepped back again. Living and working near the water in Saint John, she was used to seeing them. This one was different. It was more intimidating, almost like it was daring her to move so it could attack, like in the movie The Birds.

Water splashed by her feet. The tide was coming in. She wasn’t here that long, was she? Pulling her phone out, she checked the time. Yes, she had been. She had to act and fast or be cut off. “Come on, Bud, it’s time to go,” she called to her dachshund, but the animal continued harassing the waterfowl. She lunged for him, and he darted away closer to the arch — the most dangerous place of all here.

A clap of thunder rumbled in the distance. Things were quickly becoming dire. Melissa had to get her dog and return to the mainland before the thunderstorm hit. Too late. The skies blackened, and the rains pelted down. Lightning streaked across the sky, followed by yet another crash. How close was the storm? If she counted between the flash and the thunder, the longer the gap, the farther away the inclement weather was. There was more to the calculation, but at this point, it made no difference.

Strong winds pushed the incoming tide and created whitecaps. Huge waves churned and crashed over the sandbar cutting the two off from the shore…

If you found yourself in Melissa’s predicament, what would you do? Let me know in the comments.

You can order an ebook copy of It Happened at Percé Rock for $2.99.

Melanie Robertson-King
Melanie Robertson-King

About the author:

Melanie Robertson-King has always been a fan of the written word. Growing up as an only child, her face was almost always buried in a book from the time she could read. Her father was one of the thousands of Home Children sent to Canada through the auspices of The Orphan Homes of Scotland, and she has been fortunate to be able to visit her father’s homeland many times and even met the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the orphanage where he was raised.

It Happened at Percé Rock is Melanie’s eleventh book.

You can follow Melanie at the following links:  Website | Celtic Connexions Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest

Resources “Melanie Robertson-King’s Books Have a Great Sense of Place:” “It Happened In Gastown:”

What Is the Theme for Your Story?

What is the Theme for Your Story?

“What Is the Theme for Your Story?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Theme is one of the most difficult story elements to understand. Many people confuse theme with plot. The theme is the author’s view of the world, the moral to their story, the lesson the characters learn in the plot they unfold.

Paul Peditto brought up an interesting topic in my interview of him  on my blog. He figures out his theme first, outlines,  and then writes his story.

Melissa Donovan states, “Some experts have suggested that authors shouldn’t think too much about theme until they’ve produced a draft, while others believe that theme is so integral that it should be present throughout story development.”

  1. Should you figure out the theme before your write the story?
  2. Should you wait until you have written your story to see what the theme turns out to be?

Either way is fine.

What exactly is the theme? How do you figure out the theme of your story? Why is it important to have a strong emotional theme?

Shawn Coyne author of The Story Grid, says theme is the message you want the reader to discover from reading your story.

Jerry Jenkins says, “Plot is what happens. Theme is why it happens.”

Usually when I get an idea for a story I know what the one word theme idea is like love or fear, but how my story unfolds determines what my final view on the theme for this particular story. What do I want the readers to discover about love? Love is long lasting or love fleets like the wind.  What do I want them to learn about fear from the characters in my story? Fear defeats everyone or everyone can defeat fear. People will help you face your fears or fears are dauntless even with help.

Readers want to relate to your story. The theme is how it reaches them on a deep level. It has an emotional pull. It connects with the heart and soul of your readers.

When someone reads your story, they find out your view of the world and human nature because of the plot (what happens) and characters (who does it) in your story.

An author shows us his view on life through the experiences of his characters in a particular set of circumstances. This is the theme for his story.

What is your answer when someone asks you, “What is your story about?”

Chances are you will relate the short pitch for the story, then you’ll probably mention what the main character learns from the events in your book.

Charlotte’s Web
Can a mere spider save a pig from death?
Lesson learned: Even the smallest creature can save someone.

My Cousin Vinny
Can two boys be convicted of murdering a clerk when all they did was forget to pay for a can of tuna?
Lesson learned: Even the least experienced lawyer can save cousin and his friend from a murder conviction when he accepts the help of a friend.

Twelve Angry Men
Can one juror change the mind of eleven other jurors when he has reasonable doubt that an 18 year old committed murder?
Lesson learned: Take your responsibility to protect life seriously and believe you can make a difference.

Ponder the deeper meaning of your story, what lesson, message about human nature or the human condition does the plot and actions of the characters in your story do that gets an emotional reaction from the reader.

Please leave a comment. Share your favorite movie or book with your question about the story and what you learned from it. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it helps you.


  1. Evan Porter: “How to Write a Theme Statement?”
  2. Jerry Jenkins. “How to Develop the Theme of Your Story:”
  3. Joan Y. Edwards. “Paul Peditto, Award-Winning Screenwriter and Playwright Shares Ways to Improve Writing:”
  4. Joan Y. Edwards. “What? I Need a Plot?”
  5. Joan Y. Edwards. “What Is a Pitch?”
  6. “What is the theme of a Book:”