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Plot Goddess Invents QVC Queen

The struggle was real.

After reading my forthcoming novel, City in a Forest, an editor whose opinion I trust (Kim Sheeter) pointed out that one of my characters seemed to be a deus ex machina—a god dropped mechanically into the plot so as to solve problems.

Carrie as Queen of Mardi Gras.

“Would you consider sharing a little more insight into why she does what she does?” Kim asked in her usual gentle fashion.

After sitting with this feedback for a day, I realized she had pierced the mark at dead center. This particular character—who shall remain nameless here—had been mentioned multiple times by others, but her backstory remained a mystery.

Time to write a whole new chapter.

Over dinner with my sister Carrie, I bemoaned the challenge. “How?” I wondered, prolonging the vowel so that I sounded like an injured wolf pup stranded on the tundra. “How did she make her fortune? Is she a widow? Divorced? What?”

“Oh, God, no,” Carrie said, sipping a drink that looked like the love child of a martini and a 7-11 Slushie. “She’s a self-made woman.”

I lifted my head, alert. “Yes! But how?”

Carrie took a bite of her dinner. “She’s a QVC queen. She made her fortune selling jewelry on TV.”

Thus was born my character who was one of the home-shopping network’s first African-American on air celebrities—a champion of science and the arts as well as aerial trapeze yoga.

Carrie, now dubbed The Plot Goddess, later sent additional twists via text messages.

To recap—in earlier installments, I’ve explored how:

· talking with a friend can open up 13 new fictional possibilities;

· walking can cure writer’s block, especially if it involves an epic snake orgy; and how

· the Plot Goddess can co-invent a QVC queen.

City in a Forest was submitted to my publisher, Black Rose Writing, earlier this month. It should be available by fall 2019. As I’m learning about publishing and marketing and blogging, I’m grateful to many friends and family members for their continuing support.

Thanks, Carrie. Thanks, anyone who is reading these first attempts at blogging.

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