Let’s rewind to a few weeks ago during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I was in Michigan visiting my partner’s family, and everyone in the house is asleep but me. I had just started working on a novel—mostly fleshing out the characters and settings.
All of my writing up until that point had been by the seam of my pants. I wrote whatever came to mind and didn’t plan any of it out. That night seemed like as good of a time as any to learn more about plot structure. I was familiar with the hero’s journey and structuring stories in three acts, but I didn’t know much beyond that. I decided to search online for novel plot structure advice.
There were, as always, millions of results. I opened a few of the first results and read through them. The result that stuck out the most was the blog post “3 Awesome Plot Structures For Building Bestsellers” on the website She’s Novel. I read through the post and soon found myself reading through blog post after blog post. It was genuinely good stuff, and it hit close to home as a writer who is still getting started.
In one of the blog posts the author, Kristen Kieffer, mentioned another author that she really admires—this person named Ksenia Anske. I ended up going to Ksenia’s website and reading through a bunch of her blog posts. And then it turns out that she releases all of her books for free under Creative Commons, which inspired me to do the same. I downloaded one of her books and started reading it. Between the blog posts and novels, my mind was racing and I was feeling the most inspired I had felt in weeks.
Due to the accessibility of what they wrote, I became a fan instantly. The barrier to entry was nothing but time and attention. I subscribed to both of their sites and have been keeping up with them, and I have already learned so much. I started using Ello because Ksenia had positive things to say about it, and it has been the best experience I’ve had on social media. I even started a budget for supporting other creators and became a patron on Ksenia’s Patreon.
I share all of this for two reasons. First, to highlight these two awesome folks. Second, to illustrate the joy of discovery that the internet allows. I went from searching for plot structure advice, to finding a good blog about writing, to finding and helping support an independent author. Plus I’ve now got two new people I follow and learn things from. It’s an incredible feeling, and it happens because people share and talk about the things and people that inspire them. That’s what this journal is all about for me, and I will keep doing my best to share what I like and learn.