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David A. Schwinghammer

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· 230 titles
· 192 Reviews
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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Books
· Soldier's Gap


Short Stories
· Seminary Boy, a memoir

· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine

· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight

· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight

· Bereavement Blues

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7

· Speed Dating With 'Janeane Garofalo'


Articles
· Another Planet, book review

· The Three Stooges, book review

· The God Particle

· Empire of Sin, book review

· Science at the Edge, book review

· Obama, a Modern Caesar?

· Americans Need to Pull Together

· Voices of the French Revolution, book review

· Great American Scandals

· Odd Man Out, book review


Poetry
· Fashion

· Widow's Peak

· Myth

· Alumni Game

· Stradivarius

· Snow-a-holic

· Girls Who Wear Glasses

· The Do Drop Inn

· Ode to Neve Campbell

· Jacks or Better 101

         More poetry...

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Books by
David A. Schwinghammer



Soldier's Gap

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Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer

Plot
8/25/2009 9:12:09 AM
Places to look for ideas.





Where-o where-o where-o do you get your ideas for a story? One good source is the daily newspaper. Iím always cutting apart my paper, especially the Sunday paper, where there are more feature stories. A recent one was the Wisconsin father who refused to take his diabetic son to the doctor for religious reasons. The boy died.

Another reliable source is a little book called TWENTY MASTER PLOTS by Ronald B. Tobias. Iíll only mention a couple of them to avoid being sued. Itís probably available on Amazon anyway. Thereís the Quest plot where your protagonist searches for a person place or thing, tangible or intangible. Probably the most famous one is the search for the Holy Grail. The Coming of Age story is another familiar one. Tobias calls it Maturation.
WINESBURG, OHIO, and GREAT EXPECTATIONS would be two good examples for that one, but there are thousands. BTW, if you havenít read WINESBURG, run, donít walk, to your nearest book store. Itís in my top ten. Wretched excess is one you may not have thought of. We are fascinated by people who push the limits of acceptable behavior. ďLost Weekend,Ē ďWall Street,Ē OTHELLO, LESS THAN ZERO are some examples.

Okay, so now you have an idea. Your next step is structure. Robert Ray, in THE WEEKEND NOVELIST recommends a three act approach. The first act hooks your reader, introduces your main characters and your conflict and your main characterís goal, and aims at a jumping off point at plot point one, the end of Act I where your main character begins to pursue his goal. Act II is all about development and itís divided into two parts. Plot point two is midpoint. You might want to put in a twist here so your novel isnít so predictable. If youíre thinking about length, Act I would be around 75 pages, Act II 150 and Act III also 75. Plot point three is where you start your resolution, including the climax and your wrap-up. Your wrap-up should only be a few pages long since your climax is the part where youíve been leading your reader all along. Your main character should either realize his/her goal or not during the climax. Thereís also something called a frame. At the beginning of THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST the two main characters are in a car and itís raining. At the end the main character is in a taxi but the sun is shining, symbolically telling us everything is going to be hunky dory. The three act approach keeps you moving toward a target, plot point one, midpoint, plot point three etc. Without a target you may find yourself writing in circles. Map out your plot point and list the number of scenes with tag names you think youíll need in each act. You should be constantly changing it. Also write an outline as youíre writing. Youíll need that when you submit your novel to a publisher. You will constantly change your outline as well.

Point of view is your next choice. Youíve got to learn point of view or nobody will take you seriously as a writer.


Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP, is available at Amazon.com at a discount. Used copies available.


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More Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
• Greedheads - Monday, September 29, 2014
• Worst President Since WWII? - Monday, July 07, 2014
• Tenure for Teachers - Thursday, June 26, 2014
• Koch Brothers Interfere in Local Election - Thursday, May 08, 2014
• The Wolly Mammoth - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
• Fran Tarkenton's political ad - Friday, March 14, 2014
• Propaganda vs. Legitimate Commentary - Sunday, February 23, 2014
• Porn as a Political Issue - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
• Drive a Stake Through the Vampires' Hearts! - Thursday, February 06, 2014
• State of the Union Stem-winder - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
• Ted Cruz - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
• Here We Go Again. - Thursday, September 19, 2013
• Reality TV - Friday, August 09, 2013
• Common Sense - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
• Skunks Believe Everybody Else Stinks - Thursday, May 16, 2013
• The Morning After Pill - Friday, April 12, 2013
• What Would Thomas Jefferson Say? - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• Boneheads - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
• Why Benedict XVI Resigned - Sunday, February 17, 2013
• Gabby Giffords Testifies - Wednesday, January 30, 2013
• Newspaper Caters to Gun Owners - Wednesday, January 23, 2013
• Piers Morgan Deserves a Medal - Monday, December 24, 2012
• The Red Devil and the Blue Devil? - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
• Is the new TV show, REVOLUTION, fantasy? - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
• Fanatical Moslems Aren't That Different From Our Fanatics - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
• We Need the United Nations - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
• Stop Catering to People's Basest Instincts - Monday, July 09, 2012
• Concerned Women for America political ad - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Independent Voters Need to Pick a Side - Monday, June 11, 2012
• Romney's Solyndra Appearance - Friday, June 01, 2012
• Single Issue Voters - Sunday, May 20, 2012
• Bully or Sociopath? - Saturday, May 12, 2012
• Tan-orexic Woman Poor Role Model - Friday, May 04, 2012
• So Far Right They're Almost Left - Sunday, April 22, 2012
• Dog Eat Dog - Sunday, April 15, 2012
• The Tea Party is Back! - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Gas Prices - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• "Doofus" - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• Contraception Blowback - Friday, February 10, 2012
• 800 vetoes! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• Issa Hounding Holder over GOP program - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Rick Santelli's Rant - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• Corporate Raider President? - Thursday, December 01, 2011
• Is This the Best They Can Do? - Thursday, November 17, 2011
• Tea Party a non-violent Movement? - Sunday, October 30, 2011
• Wall Street Protests - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
• Three new stooges - Thursday, August 25, 2011
• Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
• Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
• Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
• Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
• Scapegoating - Sunday, June 19, 2011
• The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
• We're Still Here! - Saturday, May 21, 2011
• Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
• Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
• General Electric paid no corporate taxes - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
• The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
• Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
• Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
• Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
• Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
• Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• 13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
• House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• The Blame Game - Friday, May 28, 2010
• National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010
• Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
• Conservative psyche - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
• Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
• Fred Phelps - Friday, April 02, 2010
• Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
• Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
• Interview with SOLDIER'S GAP author continued - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
• SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
• Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
• Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
• Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
• Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
• Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
•  Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009  
• Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
• Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009
• Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
• Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
• Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
• Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
• Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
• Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009


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