Have you questioned their desire?

A few days ago I talked about finding a misbelief for my protagonist, well seems that’s only part of the picture.

Guess I need to dig deeper. 

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Okay, now that I’ve figured out her misbelief, what other questions do I need to ask?

  • What is her deepest desire?
  • We’ve all heard to ask what does the protagonist want but take it a step further.
  • What does her misbelief have to do with her deepest desire?
  • Is my protagonist loveable?
  • Can the reader relate to her misbelief and her desire?

And before I can go any further, do I know how this story ends?

  • Will her desires be fulfilled or will she fail and plummet into despair?

Now that I’ve answered these questions, I’m ready to write to the middle.

I’m learning so much from Steven James in Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules, which won a won a Storytelling World Award. Unlike some bloggers who write “how to” books, Mr. James is an award-winning novelist of suspense including two Christy Awards for best suspense, The Suspense Zone’s Reviewers Choice award, Suspense Magazine‘s Book of the Year award. Mr. James also crosses genres, which gives me hope.  

Hope you don’t get tired of me sharing on my blog as I learn. But I love, love this book!

What questions do you ask your protagonist?

Anything special that breathes life into your characters?

I’d love to hear from you! Click the “write me” tab or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell,Facebook at jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

Please remember to share this post with your Twitter  peeps and Facebook fans.

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Want to read a little bit of Story Trumps Structure? Then click on the link for a sample.

Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by [James, Steven]
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On a personal note, I’m getting closer to finishing my next children’s book. Just received six more images from illustrator. Fingers crossed!

A Reluctant Prince

Share your best too

I know today is Tuesday. However, I love the premise of David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.” 


It was right then, between when I asked about the labyrinth and when she answered me, that I realized the importance of curves, of the thousand places where girls’ bodies ease from one place to another, from arc of the foot to ankle to calf, from calf to hip to waist to breast to neck to ski-slope nose to forehead to shoulder to the concave arch of the back to the butt to the etc.

Source: John Green, Looking For Alaska 


Check out David Abrams’s The Quivering Pen and

Erika Dreifus Sunday Sentence for great reads and

don’t forget my last Sunday Sentence.

Summer is for reading…

  • Are you reading a good book?
  • What sentence stood out in your mind?
  • Share by posting or linking back here.


What are you reading?

In the spirit of David Abrams’s “Sunday Sentence” project, sharing the best sentence I’ve read during the past week, “out of context and without commentary.”  

“The breeze eased its way through a window like a considerate guest wiping his feet before entering, bringing in the transitional smell that comes when windows are opened for the first time in the spring.”

Source: Dana King, A Small Sacrifice, A Shamus Nominated Nick Forte Mystery 




Check out David Abrams’s The Quivering Pen and 

Erika Dreifus Sunday Sentence for great reads.

What sentence kept you reading to the end?


Are you looking for beach books?

Have you made a summer reading list? If not, these three will get you started.

If you have, add these three to your list.

1 Literary, 1 Mystery and 1 YA there’s something for everyone.

I read for pleasure. The last couple of weeks have been pure bliss. Choosing a book, is like choosing a rich dessert. A dessert so yummy that my taste buds tingle and the flavor lingers long after the last bite. A good book is when the words or story stay with me long after I read the last page.

Even books I read for research, I choose with care. Enjoyment is my first priority. Life is too short. This morning I’m sitting on my porch, enjoy in a cool breeze and savoring the last of three books. Books that tingled my mind and left me with the realization I’ve a long way to go before I can stand in the shadow of these writers.

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Summer is here and I know many of you are looking for great books to read. So here they are, three books to keep you turning the pages, and savoring the phrases late into the night.

  • Alice I Have Been: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin, is on sale now for $1.99 (Kindle Edition) Grab this while you can it is normally $15.99

A love story and a literary mystery blending fact and fiction. I surprised myself, enjoying this book as I did. It’s not usually my type of book but the writing is beautiful. Ms. Benjamin captures the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

For mystery, crime and whodunit readers this Edgar-winning novelist Michael Connelly creates a new hero who is a lot greener but no less believable. This was a fun, nail-biting thriller, with a surprising twist at the end. It’s been years since I read one of Mr. Connelly’s books, but I won’t wait years to read another one.

I finished this book late last night. Although, listed as a YA book, I think Mr. Green writes for all ages. His rich words are musical staying with me long after I turned out the light.

This book is a funny, engaging coming of age book. Mr. Green gives his characters real flesh and blood as few authors can. A beautiful story of growing up, adventure and complicated people. I laughed, grew sad and laughed again.


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