Nita Dodd: Mammon and Max (and Button)

Mammon and Max are fun characters for me because they’re amoral (not because they’re demons, but because they’re just made that way) and not particularly venal.  Mammon hangs out with those who should be stepped on like bugs, but he really only needs slapped down every now and then, or at least have somebody pull him to one side and say, “If you do that, that would be stupid,” to be a fun if occasionally treacherous person to know.

 Enter Max. Continue reading

Good Book Thursday 4-6-17

Due to popular demand (and because it’s a really good idea) we’re introducing  This Is a Really Good Book Thursday.  Come in here on Thursday and tell us the title and author of something delightful to read, fiction or non-fiction.  The weekend is coming and we need good books!

RANT: I Just Unlisted Angie

As most of you know, I have a penchant for buying houses that need significant work.  Because of that, I hit Angie’s List a lot.  But today I learned that they’re not pulling their advertising from Bill O’Reilly’s show because “Just as we trust members to make their own hiring decisions, we trust them to make their own media consumption decisions.”

Because hiring a plumber is exactly like giving money to a powerful abuser  so he’ll have more power to continue his decades-long harassment of women.

So I’ve decided not to add to their revenue stream because they just hand it over to a serial sexual predator.  I’ve been trying to get somebody on the site chat box to talk to me, but strangely enough, no one is available.  It’s noon, maybe they’re all out to lunch.  Or maybe, I hope, they’re reaping the whirlwind.

At any rate, thanks for trusting me, Angie!  I know I’ve made the right decision.


The Crusie Website, It Needs Work: Part 2

So I had lunch with Mollie today, and it was great, so much fun, and one of the things we talked about was the website.  For those of you new-ish to the blog, Mollie is my business partner and also my daughter, who runs her own business keeping authors’ online identities professional and easily accessed.

You can imagine how working with me makes her insane.

Continue reading

Nita’s First Act Truck Draft: Escalation


Thank god, the math is over.

Escalation is pretty simple: the stakes get higher in each section between the turning points of the act.  So checking for escalation is just making sure the stakes increase at each turning point..  Easy  

Unless you’re an idiot who lets huge plot points  drop so your protagonist can go shopping.

Let’s look at how this truck draft escalates while I berate myself throughout this post.

Continue reading

Act One, Part Seven: The Final Scene Sequence and Transition into Act Two

Here’s the thing about first acts: they’re a bitch to write. They’re loaded with back story and infodump that you have to make into the now of the story, you have to twist your narrative into a pretzel to foreshadow any character you can’t get into a scene, you have to start not only your main conflict but any subplots you’ve got going, and you have to do it all while moving your plot from the beginning where the stability is shattered to the first turning point where things get much, much worse and the story hits a climactic turning point that swings the entire narrative in a new direction.   And you have to do that in 33,000 words or less that are never boring and continually escalate as the stakes rise. Continue reading