Sunday, June 17, 2018

August 2018 PnPAuthors Magazine

PnPAuthors Magazine

August 2018 issue

Vinita sent in her beauty column for July, but it was not in the magazine when published. We apologize to Vinita and put her first in August Magazine. So Sorry Vinita. 

Summer and Beauty

Well, summer is here. It's hot outside. You can always just walk around in an outlet mall and shop. Walk back to your parked car. That's not all - the next day just go grocery shopping and throw the trash. Just as long as you're moving. The more you move the better it is. Summer and swimming are always fun. There are a lot of outside pools, but if you don't want the tan and already have one, there are always inside pools at the gym. Swimming is a great exercise. It works all of your body. You move your legs, your arms, and even lose belly fat. That's not all you can also relax in the sauna and get some heat afterward. Summer and the fruits are always tasty and fun. You can have watermelon, banana with milky juice. Just eating watermelon is good. It is good for your skin and digestive system.  A pineapple is good. You can have grapes and banana blended with milk as a juice. That is also very healthy. It also tastes good. Taking care of yourself in the summer with suntan lotion is important. When outside getting a walk, always put suntan lotion to protect your skin from the sun. Summertime gets hot. It's always good to eat less or in moderation. It's not good to go from outside to back in your Air conditioner, back and forth. You could get sick with the change in temperature. So always stay cool in the house with ice-cream. Those are all the ways you can stay beautiful looking and healthy in the summer.

 2018 copyright, Vinita Singh

PnPAuthor Magazine owners
Peter & Pattimari Cacciolfi






What is the significance of August holidays?

Did you know that the month of August was named after the first Roman emperor? Augustus was a big deal—he brought two centuries worth of peace to Rome, developed networks of roads, and rebuilt huge swaths of the city. (He also might have been poisoned by his wife—some people are never happy.) We have August holidays just as epic as his legacy on our calendar, so get ready to celebrate these national days!What are some memorable August holiday moments?

Summer calls for plenty of watermelons (Aug 3)

ice cream sandwiches (Aug 2)—good thing there's national days in 

August for both. Did you know that watermelon 

consumption began as early as the second millennium? The more 

you know—the more you eat

Both cat and dog lovers have holidays in August to celebrate: It's 

World Cat Day on August 8 and National Dog Day on the 26th. 

And so, the cat/dog feud is laid to rest for one month—Augustus 

would be proud.

We're celebrating some of the most important people in our lives 

this month. National days in August include National Sisters Day 

(Aug 6) and National Friendship Day (Aug 7). National Friendship 

Day might only have been invented to sell greeting cards, but that 

doesn't make it any less special.

Love books (Aug 9), bowling (Aug 13), or relaxing (Aug 15)? We 

do too—that's why we'll be celebrating all of these August 

holidays. Curl up with the world's first book, The Epic of 

Gilgamesh, or just take a nice nap!

Are we missing your favorite August holiday?

If you don't see a holiday you love to celebrate here, email and let her know!



I'm writing to say, I thoroughly enjoy reading this magazine

Thanks, Charles for your interesting column, and also Peter, I always enjoy your writings

Suzanne, you must be a strong lady to make it through your pain and discomfort. I admire you and love to read each month about what you have to say next. Do you think when pain arrives that we must ignore it, exercise or walk?

Thanks, Vinita for your column. I always keep busy to keep away depression

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

PnPAuthor Magazine

July Issue 2018


July Birthstone

July Flower



Peter’s Column

July is the seventh month of the year between June and August) in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honor of Roman general Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the 10-month calendar.
The fourth of July is the birthday of our nation. Today, we celebrate and enjoy the freedom that comes with the event that made this day so special.
It’s that time to once again remember the day 242 years ago, when the Continental Congress declared their independence from British domination during the reign of King George III, marking the birth of the United States of America.
We celebrate our independence as a free nation, remembering the sacrifice of so many brave, common men and woman, mostly farmers and craftsmen,  to gain, and maintain, our liberty.
John Adams, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, wrote that the 4th of July should “be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.”
The US Congress made July 4th a federal holiday in 1870, and in 1941, the day became a paid holiday for federal employees.
The most prolific, and arguably most loved symbol of this important day in our history is the American flag. Also called The Stars and Stripes and Old Glory, the flag stands as a testament to the American dream of a government of, by and for the people, of liberty and freedom for all.  It should be honored and respected at all times.
Thomas Jefferson is the author of the Declaration of Independence. He led a committee that crafted the declaration between the days of June 11-28, 1776.   Jefferson and other representatives from the thirteen colonies voted and approved it on July 4, 1776. The document declared freedom for the 13 colonies from British rule. It currently resides in the Exhibition Hall of the National Archive in Washington, D.C.
Did you know? The Declaration of Independence was not signed by all representatives until August 1776. To make it official, John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress signed it. Now, can anyone guess where the saying "put your John Hancock on it" came from!?!  I didn’t know that! Ha, ha.
Today, we enjoy the benefits of the freedom which the framers signed and ultimately fought for. For many of us, it is a time for baseball, hot dogs, family picnics, and hopefully a short trip; the beach would be ideal.  Summer is in full swing, hopefully not too hot, and life is good.
The Fourth of July is not complete, and should never be, without parades and fireworks. Fireworks are enjoyed by almost everyone, and for those who can’t travel to a nearby location to watch, TV is now filled with activities throughout the United States. You should have your choice of several locations in your area on the Fourth or even the day before.  Many cottage owners on lakes will set out flares along the shore creating a "Ring of Fire". Add to this an abundance of fireworks, and you have quite a display.  


                               Our Poets                                                   

Our Land
by Peter

The 1770’s, both good and bad
we were in a new land, both happy & sad
The British controlled, & were demanding & bold
but we had brave people who didn’t like to be told
Town meetings were held & great speeches rang out
they wanted to make sure everyone knew what the rule was about
But the British had an army, uninformed & armed
they had food & shelter & felt very charmed
They never suspected the commoners would rise
and when they did, it was a disastrous surprise
Through terrible conditions the common folk endured
but they were determined, challenged & demurred
Through starvation and sickness, the death toll was high
but despite all the hardships they never went awry
Sure there were deserters, too sick to go forth
they went in all directions, east, south, west, and north
But Washington pleaded and gave it his all
seeing his suffering, with them, they together stood tall
In the end, their freedom was won
they returned home in peace once the fighting was done



  • May 1 English Premier League: Liverpool's Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah becomes the first African to be named Football Writers' Footballer of the Year.
  • May 1 Chinese authorities label British cartoon "Peppa Pig" subversive and it is removed from the Doujin video website
  • May 1 Violent May Day protests in Paris by far-left Black Blocs group result in 200 arrests
  • May 1 Scotland is the first country in the world to introduce a minimum price on alcohol
  • May 2 E. coli outbreak linked to Romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, reports the first fatality with 121 cases across 25 US states
  • May 2 Kanye West widely criticized for saying "slavery is a choice" in TMZ interview
  • May 2 Indian city of Kanpur declared world's most polluted city by WHO with 14 other Indian cities in the top 20
  • May 2 Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan asks widespread protests to halt after ruling Republican party said it would support his bid to be Prime Minister
  • May 2 Spanish Basque separatist group Eta announces it will be formally disbanding after 50 years
  • May 2 Date for first humans or hominins in the Philippines pushed back ten-fold after a report of the site on Luzon with butchered rhinoceros 709,000 years ago
  • May 2 New research show plants "talk" to each other through their roots and the soil in a study on corn published in the journal "Plos One"
  • May 2 Iowa passes US's strictest abortion ban, based on a fetal heartbeat
  • May 3 Indian government confirms around 110 people have died in dust storms in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the last 9 days
  • May 3 Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences members vote to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski
  • May 3 Bollywood actors both posthumously recognized at India's National Film Awards; Sridevi Kapoor Best Actress for "Mum" and Vinod Khanna received Dadasaheb Phalke award.
  • May 3 Kilauea volcano on Big Island, Hawaii begins erupting forcing the evacuation of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and residential areas
  • May 3 Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan becomes NFL's first $30m per season player after agreeing to a $150m contract extension
  • May 4 California overtakes Great Britain to become the worlds fifth largest economy
  • May 5 144th Kentucky Derby: 52-year-old Mike Smith wins his second Derby aboard Justify
  • May 5 Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson suffers a brain hemorrhage and is hospitalized
  • May 5 Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover releases the music video to new single "This is America" to wide acclaim
  • May 5 Electric cigarette explodes killing a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, the first death from a vaping product
  • May 7 Vladimir Putin is sworn in as Russian President for another 6 years
  • May 7 More mudslides in Rwanda kill 18 people bringing the year's death toll to 200
  • May 7 Global tourism accounts for 8% of the world's carbon emissions according to University of Sydney study
  • May 7 World Snooker Championship: Welshman Mark Williams wins beating John Higgins 18-16 in Sheffield and, as promised, does his press conference in the nude


There are always people who feel others have wronged them. When this happens, we become angry and hold it inside. These harboring feelings of betrayal, anger, or wanting to seek vengeance in hopes to return to our normal being can and most of the time cause us illnesses and depression.
It isn’t easy to forgive when someone has hurt us, but in the long run, it is best to let go, forgive and realize that none of us is perfect. Accepting the situation is to unburden yourself of the inside pain, hate, or disappointment. When you do let go and forgive, your mind doesn’t seek reasons or uses wasted energy which can cause you illnesses.

Anger or disappointment - Express the emotion
We as humans are fully equipped to handle personal problems of this nature on our own. We know what we feel. We know it causes us ill feelings. So, run toward the forgiveness chair, smile and know we don’t want to hurt our bodies with bad feelings. Recognizing that we can change our negative thoughts to good mental health as well as good physical health.


Angel story
An online friend shared a story with me today.

My online friend said days before going to surgery for her cancer, she had a tall man with blue eyes appear to her while falling asleep and said that God had sent him and she'd be healed of her cancer. She told her doctor and he tested her before surgery and found no cancer cells, so the surgery was canceled.

Mama Takes Care of her Baby~

Mama Deer Comes To The Rescue When Frightened Fawn Falls In Front Of Car
One little nudge is all it took.

A fawn collapsed in fear in the middle of a road in Port Orchard, Washington, last week as a car approached.
The “baby dropped down right in the middle of the road,” motorist Jessie Larson told USA Today. “I honked once to see if she would move, but she was too scared.”
Larson told Storyful she then cut the engine to reassure the mother deer, who returned and nudged the little fawn

Owners of PnP - Peter & Pattimari



Another great magazine with a diverse range of articles. Thanks, Cindy for your valuable advice on what to do or not do to her your book seen. Pattimari, I enjoyed your article on how you get your storyline. My condolences on the passing of your former husband. The memorial sounds a beautiful celebration of his life.

As always, Peter's postings are amazing.

Thanks, Suzanne for your postings in last months issue.  

I enjoy all the comments from authors in this magazine and look forward to each month.

John Hirdon

Suzanne, I was lucky enough to read this month's column before publishing. I am defintely going to try the therapy/massages you mentioned. Do you do your therapy weekly?


Hi Pattimari
Hope you and Peter are now well and enjoying your summer. We’re into winter here, cold and windy, though Mick and I will be driving to warmer climes to Queensland to see our daughter Kathryn and her husband Paul perform before they take the show ‘Wolfgang’ overseas. They are acrobats with Circa Contemporary Circus. We’re so looking forward to seeing them again and watching them perform. Kathryn has once again organised (with Circa management) special seating for me so that I can watch the show with minimal exacerbation to my condition – yay!


Hi Pattimari


Here little rabbit, let me help you

Hi, allow me to help you get in line

So this is what it's like to kiss a perfect man

No yard so I found a place for my plants

Come on, you can climb over

Don't want to play

Wanna dance?

Let's share a drink


Hey, let us in  - looks yummy

Great view

This story reading Ape does Author Spotlights


  Something for a summer meal


  • 1 beef Top Sirloin Steak Center Cut, Boneless (about 1 pound)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Grate peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika and ground red pepper, if desired, in a small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Close bags securely. Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers.
  3. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 5 to 7 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill 7 to 9 minutes) for medium rare (145?°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once.
  4. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.


Suzanne's Corner

Chi, qi, ki, vital energy – what is it?

Today I’m continuing to write about therapies I have used as per a recent request. Therapies that I have used, studied, taught and practised professionally pre-2008 and what I am able to use since extreme hypersensitivity developed are worlds apart. An incident with infra-sound in August 2007 caused a pain response which developed, however it was a medication reaction in June 2008 which changed my life resulting in chronic pain and other symptoms that has precluded the use of many therapies I know would normally work well for me.

I could give you a list of all therapies I’ve tried but it’s more than just what is available, it’s knowing what they are and key aspects to keep in mind if you choose to try any of them. These therapies have worked for me, however please get professional guidance regarding your own situation.

Before launching into complementary, alternative or esoteric therapies that I’ve experienced, whether as a patient; client; in practitioner exchange; or as a student through workshops, classes or private sessions/lessons, there’s a concept that I wish to discuss first – energy flow. This is more than feeling energetic; or that your energy ‘feels low’. It is your Vital Energy, bio-energy, which is also known as chi/qi, ki, prana, and lots of other names from various cultures. You might be familiar with acupuncture, tai chi or yoga and the revitalising nature of these therapies. My understanding of how the body works, working with the difference between physical movement and movement directed by chi has been a passion. Unfortunately, the internal focus required for chi directed movement has been severely compromised over the past ten years. My internal focus for meditation has also been compromised – which is annoying for me but in a group session it is alarming for others and completely shatters any semblance of calm if I start choking on a rapidly swelling throat and turning blue! Convincing my system that it’s okay to disregard its hypervigilance when there is no danger and relearn how to work with chi from a different perspective are my goals.

In mid 2010 a massage therapist/teacher gave a talk about massage for chronic pain to a pain and chronic fatigue support group with the offer of a free massage in a student clinic. I’ve experienced many different types of therapeutic massage and bodywork modalities over the decades though now being riddled with pain and with skin so sensitive to touch even moving the surface hairs caused pain I was apprehensive, but thought I’d see if it was suitable for my condition. After discussing my situation, I was reassured and decided to try a session and ended up participating in the clinic over the next four years. What became quite obvious was that good communication during therapeutic treatment is vital and often overlooked – while the therapist has the training and skills needed to assess their client each person’s pain is individual with varying levels of tolerance. An important motivation for me in teaching students about techniques and level of pressure required for a person with persistent pain was that one day there would be trained therapists used to working on clients with severe ongoing pain. It has been a very slow journey but well-worth the courage it took to start, and to receive therapeutic massage again.

My journey with massage took a positive turn in understanding why I was experiencing pain in such variable locations when I started receiving Tuina with a very experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner. Tuina is massage based on TCM principals allowing chi to flow more smoothly. TCM bodywork modalities which includes acupuncture, acupressure and chi kung (qigong) energise or de-energise points or areas on and within the body. But I’ll expand on Tuina, qigong and tai chi next time.

So, until next month, allow yourself to become aware of the lighter, freer aspects of you; smile and be happy for the good moments in your life.

Dr. White

Vacation Time

We have entered the time of year when there is a multitude of activities occurring in our neighborhoods, schools, communities, towns, cities, and country. Some of the activities are backyard barbeques, community cookouts, and just family time with children playing in the yards both front and back. School-related activities include school proms, graduation, and senior trips, and then there are vacation travels with family, friends and some may even be taking short trips alone.
Community carnivals have become popular due in part that it is a community activity that provides activities for the entire family and the cost is reasonable and does not require long distant travel. Carnivals offer opportunities to see your neighbor that you may have not seen in awhile as well as make new friends.
Wherever and however you travel, vacation or summer activities takes you, I encourage all to be safe, and enjoy your summer vacations as there are a plethora of activities to be enjoyed by all.
For me, I personally enjoy summer time because I get to participate in activities I otherwise do not during the fall and winter months. I look at summer as my outdoor play time. Living in the section of the country where summers are short compared to other parts of the country. That said, I cherish outdoor summer activities.
Vacation time is a time of the year we all look forward to as it is looked upon as a time of relaxation while enjoying this time.
Summertime has become associated with vacation time.
Comments are welcomed.
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Let's hear from our Authors

Five Considerations When Writing for Teens 

by Cindy Davis

Writing for teens is probably more difficult than writing for any other age group. Teens have intense opinions about many subjects. They are emotional, with hormones flying uncontrollably in all directions. They are short of attention, impulsive, and quick to anger. But, they’re also shrewd, intelligent, naive and yet, worldly. When teens like something, they dedicate themselves to it with a passion that some of us older folks have let dwindle over the years.

With all this in mind, how is it possible to capture their attention and write an interesting article for them?


Use their intensity as a tool rather than an obstacle. Since their intensity is focussed primarily on their emotions, center the story around something they are passionate about; sex, parents, sex, drugs, sex, music, school, and last but not least sex.

But, of course, even though you understand what they’re passionate about, you can’t exactly write ‘drugs are bad’, ‘unprotected sex is dangerous’, ‘listen to your parents, they know best’, or ‘if you want a good job, get an education’. It’s a sure bet they won’t read past the first sentence.

Then how do you ‘get to them’?


First, find a subject you can identify with, something you felt passionate about at that age. Were you into drugs? Did you have sex without protection? Did you have trouble in school? Did you have overbearing or neglectful parents? How did you deal with the problems? Did you handle it from a purely emotional angle, or were you sensible and methodical? If it was trouble for you, there’s a sure bet today’s teens are dealing with some aspect of the same situation. And if it was trouble for you, it should be easier to become passionate all over again. Let the passion show through.


Use the proper vocabulary. All the parenting books advocate ‘don’t talk down to teens’, but what does that mean? Use their vocabulary. That doesn’t mean throw in awkward sounding slang, but don’t use $40 words, either. Use simple easy to understand language with the dialect of the proper part of the country, state, or neighborhood. Where do you learn that? Research. Start a writers group. Go to rec centers. Listen to your own kids.

Love Teens

But, the biggest way to get teens to listen is to let them know you care about their feelings and desires; that you’ve suffered through the same problems, dealt with the same evil doers. Let them know you’ve had moments of weakness too, that screwing up isn’t just something they’ve done.

Subjects ‘R Us

This is important regardless of whether you’re working on a newspaper article, non-fiction book or short story. If you don’t like the subject you’ve chosen or been assigned, your own passion isn’t going to show through. If you’ve been assigned an uninteresting topic to write about, delve deeply. Find something about it that you didn’t know. Something that makes you sit up and say ‘wow’ because if it does that to you, it’ll do it to others.

If your own teenager is driving you absolutely up the walls, grab a cup of coffee—or glass of wine, kick up your feet, dig down deep and recall something good about them. There must be something! If not, think ahead to the person you hope they’ll become. If you’re passionate and caring about teens, they’ll know it from your opening sentence. (As a last resort, read the headings from the top down. Take one and go to bed!)

Cindy Davis



Think on these suggestions before writing your book

Is it important to write in one sitting? I think it is for some people who might sit down and write the first draft of their story in as short a time as possible. At least three months the professionals say. I also agree with how others write, including myself. I get a storyline by my own experiences and travels speaking with people about experiences happening in their life, and I simply begin writing until my mind is tired and then I take a break for a day or two or sometimes a week. To me, time, days, weeks or months do not matter. I write when I’m motivated to do so. I think it’s not important to worry about the spelling or if it is said with good grammar – that will come when you go back and proof and re-read and re-read. There is always changing during this sitting.

Some writers suggest we always have a protagonist. I agree. To me, my storylines are about protagonist so I have a good story. I recently read that the essential ingredient for a protagonist is that they must make decisions – that Victor Frankl said a human being is a deciding being. So whatever mess she gets herself into in the story, she must make a decision to get herself out of the mess. The villain or the fool. It is important to develop your protagonist.

Suspense and drama always make the reader excited and wanting to read more. It’s okay to make as much suspense and drama as you can. AND the most important when writing is to keep the reader wondering by not telling but showing. Give good visualization to s scene or what a person looks like, and also important is to keep the character of the person in form; otherwise, don’t change his character until that person is changing from something that has happened the storyline. A good dialogue comes from the intimate knowledge of your characters.
It is important to always have a death in your storyline. Good stories often involve at least one death.

Bottom line is to rewrite, edit, and add more during your proofing.

You don’t have to follow the rules, no, break them as often as you feel is important.
Don’t be afraid to share your writings with friends, family or anyone you know will give you honest input or suggestions.

Peter Cacciolfi

What Makes a Good Writer?

Some writers, fortunately for them, are simply born good storyteller, but, by and large, the majority of published authors are educated, have attended college and majored in English often with a special emphasis on writing. A vivid imagination helps too and is somewhat essential to the good writer. It is really extremely difficult to become published. If you ever check the Best Seller lists, the authors are always the well-known and prolific as with James Patterson or Danielle Steele, plus others on the top level. Once you've made it into the inner circle of published writers, if you are good enough or fortunate enough, or if you happen to be a celebrity, you will have an open door for all your future offerings, but it's making initial inroad into that exclusionary clique which is the miraculous feat you must accomplish! And perhaps some of those who have fortunes as authors aren't actually good writers, as one might expect, but rather writers who have mastered the secret of producing marketable books!
The best thing about writing is being able to clearly express things in a way, perhaps you can't express in general conversation. This is especially true if you are socially awkward and a little inarticulate.
Writing is like being able to sit down this day or the next and go through everything you wanted to say, finding the right words, giving shape to images, real or imagined, and linking them to feelings and thoughts. It isn't exactly like a live social conversation because you are giving information in the usual sense of the word or persuading anyone of anything or proving a point; it's more than you are revealing something whole in form of a character, a moment, a city an image seen in flash out of a character's eyes. It's being able to take something whole and vividly alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, symbols on an unused white page. If the wrong reader comes across the words, they will remain just words. But for the right readers, your vision blooms off the page and is absorbed into their minds like embers, where it will re-form, alive and whole, fully adapted to its new environment. It is a deeply satisfying feeling.
The best thing about writing, or thinking about writing, is also the worse things. It's that, no matter how long you've been at it, you always start from scratch. Writers often work in the dark, doing what we can, and giving what we have. Our doubt is what stimulates our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is simply the madness of the art.
What makes this worse thing also the best thing has to do with the past. When you're always starting out, always trying to learn to do what you don't know how to do, you remain close to the place where you first pet your pen to your paper. You remain in touch with that dreamy kid who spent so much time in the library or alone in his thoughts and inspirations. You persist in being impractical, idealistic, brave and naive. Your body ages, but if you persist with your desires and dreams, your imagination remains young, and in the very end, if you're lucky, you might be prideful enough to say to yourself: "Damn, I think I'm finally getting the hang of this." It might be an inspiration to hang in there for just one more try.


Charles Ray

Using the Three-act Structure to Write Your Novel

If you struggle, as many of us do on occasion, to write that novel that's been bubbling inside your brain for a long time, you might want to consider using a technique that I stumbled across several years ago - structure your novel in three acts. Unsure what I'm talking about?  Allow me to explain.
Whether you're a plotter (someone who maps out your story in detail before starting to write) or a pantser (you just sit down and start writing) - and, I'm somewhere between these two extremes - using the three-act format common on stage plays will help you create a good story.

Here’s how it works.

Act 1. This is roughly 25% of your story, and it’s where you introduce characters and situations. Somewhere near the end of this act, you introduce the change in the status quo that your character must deal with.

Act 2. The second act is the meat of your story, about 50% of the total. In act 2, the main character starts to make some progress, to commit to moving in a certain direction until he or she reaches a point of no return (roughly halfway through the act), whereupon you introduce serious obstacles to the character accomplishing the desired goals. I often say, in a novel, you put your character up a tree, throw rocks at him, and then let him climb down. Well, it’s in act 2 that you start throwing rocks. It is in this part of the story that the fear that your character might fail in her quest is introduced. Will the murderer get away? Will the heroine enter the basement where the ax murderer awaits? Make your reader think this is a distinct possibility.

Act 3. Now, we come to the final 25%, and unless you’re writing dark fiction where bad things happen to good people and there’s nothing they can do about it, this is where your character undergoes transformation, finds a way out (make sure it’s logical and not deus ex machina, preferably foreshadowed by some subtle clue you’ve planted in act 2 somewhere, or even in act 1) and reaches her goal. The last one or two percent or so of the story, the last few pages of act 3, should tie up loose ends and leave the reader satisfied that all is right, in your fictional world.

Now, the percentages I give are just approximations, I sometimes have a very short act 1, or act 2, and put most of the meat of my story into act 2, but the three-act structure remains more or less intact. As a reminder, I keep a chart over my desk, that looks something like this:

Plot Timeline
Plot Timeline
                         Act 1                               Act 2                                        Act 3
                       Introduction                    Meat                                         Solution

There you have it. That’s how I write. It just might work for you as well. Worth a shot, don’t you think?

August 2018 PnPAuthors Magazine

PnPAuthors Magazine August 2018 issue Vinita sent in her beauty column for July, but it was not in the magazine when pu...