Tag Archive | plotting

Foreshadow like a boss: Shonda Rhimes & Grey’s Anatomy

I love Grey’s Anatomy. I have been religiously watching it since I was pregnant with the princeling. I think Bailey and I went through labor kind of around the same time 🙂 Every Thursday night, without fail, I am watching it. My friends know not to call me. My son doesn’t talk to me.

I cried during last night’s episode. Sobbed so hard the princeling came into the room to make sure mommy was ok. Once I had processed it, I still didn’t go to sleep until 11:30 or so…. I kept turning the episode over and over in my  mind. And the writer woke up in me, and I realized what a boss Shonda Rhimes has become. Because that was some beautiful foreshadowing.

Stay with me while I take you through it— and please don’t go all fangirl, beating me up because I don’t have the episodes/scenes in the proper order. My DVR took a crap last Thursday and I LOST THIS SEASON! Dang it! OK, here we go.

1. Not only did Derek leave… It didn’t crush Meredith. As a matter of fact….

2. The Streak: Meredith starts a surgical winning streak as soon as he leaves. She is able to more fully become the person, the surgeon, she wants to be. Is it hard? You betcha! Being a single parent, or in a long distance family situation, is never easy. But she goes on that streak, and the part that annoys her about it? It started the day he left.

3. I can live without you… but I don’t want to”. After Derek’s coming back and telling her how he can’t live without her… this is her response. And really… I cheered for her. I got goose bumps, just like when Christina told her she was the sun. Not Derek.

4. The scene of Meredith and Amelia, talking about the non-relationship. Amelia basically tells Meredith “Until you’ve held the love of your life as he lies dying, you don’t get to judge me.” I watched that scene and cringed, thinking… if anything happens, Amelia is going to be destroyed.

5. When a phone call comes, saying Derek never makes his appointment, Bailey tells Meredith that she can panic at 5pm. Not a minute before, and not in the Operating Room. We watch, with Meredith, as the time ticks away. At the very end of that episode, there are emergency lights reflected in her windows.

And then last night, I sobbed along with multitudes of fan girls, as Meredith told Derek to go, and he breathed his last.

But unlike the others, as soon as the sobbing stopped, I started thinking. Writers pay attention here. Shonda Rhimes just killed off a beloved character. There will be fall out with fans, but within the STORY ITSELF, it was set up to make perfect and utter sense.

It could have gone either way. He could have survived, but that’s not what the story needed at this time. If Meredith, the title character in the series, is going to grow, something had to give. I get that. Really, I do. I killed off a main character in one of my books. It sucks when we have to do that. But it’s what serves the story.

Meredith and Derek could have gone along happily ever after. The problem is, that’s where the story stops traditionally. No one wants to read about Cinderella shopping for dresses all day. Or Beauty spending the day in Beasts library, eating cookies and reading books. They also don’t want to watch too much of it on television, either.

Our characters have to grow. And sometimes, in order for one character to rise to the occasion, we have to rip everything away from them. Meredith had already lost her “person”, as Christinia is a world away. And now her husband has left her, too, albeit through death.

Meredith is about to go through the fire.

And that’s what good fiction is about. But if you’re going to mess with characters in a series, you need to foreshadow like a boss. Like Shonda, in fact. We might not like where it went, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. The audience was prepared.

Now, it’s going to be a wild ride to see where Meredith goes from here.

Deer in the Headlights

I have a fast approaching deadline… and I haven’t finished my story yet. Close… But nowhere near it.


I haven’t been writing for several reasons. Everyone got sick and I had to step it up. Check. I got sick.


Then I fell.

But mostly, I didn’t write because I’m afraid of my ending. I’m afraid of pushing the buttons until she comes thisclose to breaking. And I’m afraid of the whole story, really. It’s so different from my normal zone. However, Rie says I can do it and I believe her.

She said I could publish Dragon’s Champion and darned if I didn’t do that.

So now it’s time for me to take that advice and get down to the business of writing. I’ll be back soon, with reviews of some really great series, and a word of caution on the temptations of Smashwords.

Till then, my lovelies, I shall be pushing on with this dang story.

Writing Cheer Leaders

OK, so I realize I’ve been lax over here. In my defense, I have been writing. YAY me!

My son asked me what I was writing, so I told him. I now have a seven year old cheerleader who wants me to write this book soooo badly (“Finally you’re writing something COOL”). He gives me plot ideas, and staging directions (the demons need to have purple swords, like a lego sword, mommy). He asks me what I’m writing (I don’t tell him most of it– I do write adult fantasy fiction), how much I’ve completed and lots and lots and lots of questions.

Today I actually sat down and plotted part of it out. It’s not an outline by any sense of the word. More of a collection of scenes that I know I need in the story, with snatches of dialog, thoughts, etc. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve sat down and plotted like this? I think it was the last time I completed Nano (10 years ago?). 


There have been short stories, but no novel/novellas.

Involving my son did so much for me. Not only am I sharing something I love with him, he actually
“gets” it when Mommy is typing away at her laptop. “Are you writing Mommy? How far have you gone today?” And I admit it, it is ridiculously gratifying when he’s impressed with my measly word count. He is seven, after all. Plus, he actually will let me write, instead of interupting me constantly. He knows what I’m doing, I’ve done it with him (transcribing video game stories of a seven year old is HILARIOUS!) and he enjoys it and knows the feeling of completion when it’s done.

But for seven he sure knows how to both give me a shot of inspiration and a kick in the butt at the same time. Do you have anyone that fills that function for you?

I’m off to make a word count…