Hello, sir or madam, do you have a moment to talk about Braiding Your Story Elements? If so, you need to watch this space for Laurie Schnebly Campbell’s coming workshops. She was the speaker for my local RWA chapter in June and she said she is teaching Braiding in the fall. The same class she presented to us.


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Laurie Schnebly Campbell


Laurie provided amazing worksheets that helped us look at our stories in many different ways. I promised to not share them because you need to be in her workshop and get questions answered from the source. All I can tell you is how her lesson impacted me and my story. I can’t thank her enough for the ideas she brought to the group.

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To set the scene of my day when I heard Laurie speak, I had spent the morning at a Celebration of Life for the husband of a dear friend. I find that so many times I regret that I didn’t know the person better. Brandon was a funny man, a loving husband, a supportive coworker, an important part of a large family, and a veteran with many honors. Losing him crushed so many people that I empathized with them. The worst thing I can think of is to lose my husband.

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I had to leave the service early so I could catch the afternoon session of my chapter’s meeting. As I walked in, another member looked at me and said, “Better late than never.” I couldn’t reply. How can you assume I missed the first half for anything not urgent? In that state of confusion that wanted to be angry, I sat down and got a handout.

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Then the magic happened. I stopped thinking and got into the planning zone. I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser so outlines happen only when I am done with the story. But I looked at the whole situation from my “villain’s” point of view. He knew people like the hero looked down on him because he went to an Ivy League school on the GI Bill. Their disdain weighed on him after he graduated when he and the hero competed for the same position. They were both hired, but Paul’s job was a step lower than Adam’s.

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Adam got the raises Paul thought he deserved. Same for bonuses and business trips. A fancy penthouse and a fast car. Adam married the boss’s niece and ward and seemed destined to take over the business when Malcolm Hightower retired. Paul couldn’t let that happen. He had a plan.

By Braiding Paul’s story into the main idea, the whole novel comes alive. The situation starts with conflict and tension and carries the Romantic Suspense through to the end. I can’t wait to finish it and send it out once more. I hope you will look for it when it’s ready.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.

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