Friday, October 21, 2016

Something Different in a New Book

by Linda Rodriguez

I don't do many promotional posts, so I hope you'll bear with this one. I have a new book coming November 30th, something different from my poetry or novels. For many years, I've taught writing workshops and classes in person and online. A number of people across the nation have asked that I write books on the topics of my classes because they don't live close enough to take one and are not in the national organization for which I teach my online classes (to members only). Next month, my first writing book, Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, will be published by Scapegoat Press, and it's available for pre-orders now (though I notice only the trade paperback is up right now—it will be available in ebook, as well).

I'm excited by this new type of book baby. We are planning a whole series of these writing books—next year one on revising the novel. It's been a very different process from writing either poetry or fiction. Here's the lovely write-up the publisher has done for the book.

In Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, Linda Rodriguez turns her sought-after writing course on using depth of character as a springboard to a strong plot into a book designed to help the aspiring writer who wants to tell a story made compelling by the truth and complexity of its characters. She provides examples of actual documents she has used in creating her own award-winning books to demonstrate the methods she teaches.

Great plot springs from character and the motivations each character has for taking or not taking action.
How do you use character as the springboard to a strong plot that draws its complexity from the motivations of its characters?

What are the hidden fears and desires of each major character, what happens when these are frustrated, and how do they intersect and confl ict with one another?

What are the secrets this character is hiding even from him/herself? What will this character tell you about her/himself if given the chance?

Through asking these kinds of questions of your characters, you will learn to create an exciting and
complex plot, building from the integrity of the characters you create.

Praise for Linda Rodriguez’s novels

“Cherokee heritage and the often very painful legacy of secrets have long been hallmarks of this excellent series. They are present in great detail here in this complex and multilayered novel.” —Kevin R. Tipple

“This suspenseful and sensitive tale of small town secrets is captivating from page one. An absolute page-turner!” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author

“Engrossing” —Library Journal “Her latest not only fulfi lls its predecessor’s promise but also furthers Skeet’s story in ways that will have readers eager for her next case.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Rodriguez’s energetic storytelling and attention to character prove she is an author who should have a bright future.” —Oline H. Cogdill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“Fans of Nevada Barr and Sara Paretsky will relish Linda Rodriguez’s stellar debut. Her sleuth, Skeet Bannion, is a keeper.” —Julia Spencer-Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of One Was a Soldier

Praise for Linda’s “Plotting the Character-Driven Novel” Workshop

“Thank you for a wonderful class that was perfect. The lessons were invaluable.” –Nancy R.

“I learned so much and have some great new tools for plotting.” –Holly T.

“I now have an arsenal of tools to tackle that MS.” –Susan B.

“The exercises you gave us provided me with lots of tools to help with plot and character.” –Nancy E.

“Your exercises really helped! I had thought I knew my main character pretty well before, but now I know her so much better. It’s no longer so daunting a task to work on the book!” –Betty P.

“You have given me so much to help me write this first book.” – Mary B.

“Your workshop was very inspirational and helpful. Now, if you could just show up at my house every morning and make me sit down to write, that would be great!” –Cheryl J.

LINDA RODRIGUEZ’s first novel, Every Last Secret, won the St. Martin’s/ Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. Her novel, Every Broken Trust, was a Las Comadres National Latino Book Club selection, took 2nd place in the International Latino Book Awards, and was a finalist for the Premio Aztlán Literary Award. Her third novel, Every Hidden Fear, was a Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, a selection of Las Comadres National Latino Book Club, and received a 2014 ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Award. Her fourth Skeet Bannion novel, Every Family Doubt, will be published in June 2017. Visit her Web site at


  1. Linda, this is wonderful news! I've taken your course and now I'm rushing off to buy your book. You teach invaluable lessons about the writing craft. Thanks for undertaking this new venture!

  2. Oh, Paula! You know the way to a writer's heart! Thank you for you kind words.

  3. Kudos for sharing your knowledge to a wider group!

  4. Thanks, Mary! I'm looking forward to it.

  5. This sounds perfect. Thanks, Linda!

  6. Looks like a great series! Congrats on getting it off the ground. I wish you many sales!

  7. Thanks, Kimberly! From your mouth to God's ear, as the saying goes.