Plotting…(gulp). Do I have to? WWYD???

Happy Friday, Mermaids and Friends! The lagoon apparently succumbed to a sudden infestation of pond scum last night and needed some attention. Once that got cleaned up, the gates were opened and the Mermaids returned to the pool! *throws glitter

One of my big problems with writing is keeping up momentum. I get a nice head of steam up, craft a great first chapter, a pretty good second, and then… yeah, you know the story. Then I give up. Plotting is NOT my strong point.

Since I’m struggling with plot, I’ll throw out a snip of my third chapter. For me writing the middle is always the struggle: for Lake Effect I have a beginning and an end, but no middle. If these were your characters, what would you do with them?

“Do you have any idea where your father’s valuables could be? And what about your mother’s?” Sam set his scraper down and crossed to face her, his height imposing.

“This is Lake Isaac. It’s safe.” But even as Nicole said the words, doubt niggled in her mind. The lake had certainly been safe when she was growing up. But what about now?

What did she really know about Lake Isaac anymore?

Sam’s next words confirmed her doubt. “Do yourself a favor: go to the bank, rent a safety-deposit box, then come back and start looking for things that need to be in it. Jewelry, cash, silverware. Important papers, the deed to the house.” He hesitated. “You father’s will.”

The thought drove pain through her chest, and she felt the tightness in her throat. “I don’t know if he has one.”

“Look through his desk.” Sam’s voice was kinder as he sensed her dismay. “He may have a deposit box already. Or a safe.” He snapped his fingers. “That’s more like Gerald: a safe. I can just see him hiding his stuff around the house.”

Nicole agreed. “’Never trust anyone who says you can trust them,’” she quoted. “What color are you painting the door?”


She threw her hands up. Men! “That doesn’t tell me anything,” she objected. “There are hundreds of greens, Norman.”

“Norman? Rockwell.” Sam nodded. “Good name. I like it. Thanks.”

“Don’t change the subject! What color green did you choose?”

He twisted to look at her over his shoulder. “Why do you care? You aren’t going to live here.”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for the house! I grew up here, and I want –“ she stopped.

“What?” Sam turned now to look her fully in the eyes. “What do you want, Nicole? Your stated goal is to be done with the house. You have a life out there that doesn’t include this house, this town, or any of its residents.” His lips pressed together for a moment. “Not your father. Not anyone.”

“I –“

“You want to be done? Be done.” He returned the scraper to the toolbox and retrieved a sanding block. “Don’t worry about us.”

She stood there, her arms filled with old newspapers. The others in the stack, relieved of their top-level brick, cascaded to the floor. The cat leapt from the railing outside and vanished.

Nicole has come back to town to get rid of her personal ghosts, her ties to Lake Isaacs, and the house she grew up in. What would you have her do next? Obviously, one thing on her list (though she doesn’t know it yet) is to fall in love with Sam. Stumped? Me, too.