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Rule 405 requires the person registered within the securities industry to “know your customer”.  By knowing your customer you can make suitable investment recommendations and also protect yourself from money launderers in illegal businesses.

In the writing world you must apply this rule–“know your character”. After all, it is your character making decisions throughout your story. What your character decides carries the plot. You must know what your character would do in certain situations — scream and run, stay and fight, etc.

Sometimes though, you must get your character to act out of character. In Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, Donald Maas asks a series of questions and then instructs you apply the answers to your story:

What is the one thing that your protagonist would never, ever say? never do? never think? By adding those things to your story you are certain to add conflict which is a key element in story.

In my story, Absalom’s Beauty, my character has just recovered the horse that was stolen in the violent murder of her father. What is the one thing she’d never do? Give up that horse again. What does she do? She gives  up the horse. Why? Because a little girl is more important to her than the horse.

Saturdays are my main writing workdays.  I’m working through the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook with my writing group at the Summit Church.

I’ve completed through chapter 4 of the workbook and I’m amazed at how answering the questions has allowed me to focus on the plot of my work in progress.

I was able to come up with a title – Absalom’s Beauty, a Regency Romance for the Christian market.

FYI– Absalom is a horse, not a main character.

Please post a comment on what you think of the title.

Page count: 65

But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.     2 Samuel 14:25

In keeping with my goals for 2008, I completed reading the following for the month of January(If I read 4 books a month, then I’ve exceeded my goal of 40 books a year):

The Lady and the Cad by Tamela Hancock Murray – A Heartsong Presents Christian Romance. I chose this book because the hero’s name is Cecil and that’s my Daddy’s name. Actually, I chose it because I would like to target the Heartsong line for my Christian Romances and it’s a regency historical and that is what I’m working on now. I enjoyed this story–one of a sinner redeemed.

Leviticus – I decided to include the books of the Bible I complete as well. I’m reading from the Archaeological Study Bible that I received this year for Christmas. If you’re interested in what the Bible says about Tatoos, incest and what to eat read this book of laws. See my post Life is Like a Box of Chocolate Insects.

Numbers – Interesting things happened in this account of the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. The Israelites were counted. Spies reported. A donkey talked (and this was before Shrek). The Israelites grumbled. A hired gun couldn’t curse them.

Numbers 23:8 (King James Version)

8How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?

Numbers 23:22 (King James Version)

22God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:17 (King James Version)

17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
I think this might be my favorite:

Numbers 23:26 (King James Version)

26But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie – see my post The Agatha Christie Code.

I’m working through Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook with my writing group at the Summit Church in Durham, NC.

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