The Mind of Your Story

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The Mind of Your Story: Discover What Drives Your Fiction
By Lisa Lenard-Cook
Writer’s Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-58297-488-0
$19.99 hardcover, 272 pages

Read an excerpt!
From Chapter 2: “Creating Stand-Out Characters Using a Specific Distinctive Trait”

How do you create a successful fiction that captures readers from its first page and never lets them go until the final page is turned? The secret is a delicate balancing act between allowing a story a mind of its own and holding tightly to its reins.

Award-winning author Lisa Lenard-Cook takes you through the entire writing process, showing you how to:

  • nurture your ideas—the seeds of your fiction—so they bloom more fully
  • develop nuanced characters with distinct voices that intrigue readers
  • manage your story’s “mind”—carefully pacing your scenes
  • navigate the intricacies of the revision process—so your own edits are more efficient and effective

Combining practical advice with down-to-earth candor, The Mind of Your Story illuminates the often-elusive elements of fiction and helps you turn your creative obsessions into that mysterious yet undeniable connection with readers.

Advance praise for The Mind of Your Story
"Lisa Lenard-Cook’s The Mind of Your Story provides terrific inspiration and expert instruction for writers of all levels. An engaging, informative book—detailing story creation from fictional seeds to revision. Required reading for all writers."

—Jewell Parker Rhodes, Endowed Chair & Artistic Director for Piper Global Engagement, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Arizona State University

About the Author
Lisa Lenard-Cook’s first novel, Dissonance (University of New Mexico Press), won the Jim Sagel Award for the Novel while still in manuscript and went on to be short-listed for the PEN Southwest Book Award. The book was also a selection of the Durango-La Plata County Reads! countywide reading program and NPR Performance Today’s Summer Reading Series. Her second novel, Coyote Morning (UNM Press), was short-listed for the New Mexico Press Women’s Zia Award and, like Dissonance, a Southwest Book of the Year. Lisa is on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and is the fiction columnist for the Web site Visit her Web site,, for information on upcoming appearances and classes. Lisa lives in Corrales, New Mexico.

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