Sunday, April 09, 2006

Words of Wisdom From Nu Author Dwight Fryer

To view more of Mr. Fryer's inspirational words of wisdom as well as his debut novel The Legend of Quito Road please visit his official website at

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

#1. Put structure to your writing

#2. Write a synopsis / summary of the bones of your story

I know you have challenges that seem larger than life. Telling a story is always difficult, whether it is writing or just walking through your life. Structure and planning were major keys for completing THE LEGEND OF QUITO ROAD. What is your story? How does it begin and end. Who are the major characters and what drives their actions in this tale you are spinning? Where are they going and why do they want to arrive at that place or goal? Who is their opposition? There is always opposition; that is what creates great fiction: goal, motivation, conflict (I recommend a read of GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict – The Building Blocks of Good Fiction” by Debra Dixon, Gryphon Books ISBN 0-9654371-0-8).

For my novel, I wrote a four (4) page synopsis (you can boil it down / condense it to the publishers / agents preferred two pages later, but these pages will help you tell the story now and that is your job). This brief high-level summary gave me direction and acted as a guide to keep me on the path in the telling of the story. I once met an editor named Elizabeth Law who assured me that writing is all in the telling. My synopsis helped me stay on task and stay true to my story in this book. It was my compass and I immediately knew when I got off-path. I only needed to review these four pages infrequently.

I have a question (younger brothers always have questions and I am the youngest of six sons in my family). Are we on task? I know our lives often read like fiction with numerous plot twists and turns. These challenges are usually difficult to follow and understand. Perhaps, a recent chapter or two have you the author of your story shaking and scratching your head. I am writing this early morning, just before daybreak, to remind you that your life needs a plan.

Despite what you have been through, make one as soon as you can. In 1998, I lost my job on a Wednesday in late September. Two days later on Friday, I found out I had colon cancer. It was not a good week at my house (SMILE). I can still remember my children’s tears when my wife and I broke the news to them. But, I felt the need to assure my children that it would be all right, despite this new piece of drama in our lives.

We made plans. We put down on paper where our family was headed medically, physically, and financially. I made goals to show my family that I planned to be there with them sowing good seeds, telling my life story with each interaction daily, making plans and achieving goals. I literally sat down and wrote out a list of five items that I hoped would occur. Next week, we will talk about storyboarding—that is what my list was for me. I know that now as I look back over the seven and a half years since the Fall of 1998 when I did not know if I would live or die.

My last question this week is “Do we ever know without faith if we will live or die?” As you walk through life, your story, write a synopsis / summary of the its bones. Set goals to tell it like it should be told and make sure you stay on path by referring frequently to the plans you have placed on your horizon. Sure, plans change; characters often encounter unplanned twists, tragedy, and attacks. But, you can stay on path or return to the lane where the sweet spot of your tale exists by simply keeping the faith and knowing that you have a bright future, despite what ever may come.

Have a blessed week and keep on telling it. That is what I am doing every day. Next week, I will give you the five goals I shared with my wife and daughters before this unemployed “wanna-be-writer” went in for cancer surgery with chemotherapy pending six weeks later.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Today begins a tradition on It's the first entry in my blog. It has been a very busy day and my time at the office ended at 7:00PM. Earlier, another reader saw the message on my "Articles on Faith and Family" link. Here's what she was led to write to me: "Just felt the need to share this with you. I was really touched by your "Faith Article" on your website. It brought tears to my eyes. Your article has made me want to take a second look at my life. You are a very strong and spirit filled man."

I needed to hear that at that exact moment. It came in the middle of a very challenging day, just before I needed to take a teleconference to discuss some very difficult and potentially terse subjects with a colleague. That gentile nudge was all I needed to stop and focus on who I am, where I have come from, what I have walked through and the roads yet to be traveled by me. I am writing this evening just before I retire to give you a gentle push of encouragement, like my angel did for me earlier.

In a year when another author with a last name similar to mine, duped Oprah and her book club, here's what many of you have seen me walk through: In 2001, my youngest daughter Adrienne died from Meningitis. She was sixteen-years-old and it happened on my 43rd birthday, Superbowl Sunday, January 28, 2001. I survived colon cancer seven years ago in 1998 during a time I was laid off my job. A devastating wreck with a driver under the influence in 1992 took the top of my scalp off and injured my left eye. I never looked at Happy Hour the same after that wreck blew out my left knee and changed my entire physical capability. In 1989, my family and I spent the entire day with a burglar in our attic after the Memphis police SWAT missed finding the man. Divine intervention saved us and I discovered the robber myself after continuing to believe someone was there, despite what the officers said. Six months later, we moved to a rural area to rediscover my non-urban roots and a man tried to "mug" us in the front yard. Through it all, I kept tellin' my story. Are you tellin' yours?

Since Adri died, my dream has been to increase my platform so that millions will get immunized or learn the symptoms of Meningitis ( Meningitis Foundation of America ) to be able to protect themselves and their loved ones against this disease that can end or alter lives quickly. I tell this story to people everywhere I go. It is, I truly believe, a large part of why I exist.

My therapy to overcome these blows involved becoming a writer and Kimani Press, a part of Harlequin, which purchased the publishing assets of BET BOOKS on 12/1/2005 from BET, is publishing my novel, THE LEGEND OF QUITO ROAD. I was blessed to sell this book without an agent of flesh and blood and I believe it is going to help me and many persons that read this decadent little tale do what we are here to do. I am a writer, a storyteller from a line of folks gifted in a Southern US oral tradition. On the pages of my novel you will find how a boy and the seeds sown in him drive his life in directions not imaginable. This first installment was developed in 12 steps. Here is the first:

#1. Put structure to your writing.

I hope you know we are all storytellers…the details and plot twists come in our lives that dot the “I’s” or cross the “Ts”. I hope there’s structure there. I pray you are working at what you are here to do by writing down goals, developing your story, like the great storyteller you are, speaking the dreams you have into existence through positive messaging, and planting a good seed in all you meet by turning terse conversations into productive ones.

Over the next eleven weeks, as the countdown to the next American Idol continues (all writers need a mind break and that show is one of mine – SMILE with me in the midst of our story), I will place an entry here each week with one of my twelve tips used to write THE LEGEND OF QUITO ROAD.

I hope each helps you tell your story, happily, successfully, joyously, through each and every twist on your “Roads Less Traveled.” Remember, the worst things wrong with most of us were planted there by those who love us best. Plant a good seed everywhere you go. Tell your story…like only you were meant to do. Dream "LARGE" dreams and keep living them, despite what may come at work, at home, in the attic, within the project plan, on the highway, over the teleconference, in the front yard, via email, and on any page written for or by you.

God bless! Take care and be safe.

If this helps you tell your story, please pass this web address on. See you soon; keep writing and tellin' our stories. That is my story and, unlike some authors with
tragic backgrounds, I AM STICKING TO IT!

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