Writing the Five Genii Way

Mind, Heart & Soul

Legend has it that all you have to do
to get a wish
is to rub a brass lamp.

If only writing were that easy.

Writing will never be “easy,”
but the purpose of this website is to help
make it easier.

Hello and welcome to my website.

I am Lois Easton and I’ve written the materials on this site to give you a variety of ways to think about writing, some (perhaps) different from what you have encountered on other sites. I hope you can adapt (and then adopt) what I’ve written to your own writing needs.

Before you start to explore this website, use the list below to think about your challenges as a writer.

What parts of the writing process (for fiction and nonfiction) are hardest? Easiest? Or, somewhere in between?

Possible writing Challenges?

  • Deciding what to write
  • Getting started
  • Getting stuck. . .and unstuck
  • Sticking with it
  • Improving what you have written


#12 – Courting Characters; Getting Started

At the end of the last blog (#11 Giving Chase to Plot), I invited you to “Choose one [word] from Column A and one from Column B [and] imagine a plot based on the two words. Imagine a few episodes you’d want to develop your plot.” I wrote, “Each combination suggests a plot to me – at this point, not very exciting – but, still, a plot.” Not really. I prevaricated, stretched the truth a bit. I found only one combination that suggested a viable plot to me.

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#11 – Giving Chase to Plot

What does giving chase have to do with writing? In this and the next three blogs, I explore how writing is an ongoing process of chasing what works in fiction and non-fiction. It’s not prolonged and unrelenting, just steady. We persist, sometimes in the subway of our minds (see my first blog), until we understand what works. When I checked the derivation of the word chase, I learned at vocabulary.com that To chase is to follow or go after someone or something you want. This activity is called a chase. Dogs chase cats, cats chase mice, and mice are in big trouble. The word chase tried to run away from the Old French word chacier for “to hunt or strive for,” but we caught it.”

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#10 Pacing: Eating Raw Rhubarb

How fast would you eat raw rhubarb? Ice cream? Saltwater taffy? These and other questions invite you to think about pace. The key is to move along as fast as the mind of the reader. . .but how do you know how fast the mind of the reader wants to go?

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#9 – Finding the Beginning in the Middle

So, where do you start?

The answer is simple. You write what you need to write. Then you have permission to begin your piece there or search for it somewhere else – a few pages beyond the first page, in the middle of the piece, even at the end of the piece.

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#7 – Your First Word is Your Last

The title of this blog sounds a bit like a warning. Beware: Your first word is your last. It’s not, however. It’s just a crisp way of saying that you won’t get to the last word of your writing if you don’t write a first word.

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  • It is beyond basic. You can get prescriptions for good writing from any number of venerated guides. A still popular guide is The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I’ll introduce you to others in my blogs.
  • It capitalizes on my years of being a teacher, both of K-12 students and adult learners. I believe I can teach you (and learn from you).
  • It capitalizes on writing experiences that have led to publication (7 nonfiction books and over 50 smaller pieces). Though nonfiction, all of the books and many of the smaller pieces feature narratives (fiction).
  • It capitalizes on my recent completion of a full-length novel, Through the Five Genii Gate.
  • It reflects my fascination with and study of learning. I have studied learning — my own and others’ — nearly all my life and believe I understand how people (including you) learn.
  • It is holistic. Systems thinking has helped me understand how complex writing is. Writers are among those who need to focus on the whole, even as they address one or more of the parts. Writing is not just the sum of its parts. In fiction the characters + the plot + the setting + the theme add up, but a novel or a poem is much more than the sum. In nonfiction, the premise + development + evidence + details + a rip-roaring conclusion do not equal the whole. Think of the whole as any of these words: meaning, relevancy, application, congruity, spirit, and significance. Writing works when there is continuity among the parts. It works when there are relationships and interactions among the parts.
  • It may seem counterintuitive. Sometimes what may seem nonsensical is exactly what is needed to make writing work. It’s okay for a writer to choose the absurd, the daft, and even the zany when he understands why he might do so.


About This Website
and its Writer

Why should I trust this website and its writer? Find out more about Lois Easton and her career as a writer.

Why Does This Website Reference 5 Genii?

Learn about Lois's 8th book, a novel called Through the Five Genii Gate, about a woman who finds a meaningful life in China, but ...

How to Contact
the Author

Email the author if you have questions or overall comments about the material on this website.

©2024 Lois Easton