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Motivational Mondays: Simplify

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, either way, you’re right. Right?

Attitude is the first step in creating results. I’m all about the power of positive thinking. But sometimes, I think of this saying and it just makes me want to roll my eyes. I think I can, I think I can, just isn’t enough! I need action. I need direction. Give me some tools and show me how to use them!

When I’m faced with a problem, particularly a plot problem, I dive in with a can do attitude and attack, adding conflict, twisting the plot, and sometimes, like with my paranormal romance Soul Search, I go a little too far. Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! series refers to my plotting as Too Much Marzipan and I think it also contains Double Mumbo Jumbo.

Back in college, while my car was once again on the fritz, I borrowed my sister’s car for the week. Used to power steering, I was appalled at having to put all my weight and both arms to work to force her little beater to turn a corner. I asked her how in the world she managed to get anywhere, half expecting an insult to my scrawny muscles. She told me to put air in the tires. What the–? Air? Air. What did she think, I was stupid? Was she screwing with me? I went straight to the gas station for the sole sake of proving her wrong.

I cannot describe how pissed I was to drive home, able to steer the thing with one finger. She was right.

The lesson I learned is, oftentimes, the simplest solution is the best, right, solution. And though I have to remind myself every so often, it stuck. Keep it simple, sister.

Double Mumbo Jumbo and Too Much Marzipan refer to an author adding too many magical or high concept elements as an attempt to improve the plot. Really, both practices rob the story of it’s credibility and reader buy in. Soul Search, for example, has amnesia, time travel, a psychic, a guardian angel, a werewolf, vampires, and soul switching. Oh, and let us not forget, mentally conjuring objects out of thin air. Way too much going on here.

Next time you’re fighting to get a plot–or a problem–off the ground and flying high, ask yourself if all that muscle is really necessary. Maybe all you need is a little air in your tires. I hope this post gives you some today.

:}Amber Scott



About Amber Scott Project

Amber Scott writes romance across time and genre with three things in common: fate, love and complications. You can find her erotica titles at

5 responses »

  1. Donna Del Grosso

    How funny you came up with this yesterday, Amber. I know I told you but my scene needed air too. I think I added too much at first because it sent it so far off the ground I couldn’t catch it! So I went back and added a little at a time. Before I knew it, my scene had drifted to the ground and I was able to get in the “car” and actually feel the feelings! I love it when something like that works out!

  2. Great food for thought, Amber! For me, the air in the tires is usually emotion. If a scene seems flat, often what’s missing isn’t a new plot twist, but the human element, emotion…a good gut clenching, knee-jerking reaction to what’s happening. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Donna Del Grosso

      You’re right about that. As I read about the way my hero looked at my heroine, my stomach contorted and I kind of “got scared” for her. I knew the emotions showing in his eyes was going to be something she didn’t want to handle. Bad timing! very strange how the scene took off after that!

    • Amber Scott Project

      Wonderful tip, Donna! Thank you!

  3. I need to put some air in my tires lately. Great Monday motivational which I’m reading on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday! I’m spreading out the motivation. Nice of your sister not to rub it in.

    Ann C.


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