Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Train-of-Thought Writing Method

Recently, I was privileged to read a book written by Kathi Macias, who I "met" online in a writing group to which we both participate. Her experience as a writer for twenty-five years qualifies her to help writers not as far down the road in learning the craft of writing. As she explains in her introduction, "The Train-of-Thought Writing Method presents the most effective plan for putting your ideas and thoughts into the form of a finished work whether that be a short story, article, or book. Ms. Macias excels in all.

Aimed toward beginning writers with ideas flowing through their heads, but no clue how to put them in publishable form, the book contains easy to understand plans. I found the simplicity refreshing even though I've written all my life and studied the craft seriously for three years. One bit of knowledge I've learned in that time is to write a good beginning hook. Only one problem exists with knowing that. How does one write a good hook? I pondered and edited. I changed and sent it off to another agent only to be told the beginning didn't "grab" her.

Along comes Kathi Macias' "cow catcher." For all you who have yet to read the book, that's the first sentence. Ms. Macias gives examples from other author's works and also many from her own. Then, she offers samples with opportunities for the reader to write a first sentence and compare with the author's version. I found it to be a perfect learning tool all the way to, you guessed it, the "caboose."

This book precipitated me going to the beginning of my work in progress and writing a new "cow catcher." As Ms. Macias suggests, I will also bring it full circle when I finish my "boxcars" and "couplers." The short, concise instructions can be followed or used by experienced as well as beginning writers.

I highly recommend this book. You can find out more about it and other books written by this author at

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Janet, for your gracious review of my book. May God richly bless you as you seek to "write the vision...and make it plain!"


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