Jeanne: Six Sigma for Fiction: The Action Workout

Depositphotos_27159627_l-2015This is the last of my posts on adapting manufacturing quality improvement techniques for fiction writing (unless I randomly remember another one at some point and see a connection).

The Action Workout was a group collaboration technique. The way it works is, you get a bunch of people into a room to review a process with an end goal of slimming the process down to its essentials, removing both unnecessary cost and opportunities for mistakes.

How, you ask, can this possibly be adapted for fiction writing? Hang with me and I’ll explain.

In the Action Workout as taught by a couple of women who ran the IT Help Desk at the manufacturer where I worked, the goal was to break the process into each of its discrete steps, identifying the steps that provided something of value to the customer. If a step didn’t add customer value, you looked for ways to remove it.

Let’s use a coffee shop as an example. What are the steps to serving a customer? Continue reading

Jeanne: Identifying Your Reader


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

This week I happened across a new writing blog, How To Write Anything (Well), by Dana Sitar.

What led me there was a guest post she did for Joanna Penn’s, The Creative Penn, on tone and voice in writing.  It was a good post, but an embedded link led me to one I found even more interesting–this post on understanding your audience. 

In it, Dana recommends, rather than writing what you like and then identifying the reader who might enjoy it. you identify your ideal reader and then write what she wants to read,

How do you identify that reader? By filling in the blanks of this sentence (which is totally Dana’s and not mine and, seriously, go check out her blog):

As a [type of person], they want [some goal] so that [some reason].

I approached this writing gig backwards, the exact way Dana recommends NOT doing it. I wrote a couple of books I really enjoyed and now I’m trying to figure out who might want to read them. Since I am where I am, I figured it was worthwhile to go through this exercise. Continue reading