The first book on writing craft I encountered was Writing for Story by Jon Franklin, a gift from a good friend and writing colleague Lisa Westberg Peters way back when we were both newly published. Lisa’s moved on from writing children’s books and is now in school again and also blogging about her SE Minneapolis neighborhood. I’m still struggling with writing novels, however, and yesterday I pulled the Franklin book off the shelf.

Still a lot of gems in the yellowed pages, albeit arguable ones: “All of literature, in short, can be divided into two parts. Focuses are one thing. Transitions are quite another,” or, “… there are three kinds of narrative, transitional, preparatory, and climactic.”

And in case you don’t immediately know what the heck he means, well, neither did I and I’ve read the book a couple of times. Yet, after some mulling and reading, it sinks in and makes sense.

Students in the Hamline program know I love talking and thinking about structure. I’d not looked at the Franklin book in years–over a decade, I bet–but I’m amused now to see how much he emphasizes structure. Evidently this first encounter with a writing book left a strong imprint.