Be sure each scene–every detail–relates directly to, or in some way clarifies or develops your theme. Emphasize the most important scenes or points – in other words, emphasize those sections that crystallize your meaning. In a story, develop key scenes or important details or
descriptions. In essays, emphasize, or spend the most time developing, key points. Emphasis provides direction, tells the reader when to pay close attention.
Great books are filled with conflict, and great characters who learn important lessons. Writer and all-around-funny Jenny Hansen’s clever tips for Dirty Fighting Techniques can be applied to your main character’s friend, family member or a significant other…whoever he or she is in conflict. Hansen asserts, “Every entry on the Dirty Fighting List is guaranteed […]
r am I jaded? More often than I care to admit, a book’s finely crafted opening pages evoke lovestruck stars in my eyes, much as one too many nervous cocktails over tentative introductions.
When you make friends with the red pen pointing out weak story points, redundancy or grammar errors, you give yourself the opportunity to grow as a writer and refine your final product. But is the job of the red pen wielder easier than that of the writer?
Will your fictional characters, at some point, hit the sheets? As most of us creative types enjoy a delicious romp in the sack in real life, it shouldn’t be too difficult to apply our trusty, book-enhancing observational skills to break down, scene by scene, moment by smokin’-hot moment, the escalating tension between our first horny thought […]
I’ll admit it, I’m a fangirl. When an author’s amazing book inspires awe, when an agent teaches a class with the intention of improving and inspiring our burgeoning manuscripts, or either write a blogpost containing encouragement and advice for other writers–well, I want to return the favor of their generosity and give them a (virtual) […]
Action is my habit. When I briskly type out an initial draft of a scene, the early rendition reveals a pesky ritual of churning my characters through conflict after conflict, plowing them through troubles, smacking them in the forehead with insult and treachery–often at the expense of breathing space or time for reflection. What am I? some brutish, merciless warden […]
When people ask what your book is about, they are really asking about the plot. A response: “It’s about two German Shepherds sniffing for buried treasure,” only scrapes the surface. Why dogs? Why that breed? What kind of treasure? Where? When? What must they overcome in order to sniff it out? What will they do with […]
This must-read guest post comes from the impressive and always lovable Monica Bhide, author of three cookbooks, the blog A Life of Spice and syndicated columnist of SEASONINGS, distributed by the Scripps Howard News Media to over 300 news outlets. In addition to her writing, Monica owns and operates her own cooking school, which has been featured in […]
With an entirely out-of-control outline tipping the scales at over 12,000 words, I dove headfirst this fine November 1st on a journey to make a messy manuscript my own personal heaven. Yes, I wrote fast and furiously, throwing editing, self-censorship and occasionally good taste out the window. I loved every minute of it. I wish […]