My WIP’s Fifth Revision – From My Beta Readers


My WIP’s Fifth Revision

From My Beta Readers

leaping-2Over on Scribophile, I was lucky enough to have three beta readers go through my story.  My undying thank you to BC, Heather and RA.

Due to my mislabeling they expected to read a romance set in a fantasy setting instead of a fantasy with a love story nested inside it.  And, though it was hard for them, I learned a huge amount about my story…more than I probably would have with just fantasy readers.  And, that they were all women lent a different slant than guys might have given me. Continue reading

Sick Of Stumbling Through Scenes?


Sick Of Stumbling Through Scenes?

Take Two Books And Call Me Tomorrow

reflectionOver on Scribophile, a common refrain is how to balance things in a scene – and they usually list dialog, description and action.  For some reason they almost never list thoughts and sensations.

I wrote my entire first draft, all 84 scenes with only the most rudimentary understanding of scene construction, stuff I’d learned in Jack Bickham’s Scene and Structure, but I didn’t know what I was doing from one scene to the next.  Then I discovered two books that changed my entire writing approach.

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Libraries Have All The Answers, If We Look


Libraries Have All The Answers

If We Look


Tons of books live there.  And I can look at all of them, free of charge.  All I have to do is go.

I learned the trick of going to the library from one of those how-to-write-books books.  I was reading about some part of writing and the author suggested I look at books I’d read to study how the author did something or another. Continue reading

So What’s Wrong With Head-Hopping?


So What’s Wrong With Head-Hopping?

reflectionOver on Scribophile, one of the groups I follow devotes itself to studying Point of View, or POV.

But, what the heck is Point of View?

Forgive me for resorting to film examples.  Imagine filming a scene where the camera substitutes for the actor, experiences only what our POV actor encounters.  Robert Montgomery filmed Lady In The Lake using this technique.  Watch it to see why it’s not commonly done in film.

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Dream Opening To My Story?


Dream Opening to my Story?

reflectionOver on Scribophile, a writer is working on his first draft and wanted our thoughts on whether he should start his story with a dream.

Just on the off-chance you’ve never hung around a writer’s site, never, never, never ask this question.  You might come away so scarred you never ask another.  If that’s not enough, know this.  Agents and publishers hate dream openings.  Chances are very high they will toss your story in the discard pile as soon as they realize it’s a dream Continue reading