3 Identifiers of Passionate Writing

heart with wings

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at an excerpt from a previous post titled The Sensitive, Passionate Story.

When you read a novel and you sense the passion behind the story, what does that look like? Do you ever start reading a book and feel it’s flat and formulaic, like the writer wrote it in his sleep? At very least, you can’t imagined he cared much for his story, or stayed up late nights writing because of the excitement coursing through his veins.

I often quote a particular line from a movie that has stuck with me through my decades of novel writing: “If your writing doesn’t keep you up nights, it won’t keep anyone else up either.”

I think the highest compliments a writer can get (and the ones I love the most regarding my own novels) are when readers remark that they stayed up all night reading the writer’s novel, unable to put it down. Continue Reading…

5 Steps Writers Can Follow to Optimize Their Inner Circle

group of people

Today’s guest post is by YA writer Kirsten McNeill.

So you’ve written your first book. You’ve created a beautiful story, and you connect with it as if it’s your first child. You’ve published your book and posted about it all over social media. What next?

You’re staring at the number of book sales, waiting, hoping, for them to rise. But they don’t. Why aren’t people swooning over it?

You’ve plastered it all over the place, and you feel you’ve shoved it in everyone’s face so much that you’re afraid they’ll unfollow you.

The truth is, you’re not being pushy enough.

This is your first book, so obviously you don’t have much of a following yet. Trust me, I know that feeling. I’m still in the process of growing my following, and my first book isn’t even published yet. Continue Reading…

20 Key Scenes for Writers of Romance Novels

lovers walking

Last week we began a discussion on romance novel structure. While just about any story of any genre can work off the base of the ten key foundational scenes, from there, a whole lot of variety can take place.

My aim in this series is to throw ideas and examples at you, so you can see how to work both within and outside of this framework. Your premise and plot are going to be the big factor when it comes to determining what kinds of scenes are needed to layer over those initial ten.

It’s not just a matter of coming up with plot ideas and stuffing them into the framework, as if they were so much cotton batting going into a sofa. Every scene in a novel is hugely important and must serve a very specific purpose. I say this a lot, and I don’t think a whole lot of writers believe this. Their manuscripts are filled with nothing scenes about characters going nowhere and doing insignificant things (like talking about the weather over dinner).

Folks, that’s not why readers read books! They don’t want ordinary, mundane, boring. Yes, “on the nose” writing accurately portrays real life: believable conversations and activities real people engage in. But seriously, much of real life is (thankfully) boring and mundane. I say “thankfully” because we don’t (or shouldn’t) want the kind of drama in our lives each day that great writers subject great characters too. Continue Reading…

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