How to Advance Your Plot with Careful Scene Design ~ 5 Steps

Plotting is complex, and whether you “wing it” or plot extensively, there are 5 key steps that will help you stay on track when brainstorming a scene. I’m reprinting a blog post I wrote a few years back to bring attention to these basic steps all novelists should consider when putting a scene together.

Writing scenes can be daunting, but, as with all novel components, it just takes time and effort to learn how to become a master scene crafter. The first step is getting the big picture of a scene.

What do I mean by that? Instead of thinking about the minute details you want to put in a scene, you first want to step back and consider a few things.

The Point

Each scene in your novel should be moving the plot forward. Each scene should reveal some new information, but not just anything—the information needs to help move the plot forward. The bottom line? Every scene must have a point to it or it shouldn’t be in your novel.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, or you’ve read my writing craft books in The Writer’s Toolbox series, you’ve heard me spout this. When brainstorming your scene ideas, it’s crucial that you first consider the point of your scene. Continue Reading…

The Connection between Character Emotion and Reader Empathy

Today’s guest post is by Becca Puglisi.

Do you know how many books are on the market today? Neither do I; I can’t count that high. I do know that in 2015 alone, over a million books were published.

This is awesome for readers, but it creates a problem for authors looking to create a fan base. Not only do we need customers to find our books, we need them to love them—enough to finish them and go on to consume everything else we have to offer.

To make it in this crowded space, we need to attract readers who are obsessed with our work. We want them staying up late and oversleeping because they couldn’t put our book down, texting friends to tell them how awesome it is, and running to the computer when they’re done to see if there are more coming out.

Basically, we want raving fans—customers who read all of our stuff and do the word-of-mouth marketing for us. But how do we get this kind of response to our books? Continue Reading…

Master the Skills to Become a Masterful Writer

How is that novel-writing going?

One reason writers procrastinate is they haven’t taken the time to master the skills. If we attempt to do something—like change the oil in our car or build a bookcase—and we haven’t first learned what’s needed to attempt such a task, it may cost us a whole lot of wasted time.

Just as with learning anything, you’ll do well if you first master, step-by-step, the skills needed. If I have a hankering to build a desk and I don’t know the first thing about working with wood, and have never used any of the needed tools, I’m going to flounder.

This really applies to a career as a novelist. I’m stunned by how many writers waste years—many years—floundering around trying to write novels and don’t know what they’re doing.

Take the time to learn your craft well. Continue Reading…

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