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Nail Your Ten Key Scenes ~ Half Off My New Online Course!

Writing a terrific novel is a complex endeavor. And while there are hundreds of books, podcasts, and blog posts that teach aspiring authors how to structure scenes and plot out a solid story, none implement the most intuitive and effective method for success.

Novels are made up of dozens of scenes, and regardless of genre, time-tested structure dictates what key scenes are needed and where. Most writers are familiar with some of those scenes: the Inciting Incident, the Midpoint, and the Climax, to name a few.

But novelists need more than a few landmarks to find their way across the tricky terrain of novel plotting.

They need a surefire method to organizing all their scenes.

In my new video course, you’ll be introduced to an innovative, intuitive method for arranging your scenes and crafting a beautifully structured story. Nearly every great story, whether a novel, a play, or a movie, follows this time-tested structure. And it isn’t all that hard! Continue Reading…

The Burden of Your First Fifty Pages

I critique a lot of first chapters of novels. Having written twenty novels, I can attest to how difficult it is to craft those openings scenes. So much has to be included to set up the world of the characters, the premise, the tone and writing style, and the opening situation the protagonist is in. Yet, so much has to be left out in order to avoid backstory and info dumps that stall action and pacing.

It takes a lot of time and effort to master opening scenes.

These scenes are some of the most critical ones in your novel, so it behooves me to share what I wrote in a post a couple of years back. And I would like to encourage you to take advantage of my special discounted price on my fifty-page critique.

I do dozens of fifty-page critiques every year. I don’t know the exact count, but it’s what I encourage writers to start with when requesting help with their WIP (whether partially done or completed).

Why fifty and not one hundred? Why not twenty pages? Continue Reading…

How “Pantsing” May Be Harmful to Your Health

Pantsing? No, it’s not in the dictionary. But it’s a common word among novelists. Hey, we’re wordsmiths. We can make up words if we want to, right?

In novel-writing circles, there are “pantsers” and plotters. Usually there is a great divide, with the plotters astonished the pantsers can ever get a novel written and the pantsers decrying that by giving in to outlining, a writer is wholly compromising her integrity and tossing creativity out the window.

Since I’m an avid plotter, and I’ve written countless blog posts that explain why, I’m going to wiggle out further on my limb and, once more, advocate for plotting.

And, in doing so, I will pop a few bubbles. Continue Reading…

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