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8 Steps to a Perfect Scene

I’m sharing a guest post I wrote some months back for Jerry Jenkins (Here’s the link to the original post, if you’d like to check it out and read some of the comments). Few fiction writers consider the actual process of writing a scene, and I’ve never found anything written on this topic that breaks down the process into steps. So I hope you benefit from this!

If you’ve attempted writing a novel, you know how complex the process is. Writers have to not only come up with a great premise and engaging characters, along with high stakes, and themes, and meaningful conflict that pushes the protagonist toward his visible goal for the story, they also have to master the crafting of the scene.

Writing a perfect scene is a whole lot harder than some people think. Many writers, sitting down to work on their novel for the day, spend a moment or two thinking up some idea for a scene that will fit nicely in their story. Little regard is given to the overall purpose of that scene or in choosing setting and developments that will advance and complicate the plot in an impacting way.

While a checklist is helpful in analyzing the components and structure of a scene, it doesn’t address the process. Continue Reading…

Why Identifying Your Reading Audience Age Is Crucial

You’re writing an intense novel about vampires. You’re exploring deep themes of family loyalty and courage. You believe adult readers will love this high-action somewhat violent novel.

But your protagonist is an eight-year-old boy who is struggling to deal with his new life in this not-so-brave new world.

This is a big problem.

And it’s similar to what I see week after week as I critique novels by aspiring writers.

I get that you have a killer idea and you’ve worked hard to come up with a great, compelling plot with lots of action and twists and complications. But before you began, did you even consider who your target audience might be? Continue Reading…

5 Reasons to Consider Using an Omniscient Narrator

Today’s guest post is by Brenda Berg.

Take any writing class, and talk to any editor, and he’ll say “never write with an omniscient narrator.” I’ve never heard a good reason for that, though, and that’s why I decided to get a writing consultation with Paper Fellows. We worked on the issue, and here’s what I learned.

What is an omniscient narrator?

An omniscient narrator is one that is literally all-knowing. He (or she) knows everything that is happening in your story at any time, and that includes any information that your characters may not be aware of. He also has a good understanding of the history of your story’s world.

Why are writers told not to use the omniscient narrator? Because editors know just how easy it is to make mistakes with it. After all, you’re not all-knowing yourself, so how can your narrator be? It’s actually easier than you think if you take care when you’re writing and use tools such as Cite It In to get the facts correct. Here’s why an all-knowing narrator is so useful and how you can use one.

  1. Readers get to know multiple characters

A story is often much bigger than just the one character. Multiple characters will be making an impact on the story, making changes that affect others who may not even know them. This can be seen in the Game of Thrones books (though these books are not written with omniscient POV; they’re third-person shifting POV), in which chapters jump between different characters and show what they’re all doing. Continue Reading…