Set the Scene

Make sure you start the scene on the run – meaning in the heat of the action. Most times, in your first draft, you will meander into a scene. Make sure to keep the reader on the edge of their seat at the end of the chapter as well as the beginning! Though you are […]

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Specific Verbs

When editing, look at your specific or action verbs to spice up your manuscript. Don’t have a character walk into a room, have them stroll or rush–that allows the reader to feel what the character is doing. Deanna Carlyle has a wonderful list that might either help you with a fresh and active verb or […]

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ACFW conference – craft classes

I attended Scene Therapy by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck for my continuing education class at the 2010 ACFW conference. Tension is what drives a novel. And they showed the participants how to create tension in each and every scene. I’m not going through every thing that was taught in the class, but I […]

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ACFW Volunteering

The 2010 ACFW conference was superb. I missed each of you who stayed home for whatever reason, and pray that you’ll be able to attend in 2011.My two favorite parts of the conference this year were volunteering, so I figured I’d write a blog post about the experiences! The first volunteer activity I performed was […]

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Connecting with new friends at the ACFW conference

Writing is a lonely business. Anyone out there who writes for a living knows that. These days, at least we have electronic friends. And with conferences, we get to meet those electronic friends. Before SCRIBES (the large group critique format) there were small ACFW critique groups. I was invited to join one about a year […]

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Show Don’t Tell

The concept of show don’t tell is huge, so this is a tiny piece of it. A great craft book that includes a section on show don’t tell is Jeff Gerke‘s The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction. The entire book is an awesome craft book, but his section on showing is very helpful. I’ll […]

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Tighten your Prose

Before you call your work complete, here is a short list to consider for your work to be tighter. Make sure your nouns and verbs are strong Can you take the “s” off the word? In a list, make the words go from short to long (words or phrases) “the <noun> of” = can you […]

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What to bring to the ACFW conference

For starters, you are going to the conference, right? I went to my first ACFW conference in 2009, but had been to two other writer’s conferences before that, so I had an inkling of what to expect. Multiply that times ten and you have the wonderful experience I call my first ACFW conference. Shall we […]

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Plotting a new novel on a foam board

So you’ve brainstormed your novel and are ready to plot it – congratulations! Make sure that you’ve read many books in your genre, books that would compare with yours when you are ready to write your proposal. When you read these books, pay attention to how many points of view (POV) there are in those […]

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How many storylines in a full-length novel?

Now that you’ve chosen which POV (Point of View) to use for your novel, you need to plot out what will happen during the course of your novel. Karen Wiesner’s First Draft in 30 days discusses how many storylines to have in a full length novel. She recommends  5 to 9. It’s a great book […]

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