Creating the Novel
I’m giving a 7-week novel seminar for Write on the River!
For beginners and mid-career writers wishing to pursue a publishing career. The class is limited to six students and will be held in Wenatchee, WA. Sessions consist of an hour of instruction and an hour’s critique of a student manuscript by the instructor and the other students.
The sessions will be designed to deepen students’ abilities to evaluate their writing with an eye to marketplace considerations as well as compelling fictional elements.
Some of these are useful tools.
DATES AND REQUIREMENTS
DATES: Sessions will be held every other Wednesday, February 12 through May 6.
TIME: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
- Please apply to attend. Details here.
- Membership in Write on the River.
- 18 years of age or older.
- Have at least 30 pages of a novel written and ready for critique by February 12.
Thank you to my newsletters subscribers who entered to win my latest drawing!
I am pleased to send to the following winners a paperback copy of Dystopia, my science fiction short story collection: Craig. J., Ana I. and Sanjuanita M.
Craig, Ana and Sanjuanita, your book will be on the way soon. Congratulations!
The prize for the drawing, my first short story colleciton.
And just to mention: My recently published second story collection!
Grab it while it’s under a dollar — The Seeds of Time
NOW through Sunday, October 13
Clio Finn is a time travel pilot on the run from a dystopian and graying Earth. Now she’s found a planet with what could be viable, saving biota. If she can get home from across the galaxy. With the enemies Clio’s got, that’s a very big IF. One week only, the eBook is reduced to $.99 at all e-retailers.
The Seeds of Time, a reader favorite.
Don’t let tepid scenes suck the juice from your novel.
One simple step can save you time — and perhaps your novel.
Recognize this situation? You’ve just re-read the last scene written, and now it’s time to write another. You have a sort-of-good idea for it. And maybe when you write it, it will improve “in the telling.”
On the other hand, you’re thinking, you could just explain the action in a narrative bridge. Or perhaps tuck the information bit by bit into several scenes? In other words, you’re not sure the scene is worth it.
So how can we decide whether to bring this nugget of action on stage in a scene?
“Forward the plot” is the usual scene advice. But even following that criteria it’s easy to write tepid, low-interest scenes.
Let your intuition help.
Here’s a quick way to help you judge if your idea for the scene is good enough: Give it a title. (You won’t use these titles in the manuscript, this is just a quick test for drama.)
The title doesn’t need to be catchy or meaningful to anyone else. But to you, it reflects the dramatic essence of the next story bit. Examples from my planning notebook for a recent novel:
Blood on the silver screen Read More…
Sometimes we writers (you know who you are) hit a blind spot in the novel. Not really a bout of writer’s block, but a serious question about What Comes Next.
We might nobly feel like writing but we can’t quite picture the next sequence. Even when we have confidence in the overall plot, sometimes a section is like looking across a chasm where the bridge is down.
All the light goes out of the room, and we may find ourselves sullen and resentful. This is not what we signed up for. Writing flows, it doesn’t require construction work, for crying out loud. We begin to think: My planning didn’t work, my plot is too thin. I am one of those writers whose time is, sadly, up. My novel hates me.
As we get a grip on this hissy fit, we eventually conclude that it’s time to do some deep, methodical plotting. We’re going to have to think through this sequence of the story in excruciating detail.
And truthfully, we’d rather put pins in our cheeks. Read More…