Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Workshop Day 6, 7, 8

Are you ready to get serious about your writing? Your editing? You ideas and planning for your novel? Okay, lets' get down tot he nitty gritty.

I'm posting THREE workshops today because I'll not be posting workshops for the rest of the week. I'll be concentrating on


So lots to do by next Monday's Mentor check in!


Work on the turning points of your story. That's right. If your story has no surprises or twists, your may lose your readers fast. Why? Because we read to lose ourselves in another world, where the hero is placed in extraordinary circumstances. It's up to you, the writer, to decide what extraordinary is, but one thing is for sure, you better put some challenges, some conflict, some UNEXPECTED turn of events and situations for your hero to tackle.

What is a turning point?

Your hero is on the verge of getting that job promotion, and readers are following along, thinking everything is moving nicely in that direction. UNTIL the hero overhears his boss discussing the promotion with the hero's most competitive colleague.

The hero gets the job promotion he as always wanted, then suddenly learns he only has three months to live.

Your heroine agrees to marry her high school sweetheart, finally, but the readers learns the sweetheart has a secret the heroine doesn't know about.

The hero buys the house of his dreams, only to come home and find it has burned to the ground.

Take the time, now, to write down turning points in your novel. You may have one huge turning point, with smaller challenges dotted throughout, but still, write them down and then decide where you are going to place them.


Scenes and Backstory

Now for the scene cards. Have you got them written yet? If not, this needs to be you first priority. Next week, we'll be discussing how to improve your scenes (and your characters) but for now, you need to get the basic ideas for each scene.

As you write the backstory, keep in mind that not all backstory belongs in the actual story. Some backstory needs to be just for your own information. Writing backstory into the novel needs to be minimal and done creatively. So, it's important to decide which backstory cards will be in your story or simply research for you.

Be careful not to burden your opening scenes and first chapters with to much explanation. It's critical that you add in the needed information little by little in imaginative ways that will not bore the reader.

On the same note, you better make sure and let your reader know what the conflict is going to be. Remember, it's the conflict, the changes, that will propel the reader into the story and make sure he/she keeps turning the pages to find out what happens. So the conflict had better be clear from the first chapter.

Take your first pages and read through them. Highlight all the places you bring in backstory. Ask your self if it is necessary. Or is there a better way OR a better time you could include it? Highlight, make notes, and keep writing.

How's your daily word count goals coming along? Are you on track? Falling behind? Jumped way ahead? Wherever you are, just keep writing.

What about editing? How you finding lots of highlighted areas? No? Great! Keep that highlighter close by for when you do spot backstory problems or character surgery.

Next week we will be talking about filling in plot holes and character emergencies in more detail! We'll also be discussing first scenes, first chapters and sagging middles!


  1. Ahhh more excellent reminders as I make my with through my revision. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Julie! I'm glad your revisions are going so well! yay!

  2. Great tips as always. Thanks for stopping by. My pleasure on the shout out.

    1. Thank you Debra. You've been like a little ray of sunshine around here!

  3. awesome tips. I wasn't able to get any revising done today, but I'm jumping back in tomorrow and will be paying attention to how I've weaved the backstory in. Thanks!!!!

    1. Thanks Cristina! Happy revising tomorrow. Sometimes I think revising is harder work than writing:)

  4. I feel like I'm a fly in the wall in class! I love all that you are sharing! I'm taking notes~ Thanks for all you do :D @>--------

  5. Thanks, Ella. Just be ready for that quiz at the end of the week....hehe!

  6. Hey! Just dropping in to let you know I am paying attention to the workshops! Doing great so far! There's been some great tips. Thanks for all your hard work!

  7. I so agree. Not a card person, so I tend to write the back story in, then in editing phase cut it out and paste it in a separate document (although, now that I use scriberr, some of this is cut down with their notes and character cards).


I missed August's posting

Hey you beautiful guys and dolls! I missed posting in August, but I have a really good reason.... My daughter just had her third baby, a...