Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: Martina Boone

I'm about to spill one of my worst kept writing secrets, by which I mean that I'm going to talk about why I include a lot of the kinds of scenes that  legendary agent and author Donald Maass, whose many books about writing I usually agree with in their entirety, says to leave out of a novel. What kind of scenes are those? The ones that take place in kitchens, living rooms, and cars driving back and forth. Let's call them the everyday scenes.

Now it's true that these scenes are the ones that usually are left out of successful novels--especially young adult novels. Why? Because they tend to be low-tension scenes. Scenes where people are sitting around talking and not much is happening.

But low action doesn't have to mean low tension. Novels aren't necessarily about action; they're about conflict. And conflict can occur anywhere. That's what a lot of writers overlook, and it can result in low-tension (aka boring) action scenes as well as scenes that end up being just two characters talking.

There are many valid reasons to have those everyday scenes, though. Which means it's a good thing there are easy ways to beef them up so they engage instead of disengage your reader.

Opportunities for conflict come from the past and the future as well as the present.

Everyday scenes tend to be about family, something which is absent in a lot of young adult novels today, and even in many popular novels. Family is important to me, though, and the Heirs of Watson Island series is an exploration of what it means to be a family, not just in the nuclear sense but in the sense of being connected to a place and a group of people and the larger family of humanity. Because the magical gifts and the curse have created problems for three hundred years in each of the families involved, there are multiple generations in the series, each with their own secrets, mysteries, and conflicts. The house in which those characters were raised is also a main character in the novel, and so many scenes take place in the rooms where families live, including kitchens and living rooms. These places are the heart of families, and they can add heart to a book.

The key to making everyday scenes, or really any scenes, interesting is to use the past and the future, as well as the present, to make sure the scenes contain enough dramatic tension.

There are five quick ways to add tension to a scene:

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To read the rest of this post, click here:


If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  • BookBub Partners Blog | Book Marketing & Publishing Tips – Book Marketing & Publishing Tips: How to Discount Your Book for Readers in Canada
  • Fiction University: Creating Our Author Business Plan: Book by Book Marketing
  • 5 tips for introverted writers | Men with Pens
  • Five Tips for Making Any Scene in Your Novel More Tense and Interesting and a CITY OF HEAVENLY FIRE Giveaway
  • The Millions: Kill Your Darlings: Five Writers on the Cutting Room Floor
  • Research Mode vs. Writing Mode
  • What’s Your Author Self-Esteem? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
  • How to Write Your Characters’ Thoughts: Third-Person Limited POV | Cheryl Reif Writes
  • How To Build Your Own Self-Hosted Author Website In Under 30 Minutes | The Creative Penn
  • 5 Tips for Turning Word Docs into Blog Posts Fast — Bound and Determined
  • Essential Guide to Video Marketing: A Resource for Marketers Social Media Examiner
  • Building a Strong Legacy - Books & Such Literary Management
  • How to Write a Bio That Will Turbocharge Your Guest Posts | Write to Done
  • New Story Ideas Distracting You From Your Book? Find Out What You Should Do - Helping Writers Become Authors
  • First Line Mania | The Passive Voice | A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing
  • Flog a Pro: would you turn this bestselling author’s first page?
  • Want More Attention for Your Book? Here’s How! - Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
  • Marketing and Publishing Updates - Elizabeth Spann Craig
Happy writing and running, Kathy

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