Thursday, June 28, 2012

This Week in Favs

Playing on the Zune: Survival by Muse <—The official song of the 2012 Summer Olympics

It’s a special post this week ‘cause we’ve got not 5, not 10, but 22 craft links this week!!! :0)

Social Media and Author Websites

One Reason Your Posts Aren’t Getting Any Comments by Stanford Smithat on Pushing Social

Five Common Mistakes that Bloggers Make – and How to Fix Them on Write to Done
Online Presence – Is It Necessary? by Lynn Price on The Behler Blog

On the Craft

Choosing Your Point of View, guest post by Janice Hardy on Writing from Dark Places

Using Dialogue Tags and Punctuation Properly by Carolyn Kaufman on
Tips for Fledgling Writers, guest post by Becca Puglisi on The Thinker
All in the Details by Stina Lindenblatt on Seeing Creative
I Have a Message for Ms. Reader: Are You Telegraphing Your Plot? on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy
Helpful Books for the Writing Process by Michelle Ule on Books & Such Literary Agency blog
3 Tips for Writing Heavy Emotional Scenes by Jami Gold
Don’t Cheat the Reader by Sally Apokedak on Novel Rocket
How to Infuse Your Writing with Nostalgia by Frank Angelone on Copyblogger
The Secrets Behind Buried Dialogue: Part One and Part Two by Lynette Labelle
Crafting Multi-Layered Characters by Marissa Graff on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing
Writing Futuristic Fiction in (What Feels Like) a Science Fiction World by Imogen Howson on Pub(lishing) Crawl
How to Spot Mary Sue in Your Writing by Ava Jae
Taking the Road Less Taken (With Your Characters), guest post by Kristen Callihan on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy
The Ending Debate: Make Mine Hopeful by Marcy Kennedy
Unusual Inspiration: Character Arcs Made Easy by Fae Rowen on The Writers In the Storm Blog
25 Things You Should Know About Writing Sex by Chuck Wendig
Writing Craft: Action vs. Active Openings to Grab Attention by Kristin Nelson
Writing Craft: Mechanics vs. Spark by Kristin Nelson on Pub Rants
Writing Craft: Breaking the Rule: Show Don’t Tell by Kristin Nelson on Pub Rants
Give Characters Interesting Anecdotes by Mooderino on Moody Writing

Writerly Inspiration

16 Tips on How to Survive and Thrive as a Writer by C.S. Lakin on Live Write Thrive
No One Best Way, guest post by Jason Ridler on Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White <—This one knocked my fuzzy-cozy-socks off! A MUST READ!

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Writers: Start Acting Like Professionals by Ava Jae
You Are Your Own Gatekeeper by Kathryn Lilley on The Kill Zone
How to Tackle Critique Notes by Carleen Brice on Writer Unboxed
The Blurb: Writing a Creative Blurb for your Back Cover by Stephannie Beman on Self-Published Author’s Lounge

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog: 

*Bonus* A new Simon’s Cat cartoon: ‘Tongue Tied’

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to Create a (Semi) Original Vampyre

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As much as I hate to admit it, Vampyres are everywhere. Literally.
I remember a time where the only Vampyres on TV were those being slayed by a kick-ass female named Buffy Summers. And the most wicked Vampyre films available were the original Dracula, The Interview With the Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Lost Boys. And the Vampyre-type books? Other than Anne Rice’s Vampyre novels, which I had to sneak and hide from my mom in order to read, I couldn’t name any others I ventured into twenty years ago (books didn’t happen bit time for me until high school).
If you grew up with my generation (X, to be exact), then you most definitely came into maturity around Buffy, Angel & Spike, Lestat & Louis, the ladies of Charmed and The Craft, etc., etc., etc.. This means you may have a unique interest in these supernatural beings. You ate it up, piece by exciting piece, wrote stories/fan fiction, bought and devoured as many books within the genre as possible, and discussed last night’s episode of Buffy first thing the following morning at school/work.
Flash forward about 15-20 years later and we’ve arrived at a time where the markets – publishing, television, cinema – are so bombarded with Vampyres you begin to wonder if you can even sell a story about the very creatures you’re so passionate about. The ones you grew up with. The ones you can’t imagine not having in any of your WIP’s.
I’m here to say… YOU CAN!
I’ve listed a few guidelines that’ll help ensure you’re offering something fresh and unique to not only the world of publishing, but the readership of the Urban Fantasy & Paranormal genres.


First and foremost you want to research these creatures – and go as far as you can without your eyeballs falling out.
  • Let’s begin with the obvious:
    • Google Vampyre/Vampire and begin there. 
    • Check out Wikipedia – they have a list of every known fictional Vampyre from literature, cinema/television, and comic books/manga.
    • Research mythology – Greek, Roman, etc. – you never know when that knowledge might come in handy.
  • Speak with other readers and/or authors of your genre.
    • Ask what Vampyric attributes/qualities they’ve come across through their reading.
      • Ex: Recently I spoke on the phone with someone I haven’t talked to or seen in almost 15 years. She’s a writer as well, but she’s a voracious reader first and foremost. We began comparing the different types of Vampyric origin stories we’ve come across. Also their limitations.
    • Inquire with them about your idea for a Vampyre.
      • Most times what we think is a unique idea isn’t as unique as we thought. Let’s face it, there’s never enough time to read every single book with Vampyres in it, so reaching out to fellow readers/authors is extremely important.


Make it Fresh

Take all that wholesome paranormal knowledge you’ve gained and twist it so bad it screams for mercy.
Now I don’t mean to make it as crazy as you can possibly get it. Know your limitations and keep future readers in mind.
  • Keep the basics
    • Every fictional Vampyre known to man possesses one common trait: BLOOD. If you take this away then I’m sorry to tell you I don’t think anyone will really bite into your story and stay there. And if you do take this away…the plot better shine. True Vampyre fans enjoy the blood-drinking aspect. It brings a sense of danger to our otherwise normal lives.
  • Freshen up their origins
    • Keeping the blood drinking in mind, think of where your version of this creature comes from:
    • Is there an ‘Original’ Vampyre who started it all?
    • Are they essentially a creation by an almighty being: A religious-type creature, maybe?
    • Can you add in a bit of mythology to their origin story? Hmmm…..
  • Freshen up their characteristics, weaknesses, strengths, and twist the old clichés
    • Are your Vampyres more human than monster? Or more monster than human?
    • Are they ‘mainstreamed’ or still living amongst us in the shadows?
      • True Blood vs. Interview With the Vampire
    • Can they drink blood from just anyone, or does it have to be from one of their own kind?
      • J.R. Ward’s Vamps can only drink the blood from their kind – and not just anyone. It has to be from the opposite sex for them to be at their strongest
    • Are their weaknesses the same as the traditional Vampyre?
      • Holy water, crosses, garlic, sunlight?
      • Deborah Harkness’s Vamps can walk in the sunlight. They’re so pale it’s obvious they’re not human. But in the right environment and/or time of year, nobody does (unless they’re surrounded by other creatures, then the weather, time of year, and location don't really matter, someone's gonna notice).
    • How can your Vampyre be killed?
      • Dismemberment, decapitation, silver, stakes?
    • Do your Vampyres have powers/abilities?
      • Extra strength, super speed, shape-shifting, mesmerism, teleportation, etc., etc.?
Push the boundaries here. Create a creature unique to your story, and build your world around them. Every choice you make has a tremendous affect on how their world works, thinks and acts.


What if I Prefer Traditional Vampyres?

If you prefer traditional, that’s okay. Twisting a tale-as-old-a-time such as Vampyres may not be for you. If you’re going to go this route there a few things to keep in mind:
  • The plot, characters and world-building have got to be pitch-perfect!
    • When agents say if you’re going to do Vampyres it’d better be something different, I tend to believe they don’t necessarily mean the Vampyres themselves. I tend to think they mean the story surrounding these creatures had better be stellar.
  • Even with an original and/or unique telling of a Vampyre story, it may take a while before you nab that agent/publishing contract.
    • The industry is still getting over the latest Vampyre boom. Yes, there are still a ton of readers out there who only read Vampyre novels, but with that said it does not mean openings for more are everywhere; they’re still few and far between right now.
    • Work hard, persevere, find your voice, make your writing shine, and learn how to be patient. Because the industry isn’t wide open to Vampyres at the moment doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It simply means you have to work that much harder to find an agent willing to take a chance on a Vampyre again – and not just any Vampyre…your Vampyre.
  • Continue to do your research. The traditional Vampyre has changed throughout the past century. During my research I read there are a few traditional characteristics of a Vampyre that have fallen by the wayside in the past few decades: apparently it now takes one bite to turn a human vs. the drainage and replacement of human blood with a Vampyre’s (ahem – Twilight would be one). These are great points to make in your story (similar to how Damon in The Vampire Diaries mentioned the Twilight vamps on the TV series) when you’re presenting your traditional Vampyre.
What are some other twists on the old Vampyre tale you’ve read recently? Did you enjoy that version of these creatures or do you prefer traditional? If you write Vampyres or other supernatural creatures into your stories, what are some of your tips to assist writers with create the unique? Are there any stellar examples of unique/original Vampyres you’d like to share?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Week in Favs….

So sorry for the absence this week. Been hitting it hard with the new workout routine while deep in editing mode. Stressful? Nah….it’s all a piece of cake! ;0)

Playing on the Zune: Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones

Social Media and Author Websites

 7 Reasons to Quit Balking & Start Blogging, guest post by Heather Kopp on Rachelle Gardner’s blog                         

How to Keep Your Blog Readers Coming Back for More by Stanford Smithat on Pushing Social    

Self-Promotion: An Author’s Perspective and Guide by Susan Dennard on Pub(lishing) Crawl  

Should Unpublished Novelists be Platform-Building? By Rachelle Gardner    

Checklist: 7 Things You Have to Do to Write Unforgettable Articles on Write to Done               

The Great Twitter Experiment: What Does “More Tweets” Really Get You? on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy                                                     

40 Twitter Hashtags for Writers by Simon Kewin on Daily Writing Tips       

On the Craft

3 Steps for Taking Your Writing to the Next Level by Amie Kaufman on Pub(lishing) Crawl

The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style by Rachel Scheller on Writer’s Digest

It’s Time to Declutter Your Writing by Jeff Goins               

25 Things You Should Know About Writing Fantasy by Chuck Wendig                     

“Your Structure is Off…” – What Does That Even ‘Mean’? by Larry Brooks on Storyfix    

Spice Up Your Fiction – Simple Ways to Create Page-Turning Conflict by Kristen Lamb                  

Scene Structure: How to Write Turning Points by Courtney Carpenter on Writer’s Digest

Why You Need to Stop Rewriting by Ava Jae on Writability          

On My Writerly Bookshelf by Stina Lindenblatt on Seeing Creative           

How to Improve Your Story with Specificity by K.M. Weiland     

3 Myths About Villains by Angela Ackerman on            

The Four Story Pillars by Amy Deardon on      

Writerly Inspiration

Blog Takeover: Angela Ackerman Shares the Key to Success (I Promise!) on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy               

What To Do When You Feel Like a Lousy Writer by Jody Hedlund              

Letter to a Writer Who is Losing Confidence by Roz Morris on Nail Your Novel                                    

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

What Do We “Owe” New Writers? by Jami Gold

How to Maximize eBook Royalties and Minimize Hassles by Ray Rhamey on Writer Unboxed

Understanding Revisions: What You Get and What the Editors/Agents Want by Scott Eagan

What Do Readers Want More: Quantity or Quality? By Jody Hedlund            

The 5 Stages of Editing Grief by Lynda R. Young on W.I.P. It: an Author’s Journey  

What Should be on a Writer’s Reading List? By Michelle Ule                                              

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

What I’m Looking Forward to This Summer:
Since there was no post this week on the blog, I’d like to share with you a few things I’m looking forward to this summer.  :0)

Continuation of P90X throughout the ENTIRE summer
*Finish line is scheduled for 17 September 2012

*Released on June 15th

*Releasing 3 July 2012

*Releasing 6 July 2012

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (been waiting since Feb 2011 for this one!)
*Releasing 10 July 2012

*Releasing 13 July 2012

The Expendables 2 (been waiting 6 months for this one!)
*Releasing 17 August 2012

*and a chance to finally meet and hang with my Editing Partner

*Releases 25 September 2012 (technically not summer time, but looking forward to it nonetheless)

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

This Week in Favs…..

Playing on the Zune: Polyamorous by Breaking Benjamin

Social Media and Author Websites

You’ve Got Questions – Do Writers Need to Blog? by Amber West

The Important of Showing Personality by Lynda R. Young

Lessons Learned Over 11 Years of Blogging, guest post by Chris Brogan on Aliventures

Investment vs. Payoff: Is Blogging Worth the Time? by Roni Loren

Coming Clean about My Twitter Success, guest post by Claude Bouchard on Live Write Thrive

On the Craft

Avoid Time Sinks: Ways to be a More Productive Writer, Part 6 on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy

Write Tip: Surprise v. Suspense, guest post by Bryan Thomas Schmidt on Mystery Writing is Murder

12 Tips to Help Overcome Writer’s Block by Zac Johnson

Deep POV: Lesson Two, guest post by Karen Witemeyer on Seriously Write

Want to Be a Better Writer? Just Write, guest post by Elana Johnson on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

5 Ways Writers Get Lazy by Jody Hedlund

World-Building: The Hooks of Magic in Your Book, guest post by Martina Boone

What Should We Look for in a Beta Reader? by Jami Gold

Using Setting as a Character: a Tip for Novelists, guest post by Marylu Tyndall on Rachelle Gardner’s blog

The REAL Secret of Best-Sellers by Kathryn Lilley on The Kill Zone

Writerly Inspiration
5 Ways to Get Out of the Comfort Zone and Become a Stronger Writer by Kristen Lamb

25 Reasons this is the Best Time to be a Storyteller by Chuck Wendig

One Virtues and Struggles of Perseverance and Discipline by Yelena Casale

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

Self-Publishing and Writerly Etiquette by Imelda Evans

The Devil’s in the Detail…At Least When it Comes to Polishing a Manuscript, guest post by Susan Sipal on Adventures in YA & Children’s Publishing

Can Writers Earn a Living Writing Just One Book a Year? by Jody Hedlund

Publishy Questions – Inquiring Minds Wanna Know… by Lynn Price on The Behler Blog

Are the Demands on the Modern Writer Growing Unbearable? by Jody Hedlund

Five Ways to Find the Right Publisher for Your Book by Cheryl Reif

Mythology in Urban Fantasy by Leo on Fantasy Faction

A Query by Design, guest post by Janice Hardy on Between the Sheets

Other Round-Ups
The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog: 

Photo Credit

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ER for Chapter/Scene Breaks

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Literally I’m referring to the TV show, ER. Metaphorically, I wanted to look at how we use what we know and hate love about our favorite TV shows to increase urgency in our readers to turn the page. *smiles*

Earlier this month, Jami Gold did an amazing post entitled Cliffhangers: Not Just for the End of the a Book. And for whatever reason, I ended up doing a big face-palm the other day. See, Jami Beta Read a few chapters for me. Which, lemme tell ya, was A-MA-ZING! But she made note that I had two chapters that weren’t ending like they should’ve. They were missing the emotional reaction warranted by the goal/emotion of the scene.

O.M.G! Duh!

So I journeyed back to her blog to that particular post and printed it out (again!). Only this time,  I’ve got it posted on my wall (‘cause there are some *cough* habits *cough* that we need to be reminded of in order to keep doing them).

Then, as fate would have it, I was editing/revising the following 75 pages of my WIP while ER was playing in the background.

And then it hit me again! O.M.G!

Why am I not using what I know and hate love about TV shows in my writing? Sure there are the highly emotional scenes, and the action scenes, the quirky and memorable characters and plots, but why is it not clicking that part of the reason why we enjoy these shows so much is because they like to torture us slowly? Because they like to drag out the plot over the course of 10-20 episodes (or in some shows, they drag out a large plot for an episode and subplots for the whole season)? Because they like to create tension in the pit of your stomach? Because they include subplots that enhance the main plot? Because the complexities of the relationships are written so gosh-darn good??

*straightens shoulders & clears throat* Sorry about that. See what I mean? Ma-jor face-palm moment. So yeah, this is another A-ha! Moment I hope some can learn from. :) 

Back to chapter/scene breaks and ER:

On the TV was an earlier episode from season 12. The episode was almost over when all of a sudden, one MC dropped a bit of a bombshell on the other (or as I like to call it, a surprise Christmas present):

Now, I don’t know about you, but I really, really, really wanted to know what Dr. Luca Kovac was going to say about this. Especially considering that he and Abby had not defined what they were to each other by that time. 

But then the episode was over! Ack!

Per Jami’s post, this could be defined as ‘Reveal a Secret.’ OR, given the history of each one of those characters, it could also be defined as ‘Emotional Journey.’

Now, even though I’ve watched every season of ER way too many times to count, I decided to put the computer away and watch the rest of the season (over the course of the next few nights). Again, we had another ending (for a commercial break) that made you really dislike the show for breaking at that moment.

In this scene, two men who are looking to escape from prison decide to fight in jail and rough each other just enough to warrant a trip to the ER. Right as they’re leaving - with a nurse in tow (who is one of their's ex's - hehe) - they’re basically caught and all hell breaks loose (putting in jeopardy every single character you knew and loved oh-so-much). Bare with me, I know it’s long, but it covers both this point and the next one:

Again, per Jami’s post, the first part (through 5:19), right before an oh-so-clever commercial break, would be defined as ‘Physical Journey.’

Then, to add even more to the tension and conflict to the season finale, the episode ends with not one, not two, but a total of five lives hanging in the balance (a pregnant Dr. Abby Lockhart and her baby, Jerry who worked at the desk, Sam, the nurse that was kidnapped, and Sam’s son, Alex, also kidnapped).

That means from 5:20 forward, a great finale by the way, would be defined as ‘Introduce a Mystery.’

Pretty neat, huh? *smiles*

So overall the lesson I wanted to share here is this:

·         Not only should we be learning from others (blog posts, craft books, workshops, etc.), but we should also be learning from our everyday activities:
o   TV shows
o   Movies
o   Real life (Ever had one of those days where a coworker left for the day and made a one sentence comment that left you hanging so bad you called them before they could even leave the parking lot?)
·         Even though we’ve read and understood thousands of craft tips and tricks, we have to do two things before they’ve really begun to sink in:
o   Add them to our ever growing ‘list of things to check for during revisions’
o   Practice, practice, practice.
§  Be specific in our practice. Write a scene (or a passage), any scene, and put into practice the particular technique you’ve learned. The only way to learn is to do.

What about you: Do you ensure your scenes end on the proper hook? If so, do you have a ‘go to’ hook that you’re totally amazing at? If not, what will you start to do to make sure you begin adding these? Any other ER fans out there? *smiles*

*Be sure to read up on the details of each of those cliffhangers on Jami's blog

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This Week in Favs…

Playing on the Zune: Nada this week…been caught up the new season of So You Think You Can Dance! :)

Social Media and Author Websites

I Bring You…A Gift – A New Era for the Digital Age Artist by Kristen Lamb <—Go read and join the WANA Tribe!

My 10 Commandments of Blogging by Tanya Dennis on Writer Interrupted with Gina Conroy

On the Craft

To Be a Good Writer, You MUST Read by Shelli Johnson

Video Games: Why Can Writers Learn from Them? by Natasha McNeely

Four-Step Writing Ritual by Adriana Ryan

Guest Author Diana Peterfruend: First Impressions on The Other Side of the Story with Janice Hardy

Writing About Painful Memories by Julie Musil

Passive vs. Active Voice – A Little Grammar for Tuesday by Scott Eagan

7 Things that Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them) by James Scott Bell on the Writer’s Digest blog

The Secret to Writing? by Chuck Wendig

Writerly Inspiration 

Finding Balance: Don’t Miss Our on Your Own Life by Shelli Johnson

Writer’s Doubt: 3 Symptoms & 4 Treatments by Shannon on Duolit

On Editing, Critiquing, Querying, Publishing and more…

The Importance of Staying Flexible in a Changing Industry by Jody Hedlund

Do Book Trailers Sell Books by Lynette Labelle

Five Steps towards Making Peace with Criticism on Write to Done

The Ultimate Guide to Pitch Writing by Jami Gold

Is Now Really the Best Time Ever for Writers? by Marcy Kennedy

How to Influence Editors in a Way that 90% of Other Writers Don’t, guest post by Jane Friend on Rachelle Gardner’s blog

Other Round-Ups

The Author Chronicles’ Top Picks Thursday

Stina Lindenblatt’s Cool Links Friday

Roni Loren’s Fill-Me-In Friday

Elizabeth S. Craig’s Twitterific (compilation of all the writing links she’s shared this week – updated on Sundays)

This week on the blog: 

 Scenes: To Kill or Not to Kill…That is the Question

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scenes: To Kill or Not to Kill…That is The Question

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Working through critique notes can be tough. Not only do we have to read through them with an open, objective mind, we also have to absorb them. Swallow them whole bit by bit then regurgitate by making the necessary changes based on both the feedback, and what our gut tells us. Describing it that way isn’t pretty, is it? Nope. And neither is realizing you might need to cut an entire scene.

Why Kill a Scene

Making the decision to kill words is never easy. Why? Because you’re engaged to those words. Making the decision to kill a scene? Now that’s even more difficult because instead of being engaged, you’re married to those words.

You've written the scene (taken it out for a date), revised/rewritten it countless times (gone steady with it), then you've made the final decision. The decision being that you’ve made it the best it can possibly be (married it).
But now you’ve got to face divorcing the scene from your WIP. You gotta kill it.

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Game. Over.
What is it about this scene that has your Beta Readers not falling over themselves for it like you were? Why aren’t they congratulating your wedded bliss?
Here’s why:
  • Missing tension and conflict
    • Tension/Conflict keeps readers turning pages
  • No new information is being revealed
    • Readers want to learn more about these characters and/or their conflicts on almost every page
  • The scene does not move the plot along
    • This is right along the same lines as no new information is being revealed. If you’re not giving the reader new information about the plot, then you should be revealing new information on how the characters are going to proceed in surviving the major and/or subplot
  • It’s a filler scene
    • You gave your characters a bit of break. Whether consciously or unconsciously, your characters are sitting back and enjoying life for a few pages. Depending on where you in your plot, giving the characters a break may not be for the best of your story at that moment in time.
  • The scene is flat out missing a goal, and unfortunately, there is no way to turn it around into having said goal
    • This sorta goes hand in hand with 'No new information is being revealed.' However, even if you are revealing new information, if the character(s) in that scene don't have a particular goal, then there's a good chance that's why it's falling flat.  


How to Save a Scene

Now that we’ve addressed some of the reasons for killing a scene, let’s address the reasons why a scene shouldn’t be killed. Or better yet, let’s address how to save a scene that may be suffering from some of those problems above.
  • Tension/Conflict
    • Break down the scene and rewrite passages/sentences throughout the entire scene to add or increase tension/conflict. Build up the urgency in that scene. Do this and you might be able to save the scene.
  • Information Sharing
    • Readjust the bones of a scene to insert new information for the reader, through either internalizations or dialogue. Or move the scene to another place in your WIP, somewhere there is new information that needs to be shared then use that scene to do so. You may have to change the setting, but the conversation and actions will essentially be the same. Do this and you might be able to save the scene.
  • Moving the Plot Along
    • Revamp the scene with a plot point. Whether you extend a plot point from a previous scene, or you begin the next plot point in this scene, season the plot throughout the scene. Do this and you might be able to save the scene.
  • Filler scenes
    • The only way to save a filler scene is to sprinkle any of the above throughout the scene. Spice it up somehow. Increase the tension/conflict, reveal something new about either the plot or a character or weave in a plot point. The characters may be getting a break in this scene, but who’s to say that even during a break they’re not thinking about the conflict they just survived, or will need to survive.
  • Missing Goal
    • Break down the character(s)'s goal in that scene. Is it to make a decision? Is it embarrass a cheating spouse at his place of work? Is it to discover the truth? Whatever their goal is, it has to be there. It has to be on the pages and obvious to the reader. 


When There’s No Such Thing as Resuscitation

Sometimes, even with revamping and rewriting a scene, saving it was just never in the cards. It’s the same concept as never being able to make a past relationship last – you weren’t meant to be. A lasting relationship was never in the cards for you and that person.
And there’s nothing you can do about that. What will be will be.
But don’t toss the scene out onto the street to fend for itself. Instead, you can do the following:
  • Cut the scene from your WIP and save it in a separate file
  • Revert back to the scene if needed in the future. Just because you can’t see how to fix it now doesn’t mean you won’t later. If possible, you might be able to break the scene apart and sprinkle some of it throughout the story. 
  • Change its title from being a ‘murdered scene’ to a ‘deleted scene,’ or an outtake
    • God willing this story is going to be published sometime in the future. And when that happens your readers are going to visit your website looking for any extras it may offer. This scene can be an added bonus for your readers. There’s nothing I enjoy more than seeing deleted scenes and outtakes on authors’ websites. It connects me to their story even more than I was before clicking the mouse.
Other resources about scene/word divorces deletions/resuscitation: 


How do you determine the death of a scene? What are some other warning signs that a scene just isn’t going to work? What other ways can a scene be saved? When you do have to cut a scene, how do you cope with the loss and what do you do with ‘the body?’
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