Writing Tip — 38


If you are having problems rewriting, do a reverse outline for each chapter. Do all  the scenes have to do with the main plot and a couple minor plots in the book? Do all the characters move the story along or are some bogging it down? If any characters do nothing to advance the story, then it’s time to kill them off. I know, killing your creations hurt like hell, but sometimes you have no choice in the matter.. The same goes for any subplots. IF the subplot has nothing to do with the main plot, get rid of it.

Once you have skinned your book down to solid bare bones, then comes to time to rebuild. The scenes and characters you have left behind need to be solidly connected and fleshed out. Yes, it is going to take time, but now you have two things in your favor.

  1. You have already written this once. You know how the remaining characters sound and act.
  2. You have a plan to work from, based on the notes you made when you were tearing it apart.

Once you have finished the rewrite, it’s time to send it back out to your beta reader to find out if the rewriting made a difference.

Here’s something to keep in mind: all the scenes and characters you cut? Don’t toss them out. You might be able to use them for short stories. Just because you had to cut something out doesn’t mean the writing was bad, it means it didn’t fit into the plot and storyline you were going for. Those characters might have stories of their own to tell.

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Writing Quotes — Nancy Kress


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Extra Innings – Part 20

Don Massenzio's Blog

Joe seems convinced that his current timeline is not the one that he wants to live through. His non-relationship with Beth, his father’s quality of life and, finally, the control of his business by the Provenza family as a result of the merger are things he can’t tolerate. Enjoy this week’s edition of Extra Innings as he tries to repair these events. Will he succeed?

If you want to catch up on the previous installments of this serial, you can click on these links:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19

Joe waited in the chill of the early morning for Jabba…

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Keglan Lake

Keglan Lake

A warm breeze played over Trevan’s arms as he patiently waited for a bite. He enjoyed fishing in the early evening, watching the stars emerge when darkness fell. Living near Keglan Lake gives him plenty of opportunities, and to wonder about the Keglan House on the island.

As far back as he could remember, no one ever lived there and rumors abounded of people who went to the island and never seen again. From an attic window, a deep red light glowed day and night. His grandfather told him the Keglan family lived there when he was a kid, the father went mad one night and killed his wife and eight children. Body parts strewn throughout the house. When the police arrived at the house, they found Mr. Keglan sitting naked in a pool of blood in the middle of the living room, bloody ax in hand. When asked why he killed his family, he said, “The light told me to.”

Two days later the light appeared in the window The police investigated, but found nothing in the attic to explain it. When they went up there, they needed flashlights to see anything, but once outside, the light was visible. Some say it’s a window into hell, and only those with deep seated evil can enter the room and see what makes the light. Others say it’s the spirits of the murdered Keglan family, forever trapped in the house, the attic room being the highest point they can reach.

A tug on the line recalls Trevan from his thoughts of the Keglan House. Reeling in the hook, something rises from the depths. A skeletal hand lodged on the hook, a high school ring wedged on the remains of the middle finger. Shaking his head, he removes the item and tosses it into the large basket at his side. Bones halfway filled the basket, some with flesh still clinging to them, others covered in tattered pieces of clothing.

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Writing Tip — 5


When you belong to a great critique group, you can comment and make suggestions on the works of others. Pointing out the overuse of certain words or phrases, letting them know when they are Telling instead of Showing; over descriibng a person or place. When you make these comments, be courteous. Don’t slam another person’s work, since they are there for the same reason you are. The good groups have great admins who keep the trolls at bay, and make the environment welcoming. There’s nothing wrong with being a lurker at first, reading previous and new posts as they appear, but participating in the group will help you and in turn help others who post for critiques on their writing. Be polite in your responses, thank those who have commented on your work, and salute the admins who keep the group running.

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Writing Quotes — E. L. Doctorow


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Writing Quotes — Kristen Lamb


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