Learn How To Self-Edit #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Purpose Of A Scene

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. Today is the 5th post of this new series!

This is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!

I’ll focus my entire series on self-editing. Here is what I’ve covered so far in the series:

Today’s topic is PURPOSE OF A SCENE.

The first plot element I evaluate is the purpose of the scene. The purpose of the scene must relate to the overall story. If it’s not driving the story forward, then ask yourself what is the point of including the scene in your novel.

Here are some examples of the way the purpose of a scene can drive the story forward. You can choose one of these to define your purpose or come up with your own definitions.

  • Build suspense
  • Character development
  • Character Introduction
  • Climax
  • Establish mood
  • Establish setting
  • Inciting Incident
  • Intensify Conflict
  • Move the story forward
  • Plot point 1
  • Plot point 2
  • Resolution (after climax)

HOW PURPOSE OF A SCENE HELPS WITH THE OTHER ELEMENTS

I articulate the purpose of the scene first, so I can address other elements of the scene and test if they are in line with the purpose.

Let’s say you fill out the list of objects in a scene. You can weigh the objects against the purpose of the scene and see if there is a way to use them to further the purpose. This goes for revelations, tension, conflict, weather, etc. Basically, every scene element can be tested against the scene purpose.

After you whittle down the purpose of a scene to a few words, one of three things will happen.

  1. You’ve got the purpose nailed, and you understand why this scene is included in your novel.
  2. You have a weak purpose, but there is still some value in the scene.
  3. You have no idea what the purpose is.

So you’ve got the purpose nailed. Yay! Move on to the next scene.

If the point of the scene is weak, see if you can take what is important in a scene and move it to another scene, then delete the weak scene. You can also enhance the scene to give it a stronger purpose.

If you can’t articulate the purpose of a scene, think about removing the scene.

More Self-Editing Advice

BIG-PICTURE Editing
If you’re looking for more help on self-editing download the free eBook, BIG-PICTURE Editing 15 Key Elements of Fiction To Make Your Story Work and learn how big-picture editing is all about evaluating the major components of your story. We call these components the Key Elements Of Fiction.

Our eBook shows you how to use the key elements of fiction to evaluate your story and become your own big-picture editor.

 

Interested In An Automated Approach To Big-Picture Self-Editing?

Why not try Fictionary?

A new online tool for serious fiction writers. Turn your first draft into a story reader love by becoming your own structural editor. Fictionary is the first web app to help fiction writers evaluate their own work with a focus on story, not words.

AVAILABLE FOR FREE TRIAL NOW!

With Fictionary, you can focus on plot, character, and setting. You can evaluate on a scene-by-scene basis or on the overall novel structure. Fictionary will show you the most important structural elements to work on first.

Fictionally will guide you through the rewriting process by asking you questions specific to your manuscript, enabling you to evaluate your own story.

Fictionally helps you visualize your manuscript. Forget about yellow stickies or white boards. Fictionary will draw character arcs, provide reports on scene evaluation, and show your rewriting progress.

Happy editing and thanks for reading…

Mystery Mondays: Kathleen Duhamel on CREATING MEMORABLE HEROINES

Welcome to Mystery Mondays. Today we have author Kathleen Duhamel here to talk to use about creating memorable heroines. Kathleen and I connected when Kathleen joined the group of authors published by Imajin Books. I’ve since read all her books, and love them. You might too!

So over to Kathleen…

CREATING MEMORABLE HEROINES

By Kathleen Duhamel

A few years ago, when I began writing what became my first novel, Deep Blue, I had no idea it would ever be published, much less met with positive reviews. To begin with, I worried that my characters were too old to be relatable. Until recently, conventional romance and women’s fiction seldom featured characters past their thirties. When Deep Blue begins, Claire Martin is a 58-year-old “barely not starving” artist and her love interest is 62-year-old musician, Robert Silver. Would readers be turned off by the idea of these two enjoying a healthy love/sex life?

Deep Blue is also not a conventional “romance” in the sense that not every problem in the relationship gets resolved before the last page. Life tends to get a lot more complicated when you’re attempting to balance the demands of children, grandchildren, health issues, career pressures, and aging parents, and I wanted to touch on these issues in the book. Surprisingly, the age issue I worried about turned out to be a bonus for some readers, who found the senior love story “refreshing.”

What began as one book has morphed into three, with Deep End, the third book in the trilogy, due out in fall/winter 2017. As in the first and second books, what drives the plot is Claire’s emotional journey. While love is certainly part of that journey, she also is forced to deal with several unresolved issues in her life as a new wife and unexpected stepmother.

Here are my tips on how to create a strong female character that readers will remember.

Give her a spine.

At 58, Claire is certainly older (and presumably wiser) than younger heroines, having been through a few failed relationships, an acrimonious divorce, and financial struggles. She’s also a cancer survivor, which makes her identifiable with millions of others. Although she hasn’t given up on love, she’s somewhat wary of it, especially when a famous and charming man enters the picture and wants to sweep her into his overblown lifestyle.

She insists on solving her own problems without having to be “rescued” by her man.

However, she’s also a bit of a risk taker, and after being advised by her BFF to “go for it,” she begins an improbable, long-distance relationship with Rob. The same risk-taking behavior emerges in Book 2, Deeper, when she’s forced to acknowledge her husband’s eight-year-old love child and must decide if she’s willing to continue her marriage under vastly different circumstances.

Drawing on the same inner strength that got her through cancer treatment, she is ultimately able to express her disappointment and anger to Rob, while re-affirming her commitment to him and her new step-son.

Perhaps the greatest test of her inner resolve occurs in Deep End, when a disaster forces her to confront the possibility of life without her beloved husband.

Give her a guiding principle.

Claire’s favorite quote, which also becomes her mantra, is from Goethe: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” It is the perfect summation of who she is and how she approaches her post-cancer life. Not even a life-threatening illness could take away her fun-loving spirit and her determination to live fully, the very qualities that initially attracted Rob to her.

Let her have flaws.

She’s far from perfect. Claire worries about her scarred abdomen, disfigured from cancer surgeries. She continues to obsess over Rob’s first wife, a brilliant screenwriter killed in a car accident. Doubts about her relationship and endless taunts by Baby Mama land her in legal trouble and cause her to lose a promising new client. Her loathing of the news media manages to gain her more publicity, instead of less.

Like so many of us, she tends to suppress her negative feelings until they erupt in a damaging way. Although she struggles at times, the fact that she is able to move past her struggles and re-focus on what is most important in her life makes her a well-rounded and likeable heroine, scars and all.

 WHO IS KATHLEEN DUHAMEL?

kathleen-duhamel croppedKathleen Duhamel is the author of the Deep Blue Trilogy (Deep Blue, Deeper, and Deep End) and At Home With Andre. She wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has been a writer for most of her life.. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses. A native of Texas, she has spent most of her adult life in Colorado. She lives in the Denver area with her husband, a geriatric standard poodle and a spoiled cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art, and pop culture.

Kathleen’s latest novel is coming out this fall DEEP END:

When her close-to-perfect world falls apart, can love still prevail?

After years of struggle and harsh criticism, happily married rock star wife Claire Martin has finally achieved the career success of her dreams. As the featured artist in an international traveling exhibit, she looks forward to her best year ever, while her husband, singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue, contemplates a return to touring.

Things are also looking up for Claire’s best friend, Denise Hrivnak, who’s planning her wedding to Robert’s musical partner, Art Hoffman. However, what should have been most joyful day of Denise’s life turns to tragedy when an unexpected event forces both woman to contemplate the terrifying possibility of life without the men they love.

Besieged by the paparazzi and sick with worry, Claire waits for answers in a Las Vegas hotel room, thinking over her improbable relationship with Rob and praying that love alone is strong enough to bring her husband back from the brink.

DEEPER

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 9.51.39 AMSecrets of the past seldom stay buried forever…

Now married to the love of her life, landscape artist Claire Martin’s peaceful world is rocked by an unexpected revelation that crushes her dreams of the future and causes her to question everything she thought she knew about her famous husband, legendary singer Robert Silver of the band Deep Blue.

Although Robert is now clean and sober, and embarking on a new opportunity with his musical partner Art Hoffman, the consequences of one night long ago fracture his family and threaten his marriage to the woman who loves him like no one else.

Will love survive, or will career pressures, family turmoil and the ever-present specter of the paparazzi destroy their new life together?

 

 WHERE TO FIND KATHLEEN:

http://www.kathleenduhamel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.duhamel

https://twitter.com/KathleenDuhamel

http://mybook.to/DeepBluenovel

http://mybook.to/Deepernovel

http://mybook.to/athomewithandre

 

 

 

 

Farley’s Friday: Happy 9th Birthday

Farley here,

It’s my birthday. I’m 9, and Piper will be 9 in a week!

The first day Kristina picked me up, her sister-in-law also picked up Piper. On the way home from the breeders, Piper was scared. I cuddled her until she fell asleep.

Once we were home and hanging out in the back yard, she told me a secret. Can you guess what she said?

 

We come from different homes, and we live in different homes, but we love each other. Today, we still hang out. And Kristina lets us both sleep on the couch.

Farley Piper

My birthday plan – play with Piper at the park.

And…I’m hoping for an extra cookie today.

Woof Woof

Structural Editing for Characters and Point of View – Fictionary

Top 3 Character Elements To Make The Most Of A Structural Edit. How to revise and edit a novel focussing on characters and structure.

 

Why Do People Read Fiction?

Structural Edit and CharactersOne reason people read fiction is to escape and experience the world through the thoughts and actions of the characters in the story.

We believe characters are your story. They act and react. They create emotion. They show motivation. Without any of this, you don’t have a story. That’s a tall order for your characters.

So how do you make sure you’re putting the most into your characters? You edit and rewrite until your characters are performing at their best. A little bit of organization will help you quickly complete these revisions…

Source: Structural Editing for Characters and Point of View – Fictionary

New Release: Spiral Of Hooves by Roland Clarke

Congratulations, Roland Clarke! Spiral of Hooves was released yesterday, and I’m honored to be part of the blog tour. I had the pleasure for reading an advanced copy and here is what I had to say.

A thriller set in the high-stress, competitive environment of the horse riding life. Clarke mixes the excitement of the equestrian community with murder, romance, and friendships that are not what they seem. Clarke’s prose evokes vivid imagery, and the plot keeps you guessing. A thoroughly enjoyable read. 

Now over to Roland!

The Spiral of Hooves Tour

Welcome to this hitching post on The Spiral of Hooves Blog Tour celebrating the August 7th launch of the second edition of Roland Clarke’s equestrian mystery, “Spiral of Hooves”.

SPIRAL OF HOOVES:

RolandEbookMaxIn Canada, researcher Armand Sabatier witnesses what could be the murder of groom Odette Fedon, but traumatic images from his past smother his memory, and a snowstorm buries the evidence. Harassed by nightmares but fighting through them, Armand remembers the crime a few months later. By then he is in England, where he is dragged into a plot involving international sport horse breeding.

Suspecting everyone around him, Armand is forced to brave the past that he has kept buried. But what made Armand leave France? Where did he learn to survive and fight for justice? Why is the English rider Carly Tanner treading the same path as the first victim, Odette?

Can he save Carly before he has more blood on his hands?

 

Spiral of Hooves is available from Amazon https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073W3CLDV

What is “Spiral of Hooves” in brief?

An enthralling mystery full of twists, turns, and suspense, “Spiral of Hooves” is set against the competitive equestrian world of eventing. Characters are thrown together from different countries by their ambitions, ideals and desires, and by their passion for horses. Relationships are tested and challenges surmounted as the mystery builds.

Who is Roland Clarke in brief?

He is a retired equestrian journalist, photographer, and event organiser. Sadly, Multiple Sclerosis clipped his wings, and he was unable to meet deadlines or get to equestrian events easily. Recently, his wife Juanita and he moved with their two dogs, Quetzal & Treeky to Boise, Idaho having lived in Harlech, North Wales for over two years.

THE CROSS-EXAMINATION

 How did “Spiral of Hooves” originate?

The novel arose from observations made during my years as an equestrian journalist, right back to my brief time at ‘The Field’. In my twenties, I had a rough idea for a story involving a Canadian and an English rider, but while watching a horse show in about 1998, the idea began to evolve. Although the first edition of “Spiral of Hooves” took me thirteen years to complete, I used my experience of the equestrian world to develop and refine the novel. The Second edition allowed me to address some of the questions raised by reviewers of the first release and correct some typos, I hope.

Why a Canadian? Aren’t you British?

I was born in England although my mother was Anglo-Chilean and my father was English. I spent a few years studying near Montreal, in the French part of Canada and that sowed the seeds of the novel before I even started on my equestrian career. A part of me dreamt of living in Canada, but I’ve ended up in the Idaho, USA – where the sequel to “Spiral of Hooves” will be set.

 Is the sequel written? Does it involve more eventing?

“Tortuous Terrain” has yet to progress beyond draft one, but it has some of the characters from “Spiral of Hooves” so there is some eventing. However, the mystery to be solved by the main characters this time revolves around the threats to two sisters, one an endurance or trail rider and the other a barrel racer.

How much of your books is realistic?

I set “Spiral of Hooves” in the eventing world, so elements had to be realistic. All the shows are based on real events, so where possible, I tried to give a sense of the settings, using, for instance, some fences that I knew were on the cross-country courses. Some of the actions and reactions are based on interviews with riders, veterinary surgeons, breeders, etc. I had to ensure that my colleagues in the sport would recognise elements, and then accept that the fiction was possible. “Tortuous Terrain” requires more research as the setting is less familiar.

Have you ever met the characters in “Spiral of Hooves”?

Although none of the characters resemble anyone, I have interviewed five of the characters for my website if you want to meet them at https://rolandclarke.com/spiral-of-hooves/.

Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?

Don’t let outward appearances dictate your actions.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I attempt to be an MS Warrior and keep writing. However, the toughest challenge is finding time to write when multiple sclerosis is draining my strength. Beyond that, I struggle with the editing, never quite sure how to improve my drafts. I’m better at plotting the original story.

Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?

I blog erratically at http://rolandclarke.com. Please drop by and say hello.

Please leave a comment below if you would like to be entered in the Giveaway for a signed copy of the Second Edition of “Spiral of Hooves”.

Mystery Mondays: Call For Guest Authors

Promoting Reading – Promoting Authors

Mystery Mondays began in July 2015. Authors from many genres who write with a hint of mystery have told you about their books, answered your questions about writing and shared their thoughts with you. Every Monday, you’ve been introduced to another author and maybe discovered someone you’re not familiar with.

Are you interested in guest blogging?

I am now accepting guest blog requests for the remainder of 2017 starting on August 28th (although some spots are books throughout the fall). If you’re interested contact me here.

If you’d like to participate, here’s what you need to qualify:

  • you are a published author – traditional or Indie or any other way that I don’t know about,

OR

  • you are about to publish and have a launch date within a week or so of the blog post,

AND

  • you want to promote other authors and spread success,
  • you write novels with a hint of mystery,
  • you are willing to engage in the comments section when readers comment on your post.

All I ask from you is that you follow my blog, comment on author’s posts and help share via Twitter and Facebook.  If you’re interested send me a message via my contact page.

The Requirements:

You’ll have to send me your bio, back text of your novel, author photo and book cover.

I’d like you to write something about yourself, your novel, your research, a writing tip or a publishing tip. Please keep in mind I am a family friendly blog.

I do reserve the right to edit anything I think might be inappropriate for my audience, which I will discuss with you first. I think anything under 700 words is great, but it’s your book so up to you.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you and sharing your novel with the Internet world.