• Scene: Fast or Fast-Paced?

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    Is your scene fast or fast-paced? There's a difference, an important difference. A fast paced scene has lots of small changes happening, which keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat. Think of it as the last few minutes of a basketball game where the ball changes hands often, and the score bounces back and ...

  • Begin in the Muggle World: Opening Scenes

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    Where should your novel begin? The Harry Potter series doesn’t start with the death of Harry’s parents, because Harry wasn’t old enough to remember that. It doesn’t start with the first day in Hogwarts School because it wouldn’t bring us into Harry’s world with a strong enough sense of character and a strong sympathy for ...

  • Fight Scenes: The Waltz of Death

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    You are thinking you need a fight scene in your novel. The most important question is "Why?" Your novel and the specific situation in a particular scene must demand some sort of physical interaction between characters. But don't think that the physical is the end-all of the scene; instead, a fight scene is an opportunity ...

  • Possible Scenes: Choose the Most Dramatic

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    What is you realize that your opening scene is not working, but really, you can't think of what to do next? You're STUCK on that opening that you wrote and can't imagine what to do next. The problem is the same as always. The first draft of a story is to tell you what story you ...

  • Searching for a Scene

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    Today, I am searching for a scene. I am in the dreaded sagging middle of my WIP and know that I must keep the action very high. Every start I tried this morning included too much narrative, not enough action. In other words, I don't yet have a scene. But this unfocused writing is helping me ...