How to Write Reactive Scenes (with examples)

Reactive scenes focus on an issue or conundrum and how the character decides to move forward. In this video I use examples from published novels to demonstrate the structure of reactive scenes.

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Using Foreshadowing to Create Momentum in Your Novel

Foreshadowing can be a great way to pull the reader through potentially boring scenes with the promise of something exciting on the horizon. In this video I go over published novels and how they use foreshadowing to keep the reader engaged.

Novel Boot Camp

This video is part of my annual Novel Boot Camp series. You can learn more and see the schedule here.

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How to Describe Characters (without boring your readers)

Character descriptions can often feel boring or awkwardly inserted into the story. But describing both physical traits and personality traits can be done in a way that fits seamlessly into the story. In this video I use published novels to demonstrate how to make your character descriptions engaging.

Novel Boot Camp 

This video is part of my annual Novel Boot Camp series. You can learn more and see the schedule here.

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How to Enhance Scenes with Backstory

Writers are often advised to use as little backstory as possible, but sometimes nonessential backstory can actually enhance a scene. Backstory can convey the novel’s themes, clarify the character’s feelings, or give a better sense of the character’s current actions.

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youtube twitterWriters are often advised to use as little backstory as possible, but sometimes nonessential backstory can actually enhance a scene. Backstory can convey the novel’s themes, clarify the character’s feelings, or give a better sense of the character’s current actions.

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Novel Boot Camp: First Page Critique Workshop

Riverdale Public Library Logo(1)Take your first page for a test drive in this free workshop!

My hope is that the critiques will help you to avoid mistakes that get submissions deleted by agents and that cause readers to put the book down (or click away from the webpage) without buying.

Want to know what to expect from the critiques? Check out last year’s workshop.

Please read all directions before submitting:

  • Submissions open Monday (August 6) and close Friday (August 24).
  • The critiques will be posted the final week of Novel Boot Camp (August 27-31).
  • The critique will be posted publicly on this blog.
  • Your name and the title of the novel will not be included in your critique. Novels will be identified by genre only.
  • I will accept up to 500 words, but in the interest of critiquing as many writers as possible I will only critique as far as I feel is necessary to provide useful feedback (see last year’s workshop to get a sense of the format, though I might shake things up a bit).
  • My hope is that you will be able to apply the information from the first week of videos (which are all about novel openings!) prior to submitting.
  • Submissions will be critiqued in the order they are received.
  • Due to time constraints and the number of submissions, I cannot update your first page after you submit it.
  • I also (sadly!) can’t guarantee that every submission will receive a critique because I cannot predict how many writers will participate.

Thanks for understanding!

***Please include spaces between paragraphs as no other formatting will be preserved after you submit the form. Thanks!***

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