Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writing a Scene

So how does a writer write a scene?

I know for me, I have to be inspired to sit down and write...anything! Right now I am polishing up scenes for the sequel to The Dragon Forest. The first draft was pretty easy since I had an outline, but once I went back and read through it, I realized some things were missing:

In the book, 101 Best Scenes Ever Written by Barnaby Conrad, he brings up the "5 C's".


and the "s":


Character-I found this book immensely useful in developing my scenes. Conrad forces you to take a look at your characters. Is your protagonist interesting? Is he/she a well developed character? Will the reader care about him/her?

For Peter, I wrote him as a 10 year old boy because that's how old my son was at the time I sat at the computer and wrote the book's first 10 chapters. I cared about Peter, so I wanted the reader to care about him.

Conflict-Conrad also stresses the importance of conflict. If all the characters are in agreement with one another, the story can get rather boring. I had to go back and add some conflict between my central characters in order to add another dimension to the story. I found it fun to write conflict. I have plenty in the sequel!

Choice is another element that is important. In the Harry Potter books, the protagonist has to make some tough choices. In the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbits have to make some very difficult choices...this element adds interest to your story. Put some hard choices into your story!

Change- Conrad mentions that your protagonist or even your antagonist must go through some sort of change from beginning to end. My story is a bildungsroman-type story where my protagonist is a young man who goes through a psychological and emotional change from beginning to end. The reader is privy to this change and it is up to the writer to make sure the reader is interested in what happens to your character.

Compassion- Conrad stresses the need for a character to have some sort of compassion for something in your story. Compassion is something your reader can identify with. If your main character has a lack of compassion for anything, that can be an interesting twist as well. Think No Country for Old Men! The antagonist had no compassion and that helped the reader believe the character all the more.

And finally, the "s" for Surprise. Surprise doesn't have to come at the end of a story as the final "ta da" moment. Adding surprise somewhere throughout the story can add that depth to your book you may be lacking. Causing a reader to stop and say, "Whoa! I wasn't expecting that twist!" will make your scene and your book memorable.

As for me, I am inspired by what I read or watch. Scenes from movies or books help me to develop plot twists and interesting elements to my characters. That's what I love about Conrad's book. He not only lists memorable scenes from books, but from film, and plays.

Although I have an outline for my book, I do tend to add scenes here and there if it helps the story move along or adds depth to the characters. Placing characters in harms way and then providing a way for them to escape is a great way to cause a reader to care about your characters.

Anyway, I hope you are inspired now to go and write that scene you've been putting off for days! If anything....just write something!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Christian Writers of the West

Attended my first meeting with the Christian Writers of the West club members today!! It was great to sit among fellow writers and dreamers.

Our speaker was famous author, Donis Casey. She is a local writer with Poison Pen Publishing. She writes historical mysteries! Can't wait to buy one of her books!

She gave us all encouragement and advice. Basically, what it comes down to is write what means most to you. Write what you know, and if you don't know it- find out! She also said that while a Christian is writing, the Lord does take over and makes your story what He wants it to be.

I couldn't agree more! I distinctly remember sensing the Lord taking over my story, The Dragon Forest. As I read it now, I can definitely see His hand in it.

She encouraged us not to give up, but to be aware of the publishing business and all its intricacies. It helps to hear that from an experienced author who has been through the process many times.

She also said to have a good editor. I am blessed that I have my friend, Chris, edit my work before I send it out. He is so good at picking apart a scene and giving me advice.

So, I am glad I attended the meeting today! Thank you, Lord. I hope I gave the members some encouragement too.

Looking forward to the next meeting!

Book Signing Event!!

Last night I had my first ever book signing/reading event. I was sooo nervous, but everything went well. I had a great turnout of about 30 people and a gorgeous cake to eat!

We had so much fun! I was able to read chapter 7 to the crowd and left them hanging in suspense.

Needless to say, all the books sold!

I am so grateful to my family for their support, to my friends for their encouragement, and to the Lord for His mercy and grace!

Looking forward to the next event!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

StarStyle Radio Interview

My radio interview with Cynthia Brian at StarStyle radio show went very well! She really had pleasant things to say about my book and even compared it to the Narnia books. What at treat that was!

I enjoyed how enthusiastic Cynthia was. That sort of enthusiasm is contagious, no doubt. Now my head is spinning with all these projects in the works...the sequels, making the series into picture books, the fairy book project.


Tonight I have to complete 2 scenes in the sequel. Gotta get back to writing!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Had my first interview about my book today with Grand Canyon Events!! It was so exciting to talk about how my book came to be. They will assist me in advertising the Reading/Signing event on May 20th.

Woo hoo!!

Next? The radio interview on World Talk Radio this Thursday. I will post the link when it is finished.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Ok, the radio interview with hostess, Cynthia Brian, is set for May 12th at 3:30 pst. I am a little nervous! This self-marketing is tough, so I hope this interview will start the ball rolling. I have sent out some emails to other radio shows asking for interviews. I hope something comes of it...

My book signing event is set for May 20th. I am a little scared about this too! I have never conducted a "reading" before. I have shown my artwork in different venues and NEVER felt nervous because I am very confident in my art. But my writing?? Now that's another story....

So, much prayer is called for. I want to appear relaxed and confident in my story. I know this story like the back of my hand! I have lived with it for many years. I feel as though Peter is my second son and Illiath is a place I have actually been to.

I hope my enthusiasm and love for my characters comes through!