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Pumping Up The Sagging Middle Part 2

Besides basic rules of good writing and strategic planning found in Part 1, other techniques to pump up the middle depends on the genre and book length, here are some of them. 1.  Replace Motivation Motivation is what influences a person to create a goal. What is their want or need? What causes the character […]

How To Pump Up The Sagging Middle – Part 1

How can authors avoid a sagging middle. Recently I presented a workshop to authors in various stages of writing, and as we talked, it’s evident that no matter how many novels an author writes, the sagging middle sneaks up every once in a while. The opening can come easy to writers–begin at the point of change, […]

Uses of Introspection

Years ago, I had a Q & A blog for Writers, and when I read these a month or so ago, I found some questions that are still pertinent today. So this post will take a look at Introspection and answer this readers question: Is interior monologue direct thought or is it reflection? Is there a […]

Good Authors Make Writing Mistakes Too

Authors can get sidetracked in an attempted to add extra zing to their novels and create glaring mistakes that undermine their purpose. Here are a few of the mistakes that can be found in author’s manuscripts. Grab Readers On Page One Every author wants to hook the reader with a dynamic opening, such as beginning […]

Writing A Novel: The Seven Story Beats

A writer friend of mine drew my attention to this post from Billy Mernit, who shared the seven story beats in his book, Writing the Romantic Comedy. Mernit breaks the romance storyline into seven basic pieces, or “beats.” It’s well known that novelists structure novels like plays or movies: in three acts. In a romance, […]



Today I’d like you to welcome an award-winning novelist, Marti Perry, who writes romantic suspnese, romance sometimes in an Amish setting. She knows how to write an excellent novel and I’ve invited her to be my guest today to share her expertise with you on writing romantic suspense. Please leave your comments and let her […]

Ways To Help Readers Connect

Readers love stories that mean something to them. They may never experience the same event or problem, but they’ve had similar experiences or fears that those things might happen to them. It’s through the emotion authors bring to the characters that makes readers care. Caring creates an emotional connection. This is what you want. What […]

Hook – How many are too many?

During an online class I recently taught on plotting, one of the participants asked this question. Participant: I am working with two hooks in my beginning. Are there some guidelines about multi-hooks? They tag the two action lines running through the story — one personal, one professional. I would love some insight into it working well and […]

Grabbing Readers And Hanging On

Authors use all kinds of phrase that means the same thing. Grab the reader, hook the reader, create a page-turner, or write a keeper. Obviously all of these phrase mean an author wants to engage readers to the point that they can’t put down the book and once it’s finished, they can’t let it go. […]

Conflicts, hooks, characterization in a novel?

Another new author asked a very complex question about conflicts and hooks when the novel isn’t a suspense.. Most of you know the importance of conflicts and hooks in any kind of novel, but here was my response to her question—both an explanation and advice. Gail said:Your questions are so complex I’d have to write workshops for […]