Plot Holes Revisited

plot-holes Does your plot have missing or broken parts? Does it jump from one idea to another without providing a bridge?

When you are writing, you know what’s happening and you may not question why Suzie is talking to Jeff about needing a job in one paragraph and working for him in the next.

I’m not saying you need every little step in order for your reader to follow what’s going on. I’m sure most people don’t want to know she woke up, took a shower, put on her favorite dress, ate some Cheerios, and brushed her teeth with Crest toothpaste before walking out the door to go to work, but if Jeff gave her a job, I think that’s pretty darn important. This is a missing plot piece.

Your readers will do a double-take and have to try to resolve the inconsistency for themselves without the knowledge of how the scene was supposed to go. All it will take is a few of these before your readers are calling you names and tossing your work to the side.

When you read through your manuscript, look for areas where something important has happened and your reader didn’t see it. Try to put yourself in their shoes and see the story through their eyes. They don’t have access to your brain and thoughts, so they can’t fill in the missing holes.

I talked about plot holes in this blog but there are also broken plots that I pointed out in last week’s Thursday Thoughts. Check it out 🙂

-Jan R

Plot Holes Revisited

Waiting For Inspiration?

imagesMEZC930WWaiting for inspiration will kill your novel. It’s also an excuse I have used many times over the years.

Some writers don’t write unless they feel inspired. They think they’re wasting their time by pushing through the mental block that is stifling their creativity. Their argument is that they are bound to make more errors and have to go back and do significant revisions so why bother.

These writers are better known as aspiring authors or unpublished.  They don’t complete their masterpiece because they are waiting for something that may never come.

Think of writing as a job. You can’t call in every other day and say I’m not working today. I just don’t feel inspired. I guess in all reality you could, but it wouldn’t go over very well and that would be the end of that job. You get the picture?

Sometimes we have to push ourselves even when we don’t feel like it. In most cases the results are positive and once we get going things just flow. Published Writers/Authors have the mindset that you work on your craft every day. They set quotas based on time or number of words.

Remember, the more you write the better you will become. Writing every day also helps you to develop a writer’s mindset. If you are concerned about ruining your story by writing without inspiration, you can always leave your story alone and work on something else until the creative juices start flowing.

I can relate to those of you who procrastinate and make excuses. Some days it is a true battle of the mind. Thank goodness for my accountability partner.

Something to think about.

-Jan R

Waiting For Inspiration?

Thursday Thoughts

headercreativeexercisesToday’s readers want less description and more action. The strongest stories start with a bang. Readers are drawn to stories where authors pose a question, establish a dilemma, or otherwise inspire curiosity right from the start, creating the turn-the-page urgency that readers crave.  Jane K. Cleland Writers Digest

Something to think about.

-Jan R

 

Thursday Thoughts

Surviving The Sting

imagesX0EBMH1NI write a lot about rejection because it’s a part of life if you’re an unpublished author seeking a literary agent or publishing contract. Many would-be authors allow a simple rejection to end their attempts at writing. Their thought – I must not be good enough. Well maybe that’s true, but odds are it is not.

Manuscripts are rejected for numerous reasons, and many have nothing to do with your work. So what are you supposed to do if you receive a rejection?

  • Admit it hurts.
  • Allow yourself time to grieve, but never take more than a week.
  • Nurture your artist. Read a good book, take a walk, eat some chocolate… TLC is a good thing, but don’t wallow in self-pity.
  • Share your news and disappointment with close friends and family who will understand and offer encouragement.
  • If you must, write a rebuttal to the editor or literary agent, but don’t send it. Tear it up and throw it in the trash. Your only response should be a thank you for their time and consideration.
  • Just because your work wasn’t right for that particular editor or agent, doesn’t mean it won’t be right for another.
  • Remember just because it isn’t ready for publication, doesn’t mean you can’t make it publishable.

A writer not being able to deal with rejection, is like a doctor not being able to deal with death. It’s going to happen, and like successful authors, you will have to learn to live with it.

-Jan R

Surviving The Sting

I Thought I knew A Lot – Until I Learned A Little

images1MS72HRNEnough already! At least that’s how I feel sometimes. I’ve been through my book more times than I can count. In my own defense, no one taught me how to write. I had a great story idea and decided to give it a whirl.

I thought it was ready, and then real life happened.  My wonderful work was rejected by the five agents I sent it to. One of them must have seen something promising, she took it upon herself to provide me feedback about what I was doing wrong (there was a long list), and what I needed to do to improve my work.

I was totally humiliated. Grammatical and Structural errors are kindergarten stuff and completely unacceptable.  My issues with head-hopping and on-the-nose-writing were another story. Those terms were totally foreign to me.  I wasn’t a professional novelist. I thought all you had to do was put words on paper and create a wonderful story that everyone wanted to read. How was I to know there were rules?

And what was the deal with dragging dialogue? My people were talking. How was I suppose to know dialogue moved the story forward or had to have some significance?  I couldn’t believe I sent an agent such inferior work!

When you’re a newbie, you don’t know how bad your work is, because you lack the knowledge and skills necessary to produce publishable work. While there may be a few prodigies out there, chances are, you aren’t one of them. Sorry!
Like myself and many others, you’re going to have to pay your dues and learn the craft. Then you will be ready to write that New York Times bestseller.

One of my favorite sayings is, you don’t know what you don’t know. I’m not sure where I picked that up from, but it’s true. I wasn’t intentionally sending out bad work. I just didn’t know.

-Jan R

I Thought I knew A Lot – Until I Learned A Little