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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

7 Ways Scenes and Sequels Will Improve Your Writing

Please welcome guest blogger Kat Duncan

You've heard of Scenes and Sequels, maybe even bought or borrowed Dwight Swain's or Jack Bickham's books on the subject. You sat down to read with good intentions, but about a third of the way through you got lost. Maybe it was the long-winded explanation, or the amount of work involved, or maybe you decided Bickham and Swain's ideas were stuffy, old-style techniques suitable for snobby literary fiction, but not for your half-magic vampires with designs on stealing the dragon-queen's faerie slave.

Well, whether you never read the books, or tried them and abandoned them to the dusty piles beside your neat stacks of RWR magazines, I'm here to tell you that you're missing out. Here are seven ways that learning about scenes and sequels can help your writing:

1. You will understand what a story really is

Hint: it's not a series of events happening to a character

Hint: it's less about beginning, middle and end and more about conflict and how to present it

2. You will learn to shift your focus to the reader

Banish "author intrusion" and "too much backstory" remarks from critiquers

Learn how to get the reader to pass judgment on your characters

3. You will get a handle on story tension

Hint: not all tensions have the same effect

Hint: subjectivity is so important that it's like creative gold

4. You will select the right goal for your character

Learn how to make goals immediate and external

Learn how to keep goals from getting lost in the plot

5. You will develop an emotional compass

Learn to cue the reader how to feel

Capture the reader's response and use it to make connections to the story

6. You will know how move the story forward

Learn how to provide interest when there's nothing going on

Learn how to keep the plot from stalling out

7. You will develop logical reasons for character's actions

Learn the psychological action sequence that works every time

How can you do all this?

Join me for a month-long workshop on Scenes and Sequels. The workshop will explain how you can understand the principles behind these deep-level fiction techniques and use them in your writing. I've put together sensible, to-the-point lessons on these important topics and created templates for you to follow as you learn the techniques.

Who am I?

I'm Kat Duncan, RWA-PRO, New England Chapter RWA member, author of seven full-length manuscripts, a novella and several short stories. I'm published in poetry and about to be published in novella length fiction.

Come join me in October and November as we take our time to work through these important and useful concepts. We will have plenty of time to write new scenes and sequels or re-write existing ones and I will provide individual feedback tailored to your goals as a writer.

Head on over to http://www.romance-ffp.com/event.cfm?EventID=165 to sign up today. The workshop runs from October 24th to November 21st. See you there!


Caroline Clemmons said...

Sounds like an awesome workshop. Good luck with it.

Kat Duncan said...

Thanks, Caroline. I'm hoping both new writers and experienced writers can benefit from learning about Scenes and Sequels....