Trouble With Your Plot? Three Reasons to Kill Your Little Darlings

I’m glad Kristen isn’t talking about my real darlings… but sometimes it is just as painful. But only for a short while, until I see how it improves the manuscript.  Her post is below.  Enjoy!


As writers, we are at risk of falling in love with our own cleverness. The “cool” idea, the super amazing mind-blowing twist at the end. We get so caught up in how smart we are that we fail to see that we are our own worst enemy.

Learning about Forecasting from ‘The 5th Wave’

Author Rick Yancey

This post contains no spoilers and you probably won’t learn what the book is about either.

Genre – Young Adult Dystopian

The 5th Wave is not a lighthearted read.  If you are looking for something more uplifting, maybe check out the obituaries in your local paper and go to a random funeral.  Yes, this book is oozing despair, longing and fear; it has some humour, albeit dark.

The contrast of the tone and humor is best illustrated by the following two quotes:

First line –

‘Aliens are stupid.’

Best line –

‘And it occurs to me that there’s no real difference between us, the living and the dead; it’s just a matter of tense: past-dead and future-dead.’

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Wattpad vs FictionPress vs Figment

Writing Community Sites

If you are wondering if you should post chapters of your novel on Wattpad or FictionPress or Figment, there is a site that compares the metrics of the domains.  You can find the comparison between:

  • Wattpad versus FictionPress here; and,
  • Wattpad versus Figment here.

From the metrics, it is obvious that Wattpad gets much more traffic.  Wattpad gets over 650,000 visitors a day compared to FictionPress’s 16,000 to Figment’s 5000.

These three sites are very different from Scribophile — you can read about my very positive experience with Scribophile here.

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This Post Is All About Me… and My Plants

My posts for this blog will usually be about me… and if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that is no different than our everyday life.  But let me tell you my reasons for this.  I am no expert on writing, publishing, grammar and etcetera.  I know that you can get better info on those things from somewhere else.

In fact, because I am editing my book right now, grammar, especially commas, are the bane of my existence… well, my plants are too.  Why do they need water all the time?  Ever since I’ve gotten it into my head to complete this novel and publish, I’ve let my plants fend for themselves.  Since they can’t, most of them end up dying a slow, lingering death.

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Generosity of the Writing/Blogging Community

Most of the people I interact with through my blog or on Twitter are writers at various stages of their career.  What I have not been able to get over is how incredibly generous they are with their time, knowledge and experience.

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How Scribophile Can Help Your Manuscript

Looking for Feedback in All the Wrong Places

I have a beta reader who gives me great feedback on the overall scope, characters, plot and pacing of my manuscript.  But it is always a good idea to get as many different points of view as possible.  So I went on a hunt for more beta readers, particularly those who can give me suggestions on the technical side of writing, such as sentence structure and grammar.

On some of the sites that I checked out, the feedback consisted of ‘good book’ or ‘I liked it’.

Ummm… thanks but that’s a little vague.  Are you just here to read books for free?

I need feedback from writers that are better than me, writers that can teach me things.

Hitting the Motherlode

I found Scribophile at the end of December.  It has helped me connect with some really good writers from all over the world, who have taught me how to become a better writer.  And everyone is super welcoming!

If you are a writer and you haven’t heard of Scribophile, I need to tell you about it and you need to listen.

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Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Your Blog (And Other Lessons I’ve Learned Recently)

I have never reblogged anything but this post inspires me to keep going. I don’t have a large amount of followers but every time someone comments, my heart skips a little. And there are a few friends out there that are writing or thinking of writing… I write the blog for them as well as for me.

I know I will love reading my posts years from now.

I hope you enjoy this post by Eclectic Ellen.

On Step 4 of a Stairway to Heaven… Or Space…

What step am I on in the book writing/editing/publishing process?  Well, very close to the beginning as it turns out.

For those that are interested, my plan is listed below. (Red checkmarks indicate those items that are complete).  For those that are not, skip to the end of this page or look at the pretty picture above.

  1. Finish book
  2. Friends, who read fantasy, read book
  3. Revise book per comments of friends who read fantasy
  4. Find people who don’t know me – who hopefully read YA fantasy – to read book (aka Beta Reader and others)
  5. Revise book per comments of Beta Reader and others
  6. Read book aloud to hapless husband without either filing for divorce
  7. Revise book as per comments of hapless husband (maybe) and any errors that become obvious during reading aloud exercise
  8. Hire proofreader
  9. Create painful query letter and/or synopsis of book (For clarification: the query letters are not to be painful, just creation of query letters happen to be painful)
  10. Identify agents accepting YA fantasy novels
  11. Email painful query letter and/or synopsis to prospective agents as per their specific submission requirements
  12. Wait for rejections, and hopefully at least one request for further pages
  13. Wait some more
  14. Receive responses from agents

Please note the minimal amount of red checkmarks above.  This is a long and arduous process – maybe even more so for my husband during the ‘reading aloud’ part.

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Using Your Social Media Contacts to do Research

A few days before Christmas, I saw this tweet:

“So writing from the perspective of a woman is a lot harder than anticipated.  Any advice?  #amwriting #amwritingfantasy #writerslife”

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The Importance of Beta Readers

Beta SymbolWhat is a beta reader?

A beta reader is not an editor or a proofreader.  They are simply people who read over your novel before it is available publicly.

They provide general feedback on plot, characterization, descriptions, sentence structure, consistency, etc.  For example, they could point out a story thread that is left unfinished; dialogue that seems out of character; a blue hat suddenly becoming a red hat; and, point out awkward sentences (like this one).

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