Tips & Tales for Literary Creatures

Posts tagged ‘writing tips’

In It to Win It

by Patti Shene

Patti 10-22-13

A few emails have come through my inbox lately announcing the opening of writers’ contests. I’ve entered some over the years and served as a judge for several.

I want to share some “in it to win it” tips from the perspective of a contest judge. What do we look for? Why do scores vary so widely between judges? What lessons are there to be learned from entering a contest? Which contest should I enter?

What do judges look for?

I can’t speak for other judges and their methods, but I will share what I expect to find when I evaluate a contest entry.

First, I give the entry a rapid read. This is where I make comments within the body of the work on blatant errors, such as obvious incorrect grammar, spelling, or word usage.

Example: King Hawthorne rained over the land of Lavindale with an iron fist.

Unless you intend for King Hawthorne to possess the power of a god who can produce rain, the word you want is reigned.

Example: “I don’t suppose you would go with me.” She said.

There should be a comma after me, not a period.

While revealing the writer’s knowledge of basic writing skills, his first read also gives me an idea of what the story is about, the writer’s voice, and her grasp of basic story elements, such as point of view and characterization.

The second read is when I evaluate content: the initial hook, the flow of the story, motivation of characters, balance of dialogue versus narrative, and use of descriptive detail. These factors weigh heavily when scoring.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when editng your work before entering it in a contest:

What have I revealed in my first line that compels the reader to want to know more about the character or situation I have introduced?

Suggestion: Create a situation that conveys a sense of urgency or a character forced to make a major decision.

Have I defined my characters in such a manner that readers can identify with them on some level?

Suggestion: This does not necessarily refer to physical description. Give the reader insight into your character’s goals, motivation, and response to his situation.

Does the story move forward without multiple references to the character’s past?

Suggestion: Stay in the moment. Do not jerk the reader out of the story with paragraphs of backstory.

Suggestion: Avoid “talking heads.”  Show your characters’ body language to reveal emotional responses to verbal interactions. Use beats verses tags to identify the speaker.

Do I make use of all five senses to enhance my scenes?

Suggestion: Don’t tell the reader your character walked out of an air conditioned building into sweltering heat. Show him squinting against the brilliance of the sun because he misplaced his sunglasses. Describe the feel of the trickle of sweat down his back in the 100+ degree temperature.

Have I used descriptive action verbs?

Suggestion: Specify your action verbs. A character who walks into a meeting late draws less attention than a character who stomps, marches, bursts, flounces, or saunters through the door.

 These are just a few of the basic elements that will make or break your story when you place it in competition with the work of other writers.

Why do scores vary so widely between judges?

One of the most enjoyable social activities I engage in is our local monthly book club. Even though we all read the same book, we come away with a different perspective on the story, the characters, and the author’s motivation for writing it.

Just like readers, every judge brings to the table their own thoughts and biases about what is good writing and what isn’t. Keep in mind that most judges do have some level of experience to back up th

eir observations about your writing. If the same issue is brought to your attention by more than one judge, recognize it as a weakness that needs to be improved upon and take steps to do so.

On the other hand, you know your story. If you disagree with one judge’s suggestion of recommended changes, seek input from other writers.

canstockphoto3969364 WRITING TROPHY     © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Norebbo

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Norebbo

What do I gain from entering a contest?

Self-esteem is #1. You did it! You consider yourself a writer and you have the confidence to put your “baby” out there in front of sometimes very critical eyes.

You will receive valuable input from people in the industry who have seen hundreds, maybe even thousands, of stories.

You must exercise the discipline required to meet a deadline.

You learn to follow directions. This may sound silly, but it prepares you for meeting submission guidelines set forth by a publishing house. Often, failure to use proper format will result in rejection, both in a contest and from an editor.

Which contests should I enter?

Almost all writing contests charge an entry fee. You can find as small or as large of a competition as you want. Writing groups in your area may offer contests. Various chapters of organizations such as RWA (Romance Writers of America) sponsor contests. ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) offers an annual contest as well as individual chapter contests. National pu

blications such as Guideposts advertise an annual writing contest.

Prizes vary from a few dollars to large amounts of cash. Sometimes, publication in the respective magazine or on a website is realized, free admission to a workshop or conference, or paid membership in a writers’ organization.

Consider the level of competition you wish to engage in. If you’ve never submitted work, you may be entering solely for the feedback you will receive. A smaller, less expensive contest would be more appropriate to meet that need.

Whatever contest you choose to enter, do so with an “In It to Win It” attitude, incorporating the above tips to polish your work until it is the best it can possibly be. Even if you don’t clinch that coveted first place spot, you come out a winner for the experience you will have gained.


Patti Shene
 has enjoyed writing since childhood. She is published in two anthologies, Love is a Verb Devotional and Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters, as well as in local publication

 She served as Executive Editor for Starsongs, a publication of Written World Communications (WWC), written for kids by kids from 2010 – 2013. She also held the position of Division Manager for YA and Children’s Imprints with WWC for several months.

 She has three novels in progress. Patti enjoys encouraging other writers by judging contests and featuring writers as guests on her three blogs, located at www.pattishene.com.

Patti is a retired RN, formerly from Long Island, who resides in a small Colorado town with her husband of thirty-six years. They have two wonderful adult children and one amazing 12- yr old granddaughter. 

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Critting It Right

by Delia Latham

(c) 2012

Delia3 - web - small

Critiques are a literary “bread of life” to some writers. Others shudder at the thought of allowing another author to rip/tear/shred at their carefully chosen words.

To each his own.

Here’s my take on the subject. A solid critique can mean the difference in having a manuscript (which may never be seen by anyone other than the writer and the editors who reject it) or a novel (which makes the journey from writer to critique partner to writer to editor…then into print and available to readers).

I’m not here to laud the value of a critique. If your mind is made up to hate them, I doubt I could change it anyway. So this article is for those of you who, like me, wouldn’t dare send a manuscript out without your critique partner—or better yet, partners—having seen it first.

I’ll talk about giving constructive criticism. Since I’m certainly not the reigning guru, you can take or toss anything I say—just as I hope you would do if I critiqued your manuscript. Because that’s the whole idea, isn’t it? Get someone else’s take on your work. She’ll watch for typos and misspellings, sentences that don’t flow well, and inconsistencies (like your hero having blue eyes in one chapter and brown in another). She’ll also make suggestions she thinks will improve your words. The thing to remember with a critique is that, just because your crit partner makes a suggestion does not mean you must use it. It’s a suggestion. Something to consider. That’s all.

(That’s the extent of what I’ll say about receiving a critique.)

Crit unto othersAll that said, critiques can hurt. I’ve been there. So, while it’s important to be honest (otherwise, what’s the point?), it’s also important to be nice. Making the writer feel unspeakably stupid should not be your goal.

And please, please…when you read something you do like, say so! It’s like salve on an open wound to get that little nugget of praise in the middle of a chapter that’s bleeding red crit marks. It can mean the difference in leaving your critique recipient sobbing in defeat or rejuvenated and raring to do another rewrite.

Seriously…isn’t that what it’s all about?

Let’s look at some examples. For the record, I’ve been given permission to share these tidbits of critiques with you. (I won’t be sharing the writers’ names or the titles of their work.) Blue text indicates my comments and/or changes.

 Not wanting Nate the men to see her amusement, Rose busied herself with Jenny Ann, handing her the baby a piece of meat to chew on. Her hero acted like a she bear protecting her cubs when it came to her and the baby. (This sentence gets a little confusing, with three “hers” referring to two different “hers.”J  See what I mean? With the suggested changes in that first sentence, maybe this will work:

 When it came to her and Jenny, Nate behaved like a protective Mama bear with cubs.

 Love the analogy, especially when referring to a supposedly big, bad he-man! lol)

 Not every criticism can be followed by a compliment, but when possible…by all means, do it! (Ever had your eyebrows or upper lip waxed? The sweet girl who does mine follows each painful rip of skin and hair with the firm pressure of her fingertips. It doesn’t replace the missing skin, but it sure helps relieve the sting. I try to always remember that a critique is much like the removal of unsightly facial hair. Each time I deliver a criticism to some author’s literary darling, I’ve ripped away ‘skin and hair’ and left her hurting. If I can find something to compliment, it eases the pain. Why wouldn’t I want to do that?)

Also, note the yellow highlights above. I use them to indicate repetition of any word (or form of the same word) in close proximity. Without my having to voice a single criticism, my critique partners know what they mean: You should probably rephrase, and avoid overuse of this word.

One more example. This one is taken from a synopsis, thus the “telling, not showing” style of writing.

(When? I’d insert that here. “Two years ago, Scott…”) Scott Lunsford experienced every firefighter’s nightmare when he answered a routine accident call involving a loved one. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get the images of his girlfriend Julie’s shattered body out of his mind. Counselors recommended time off and he decided to go someplace with happier memories. His grandmother’s turn-of-the century-house has set been vacant since she passed away almost two years earlier. (Your call. Nothing wrong with “set,” it just sounds weird to my ears today. lol) Scott thinks it’s the perfect time to start renovations on the old place. But he’s not prepared for the amount of work the house needs and even less prepared for the ghostly images of Julie that show up nightly every night!

Offering an opinion is fine, even if it isn’t necessarily a “rule” of writing. In this case, my suggestion to replace “set” with “been” is nothing more than personal taste. But that’s all right…it’s like a mini-brainstorm session. The author can take it or leave it, but it gives her something to think about.

As the one on the giving end of the critique, it’s important to remember that you’re not there to rewrite the book. Let that author keep her voice and style. Your task is to watch for several things in particular, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Typos
  • Misspellings
  • Inconsistencies
  • Incorrect grammar
  • Kinks in the flow of the storyline
  • Repetitive words
  • Weasel words
  • Timeline issues
  • Anything else that seems “iffy” or makes you backtrack/re-read.

What is most helpful to you in a critique? Or do you simply shy away from them? If so…why?

Let’s talk about it…

Elementary, My Dear Watson

Mary L Ball

by Mary L. Ball

For seasoned authors, this list will be a walk down memory lane. To a time when you stood at the door and took that first step inside writing room 101.  

Every writer has a beginning. For some, it may be early. For others, they develop the love of scribing in later years. What may seem elementary to you, may not be clear to writers who are new to the craft.

To the new writer still mastering the art, perhaps these guidelines will clarify what makes a manuscript flow into a novel.

Each character has a personality. Don’t only focus on the main heroine, but also all other individuals in your story. How would you act or think if you were them?

Use caution with narration. Let the plot unfold with the characters as much as you can. Descriptions and circumstance scenes are a must, but use them wisely, letting the story happen one page at a time.

Perfect grammar is fine, but we don’t all talk proper English. Let your characters have a normal speech, loosen up the vocabulary. Take the time frame, the education of the character and their heritage into account.

Show and tell was a school game, and it’s still a pastime in fiction writing. Be careful not to tell the reader about the characters, but let them speak for themselves. Show the reader the character’s faults, body shapes or actions, without explaining them.

Remember who, what and where. In the scene, try to make sure all questions have been answered.

These are a few simple tips that every writer desires to focus on. Sometimes, we get caught up in the plot, and often assume that because we know why the heroine is doing something, the reader will. As much as possible, step back from the page and ask yourself, “If I’m  reading, unaware of where the story is going, will I understand this paragraph?” 

Mary L. Ball

Stone of Destiny

Stone of DestinyTaylor has given up on everything but her work. After becoming the youngest CEO of Mugful’s Beverage Company, she believes life is complete–until her grandmother asks her to oversee the renovations of the family home, in addition to searching for a missing heirloom.

Her first contact with what she believes is an insignificant ring, lost for fifty years, sends her life spinning. Taylor experiences strange. Unexpected feelings surface that she doesn’t understand. Thoughts that should remain unspoken are voiced.

Taylor’s emotional journey begins, testing a heart as cold as the ring itself and forcing her to question everything she believes.

Is this a fairytale, or simply her soul reaching out for a different world–a life she can only find through faith and a divine trust in God?

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

Mary L. Ball writes Christian fiction novels blended with romance. She lives in North Carolina and weaves together stories that she hopes, will encourage people to see the wonder of love and a divine guidance that often lies dormant, waiting to be found.

When Mary’s not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, hiking and singing with her husband at church and other places.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

What the Great Indian Warrior Crazy Horse Taught Me About Writing

by James R. Callan

James R. Callan

My wife and I had visited all fifty of these United States, except North Dakota. So we made a point a few years ago to visit North Dakota. On the way home, we toured South Dakota and stopped at the monument to Crazy Horse.

canstockphoto10287335 Crazy Horse

(c) CanStockPhoto.com / Oralleff

While there, I discovered this quote by that great Indian warrior.

“You are only as strong as your enemy.”

I realized he was speaking not only to his people, but to writers. And what he was saying was this. Your protagonist is only as good as your antagonist. If you have a weak antagonist, you cannot have a strong protagonist. You hero must have a formidable opponent to be a strong character. Create a weak, poorly defined antagonist and your main character has nothing to work against. It would be like a six foot seven inch college basketball star playing one-on-one against a five foot tall twelve year-old. No suspense. No conflict. No fun. No interest.

You cannot develop much suspense, or even much conflict, if there is not a strong force trying to defeat the hero. Even if the reader believes that the protagonist will certainly win, there needs to be some doubt. There needs to be some concern over what this will cost your hero, even if he wins. What collateral damage will be done? How will the protagonist’s friends, or people he is trying to protect, be affected?

To this end, it is often a good ploy to make the antagonist stronger than the protagonist. Perhaps smarter, as well. This may be the time the antagonist wins. It is worthwhile to actually build an antagonist and a plan so that he will win. Think like you are a backer of the antagonist. And let this come across in the book.

Then, you must work to let the good guy win at the last minute. But, he cannot win by luck. You don’t want the gods to save him. So, how do you accomplish his win?

Early in the book, you put in place the flaw in the antagonist and the asset in the protagonist that will provide the means for the good guy to defeat the bad guy. You do this casually, at a time when it makes little difference, in a manner that catches little attention. But, those qualities are there. Then, three hundred pages later, those very things provide a logical and believable way for the protagonist to win.

Does this take a good bit of work and planning? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. The conclusion is logical. No one can cry foul. The tools were there, just unnoticed until the crucial time.

So, develop a strong, worthy opponent (with just one little flaw). Now, the protagonist has her work cut out for her. But in the end, she will rise to the occasion and save the day. Good hero. Good job. Good book.

Character - CallanAbout James R. Callan:

After a successful career in mathematics and computer science, receiving grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA, and being listed in Who’s Who in Computer Science and Two Thousand Notable Americans, James R. Callan turned to his first love—writing.  He wrote a monthly column for a national magazine for two years, and published four non-fiction books.  He now concentrates on his favorite genre, mysteries, with his sixth book releasing in Spring, 2014.

Website 

Blog

Amazon Author page

Twitter:   @jamesrcallan

Character: The Heartbeat of the Novel

(Oak Tree Press, 2013)

Find it on Amazon 

Come on in…to a (Christian) Writer’s Mind

canstockphoto15008548 Door to Cross

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / JeKh

Ever wondered what goes on inside a writer’s mind? Surely you have… I’ve often pondered what kind of weird, wonderful, strange, twisted, totally unbelievable place must exist inside Stephen King’s coconut!

I’m certainly not Stephen King, though I must confess to having read many of his books. (Don’t shoot me…the man’s writing technique is amazing, and so are his fictional worlds.) I’m not even close to his level of expertise, but I do sit around and think up people, places, and situations which become actual published books, so I think it’s all right to call myself a writer. Since Stevie’s mind isn’t open for discussion, we’ll have to settle for mine.

It isn’t a scary place…well, not usually, but I do have a vivid imagination, so you never know what you’ll find wandering the halls of my mental castle. Behind each door is something different. From behind one entrance, you might hear the cries of a lost, wounded, lonely child, crying for its mother. The next room could be packed with people—laughing, happy people; sad and bitter ones; men in crises of faith or integrity; women resisting the temptation of infidelity; innocent children and evil predators. Another portal might open onto a stage on which angels and demons battle for the precious soul of a human being.

One bright spot in my inner world is filled with all the love, hopes and dreams for and memories of my loved ones—family and friends. That area is private and heavily guarded against unwanted intrusion. Funny how we’re like that with folks we love, isn’t it?

So here’s the question: How does a Christian writer come to include within the pages of her books situations often non-conducive to a godly lifestyle? Sin in all its ugly forms. Addiction. All manner of temptation and possible pitfalls. In short…things one wouldn’t expect to find in the mind of a Christian.

Here’s why it works. Because the biggest, brightest, most important room in my mind—you’ll recognize it on your tour because it’s the “lived-in” space—belongs to Jesus Christ. He is the Source of all the surrounding activity, for it is He who provides fodder for the mill of my imagination. He shines onto the walls of my mind moving pictures in vivid techno-color, with instructions on how to word-paint them into the pages of my books. He draws the outline and provides the various hues and shades of color with which to fill them. He provides the details that show how my characters got themselves into the spots we find them in—undesirable, questionable, ungodly places.

And then He reveals what they need to do to escape. Funny thing is, the way out always leads to the same destination…the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Yep, right back to the Big Room. The bright room. The lived-in space in my mind where Jesus dwells.

In summation, it seems that within a Christian writer’s mind is an endlessly revolving Circle of Life. It isn’t always perfect and pretty and free of sin. It contains a few things that might make a Child of God shudder, because we know they’re doubtful, deadly or undesirable…and they lead to destruction.

But the hard, unflinching reality is that in the real world—the one where you and I live and breathe and have our being—these situations exist. Temptations abound, and people are caught in them. Addictions take root, and our neighbors and friends are imprisoned by them. These “undesirables” are, and people with souls are trapped there, seeking a means of escape.

Perhaps one of these tortured, seeking souls who would never consider darkening the door of a church house, will pick up a Christian fiction novel. And maybe she will find, within those pages, a Way of escape.

Because within that churning, twirling, twisting circle I mentioned are a generous number of spokes. Life-changing, soul-saving, hope-giving spokes—because each of them is attached to the Big Room where Jesus dwells, and where Philippians 4:8 is in full working mode: …whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I hope you enjoyed your tour, and that it helps you understand a little better what goes on inside the mind of a (Christian) writer.

Delia Latham
(c) 2011

Hook Me

iStock_000019104056XSmall Gotcha HookIf it had eyes, they’d be watching me. Reproachful. Accusing.

It’s a book, for heaven’s sake—a simple, ordinary, inanimate object without sight or voice. And yet it chides me for neglecting a duty

…back pedaling on a promise. I feel its sightless stare each time I’m within five feet of it.

Here’s the weird t
hing: I love to read. If I pick the book up and read it, it will stop taunting me. So why not just do that, and eliminate all the unpleasantness of avoiding a lifeless object?

The problem is, I did pick it up and start reading. This particular novel didn’t grab my attention from the word “go.” As much as I love to read, that much, at least, is necessary. If a writer doesn’t hook me from the beginning and pull me in so deeply that I can’t put the book down, I will put it down, and I won’t ever pick it back up.

Except…I made a promise to read and review this book. So I have to open it again, and I know it won’t be a pleasure read. “Plowing” is hard work. If I must “plow” through a book, I’ve defeated my purpose in reading, which is pleasure, escape, entertainment and relaxation. I want to lose myself in the story, preferably from the very first sentence, and not have to think about the fact that I’m reading. I want to become a part of that fictional world, and forget the real one exists, at least for the duration of that novel. If the author fails to absorb me into his or her tale that thoroughly, then I am constantly reminded of my existence outside the book, and I will return to it, leaving the fictional world on the shelf.

As writers, we have a duty to capture our readers and allow them to submerge themselves completely in our stories. Anything less, and we have failed them on some level. We held out a tempting carrot and jerked it away when they reached for it. That’s not cool.

We cater to readers, not farmers, so don’t expect them to plow through an entire book. Pull them into your story, and do it from the first paragraph—the first word, whenever possible.

This can be done through dialogue or action. It can be done through narrative, but the author must have a specific “knack” for hooking a reader to accomplish it successfully.

So let’s discuss that. What is a hook?

Look it up in a thesaurus, and you’ll find alternate words like “fasten” and “catch.” Which pretty much says it all. We need to capture a reader’s attention (catch) and hold it in place (fasten). That’s what a hook will do.

I could have started this article with something like, “I know books don’t have eyes, but this one sure seems to be watching me.” But the opening sentence I used hopefully left you wondering what would be watching me if it had eyes. And why would the looks be reproachful and accusing? It’s that curiosity that made you read on. And if you’re still reading, apparently I’ve held your attention—at least this far.

An opening word/sentence/paragraph should:

  • Capture attention
  • Arouse curiosity
  • Activate interest

Let’s use the infamous “bad” opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night” for dissection. Exactly why is this considered a horrible opening?

Think about it. What kind of response do those words invoke in you? I can only speak for myself, but for me, they elicit a big yawn and a, “So what?”

The author could have said the same thing without saying it. (Show, don’t tell.)

Ex. 1: 

No moon. No light. Stygian darkness shrouded the night, broken only by jagged streaks of lightning and angry booms of thunder.

Better? Well, somewhat. You know it was a dark and stormy night, and I didn’t just tell you that. But talking about the weather simply isn’t a great hook. It doesn’t leave the reader thinking, “Oooh, what’s going on?” She isn’t hooked into reading further.

First lines need to give at least some indication of what’s going on in the storyline at that moment—some kind of action, not the setting. Surely we could improve on the above example. Let’s try something else.

Ex. 2:

Camy screamed and fell to her knees. Her arms flew up to shield her head as a bolt of lightning crackled past her ear. A fraction of a second later, a tree burst into flame a hundred yards further down the road. Fire lit up the moonless night, and Camy shuddered. “Way too close for comfort,” she muttered, then hunched her shoulders against the driving rain and plodded on down the road.

Now we’re getting somewhere. The reader should be feeling a bit of concern for Camy, and wondering why she’s on foot in the middle of a storm.

Ex. 3:

“Ai-yi-yi! Too close for comfort!” Camy pulled the hood of her soaked jacket up over her head and peered into the momentarily Stygian darkness of a moonless night. It wouldn’t stay that way for long. Angry bolts of electricity zipped across the sky every minute or two, followed by deep, booming rolls of thunder she felt all the way through her shivering frame. Being on foot in the middle of this storm was like asking to be fried alive.

This is a personal preference, but starting with dialogue works best for me almost every time. It brings the reader immediately into some kind of action. It also introduces a human being into the storyline right away, getting an immediate edge on forming a bond between the character and the reader.

I’m sure you can come up with even better substitutes for “It was a dark and stormy night.” Try it, it’s a great writing exercise.

Better yet, let’s do it here, it’ll be fun! Give us a first line (not necessarily the one I used) that doesn’t work for you, then re-write it. (No need to mention the title or author of the work.)

I’ll be back to check on you, but first, I have some plowing to do….

Delia Latham
(c) 2011

Guest author Paula Mowery on DPOV Basics

Through my experience of writing and having books published as well as editing for my acquired authors, I have developed some basic things to look for in terms of deep point of view. POV essentially refers to the character the reader is experiencing the story through at a given time. This perspective can be deepened or honed to allow the reader to connect even more strongly with the POV character. To have the reader feel as though she/he is experiencing what the character is experiencing is what the writer wants to achieve. This is the goal of DPOV.

Here is a mental checklist I use when revising my work or someone else’s:

1.  Check for head-hopping.

The writer must remain in the same POV until indicating in some way that they will be changing (insert a wingding or start a new chapter). Please don’t make your reader dizzy by hopping from the thoughts of one character to another. When in a certain POV, write only what that character would do, say, think, observe

2.  Only write what the POV character
      can sense.

The POV character shouldn’t give a physical description of herself/himself.

For example: Her cheeks reddened.

The POV character can’t see this.

Better: Heat rushed up her neck and into her cheeks.

3.  Get rid of telling words
and just say it.

Even in a POV character’s internal thoughts, she/he wouldn’t think the words thought, felt.

For example: She thought he might be tired. He supposed she needed time to herself.

Better: He might be tired. She needed time to herself.

4.  Show in order of occurrence.

For example: She shuddered after the knock at the door and wondered at answering.

Better: A knock on the door jolted her. She shuddered. Was it safe to answer?

5.  How would the POV character
really be thinking?

Would the character use internal questions?

For example: He wondered if he should open the door.

Better: Should he open the door?

6.  Show emotion; don’t name it.

For example: She was mad.

Better: She gritted her teeth and clenched her fists.

DPOV is a skill in progress. Keep working to give the reader that close-up experience with your POV character.

Some resources that have helped me personally are The Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman and Puglisi and Rivet Your Readers With Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.

Rivet Your Reader Cover The Emotion Thesaurus Cover

About Paula Mowery:

Paula Mowery photoPAULA MOWERY is a pastor’s wife and a former homeschool Mom. She’s also a Christian writer. Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World and in an ongoing column on Christian Online Magazine. She also writes Christian fiction. Paula’s debut novella, THE BLESSING SEER came out July 6, 2012 from Pelican Book Group. The sequel, BE THE BLESSING, released Sept. 13, 2013. She is an author and acquisitions editor with Prism Book Group. Paula’s story, Forgiven, is in the anthology, BRAVE NEW CENTURY, which released Nov. 13, 2013. This book appeared on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers in Religious Historical Fiction.