Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Call for Submissions

Readers enjoy fiction because they are emotionally involved with the character and plot of the story. If the reader’s emotional experience is powerful, the writer has succeeded. If not, it’s time to relook the scenes. 

The fundamental unit of fiction is the scene. A novel is basically a series of scenes strung together like beads on a necklace. The scenes form a beginning, middle, and ending with the character trying to reach a goal. Each scene needs conflict and change. 

In writing each scene, keep the following in mind: 

Is this scene carrying the plot forward?   

Quickly get the character involved in the action. This is the stimulus, the something that happens to the character. The something should cause conflict. (No conflict, no story.) The conflict should result in some kind of problem or disaster when the character fails to meet the goal.  

Hook the reader with surprising action. A lost dog or an embarrassing experience or a big disappointment or worse trouble. If the reader can guess the character’s every action and reaction, the story will seem trite and dull. 

Next week, I’ll continue to discuss scene development. 

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
BOP readers, it's a dream come true! It's time for you to be a BOP reporter! Tell us your stories and one might be printed in a future issue! We can't wait to hear from you!
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking new essays for an upcoming issue dedicated to WAITING. We want your well-crafted true stories of delays, postponements, and pauses that explore and examine our relationship with time. Whether you're waiting patiently or not, on tables or for Godot, however you approach the subject, we can't wait to read your work. 
Submissions must be 4,000 words or fewer. $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up. 
Deadline: September 22.

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