Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Today, I’m continuing the series, Writing a Middle Grade Novel.
Description is used to enhance fictional stories. Check out the following ways:
Writing effective description can be difficult. Too little description leaves the reader wondering what happened and seeing a fuzzy mental picture of the scene. Too much description makes the reader lose interest in the plot, because it’s just simply boring. The sweet spot is to provide enough description to give the reader a visual of the people, events, setting, and objects in the story.  

Every detail should not be described. Allow the reader space to use his/her imagination.

Instead of describing the obvious details, occasionally focus on some less obvious. The girl is wearing a red straw hat, black pumps, and a blue suit. Looking closer, describe how the red hat seems faded, the back pumps look too tight, and the blue suit has stains on the sleeves. The less obvious details are what we notice and wonder about in real life so we should also focus on them in our writing.
Description slows the action. Avoid long description in the midst of an action scene since it will slow the momentum. In a fight scene, keep the pace fast with short descriptions. A left blow. An upper cut. A long description—from my left I saw the attacker swing. His fist was headed toward my left jaw—provides so much detail that it detracts from the action.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

THE NOTEBOOK  is published biannually by the Grassroots Women Project. We seek work by female or male writers, photographers & digital visual artists with rural or small town roots. We are interested in progressive thinking—past, present or visionary—that explores a spectrum of authentic experiences for women and girls in rural areas and small towns in any of the world’s cultures. Issues of THE NOTEBOOK comprise regular columns and other single-issue features, plus themed sections. We are a peer-review journal, so acceptances are selective. We encourage international submissions written in English. We are a print publication with plans to publish e-book editions in future.

ThemeFor the Fall 2014 issue (our third!), the theme focuses on SECRETS, BETRAYALS, LIES and REGRETS.  All genres of writing or digital imagery will be considered as long as some aspect of the theme is related to the experience of rural or small town women or girls, either directly or indirectly. You may define, interpret or conceptualize any or all parts of the theme  in any way you see fit.

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Submission guidelines at



  1. Good hints here. I like your example of the clothing. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Rosi. Such descriptions seem more realistic, more in tune with the way we think so it works in manuscripts.