Writer’s Digest – Ask Our Authors

Welcome to another Writer’s Digest! Once a month, we ask our tribe at WWF questions about craft and bring their answers to you. Before we dive into this week’s topic, keep our words with a grain of salt. What works for one writer may not work for the next. Our hope is that you’re able to learn from our past experiences and mistakes and make your own. As we each have been working hard on our manuscripts, we thought you might be in the same boat. Here’s what our authors have to say:

Book Quotes_My Quotes 1

“The series I am writing currently is multi-POV, so often it’s just that the scene needs to be from a different POV. Or maybe I need to add another character for an extra personality to add conflict. Sometimes, I can skip the scene completely and summarize or let the reader fill in the blanks.”

Kate Avery Ellison, Author of The Frost Chronicles

“Ask myself why I don’t like it. Then figure out whether it’s possible to remove altogether or start over with new goals. Like Kate Avery Ellison said, sometimes it’s better to change to a different POV. Figure out who is the most emotionally impacted character and write with their voice.”

Belle Malory, Author of Electric Skies

“Usually if a scene isn’t working, it’s because I don’t know what I want it to do within the story. I generally don’t try to fix those broken scenes—instead, I back up and rewrite. Sometimes it means backing up farther than I first thought necessary, as it turns out the roots of a broken scene are in another scene some ways back in the story.” 

Melissa McShane, Author of The Crown of Tremontane Series

“This often depends on the type of story I’m working on. If it’s a dialogue/character heavy scene, I like to go through the dialogue. Some great advice I heard once suggests if your dialogue can’t carry a scene, you need to re-script. However, if it’s a prose-heavy scene instead, it could be you only need to shift the tone. Another rule of thumb is to look at it from a conflict point of view. What’s driving the scene? Character or setting the mood for the next point of conflict? If it’s too dull or seems to drag, you almost can’t go wrong by adding more conflict.”

Jennifer Silverwood, Author of Silver Hollow

“I like to write linearly, so I usually have to figure it out before moving forward. Sometimes all it takes is a break or a walk outside to clear my head, but other times I have to go back and re-read what I’ve written before to see where it’s gone off course. If all else fails, writing out character motivations/what you’re trying to accomplish in the scene or discussing with my crit partner.

Melissa Wright, Author of The Frey Saga

We hope you enjoyed this issue of Writer’s Digest. Feel free to share your own questions about writing and publishing in the comments below. If you have a dream, don’t give up on it. Pursue it, work it, make it happen one day at a time. Happy writing!


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