hook, prompt, writing

Got Some Good HIP Action?

So what did you really think I was going to write about? LOL … A dancer, I am not. I like to dance to make my kids laugh, but that’s about it. I keep telling my husband someday we are going to take dance lessons, but nah…we never will. We’d laugh too much.
I’m still reading James Scott Bell’s book, Revision & Self-Editing and he talks about HIPs. Here is how he breaks it down:
HOOK: This is making your writing hard to put down. It is not just used at the beginning of your book, but all throughout it. You want to give your reader a reason to keep turning the page, so every scene needs to draw the reader into it. This can be done through the opening line, through dialogue, and setting. You want to start your scene at, or close to, the action of the scene. You also want to establish the viewpoint right up front.
INTENSITY: “The greater the trouble, the greater the intensity.” You don’t want any dull parts, whatsoever. You need to keep tension in every scene. It doesn’t have to be high end tension, but enough to keep the reader in anticipation.
PROMPT: To me this is like a hook, but only at the end of your scene and/or chapter. This is where you prompt the reader to keep on reading. Here’s a few of Bell’s ideas: a mysterious line of dialogue, an image of foreboding,a secret suddenly revealed, and a question left hanging in the air.
So have you been putting your HIPs in action? A little rusty from disuse? Or do you have some great moves?

Layering Conversations

I’ve got a question. I know, I know, another one, you say! I promise I will post on something more interesting next time.

I read something on Seekerville today and wondered what in the world it meant. The post was about the RWA conference, which was very interesting, but I had a question about something novelist Brenda Novak suggested.

Layer conversations with subtext to add richness.

Okay, so what does that mean? What does that look like? Anybody know? Can anyone give me examples?


My Firstborn

I have shared all my kids with you except my oldest, so I thought I’d tell you a bit about my firstborn on his 23rd birthday. I was 20 years old when I had him, so this poor child had to endure all my mistakes as I learned to be a parent. He was such a fun child, with lots of energy and very verbal at an early age.

He has always been a consciencious child, wanting to do the right thing and wanting to please. I can remember having a particularly bad day, and he herded his brothers and sister out of the room, saying “Mom needs a break, guys!”

He is intelligent and is a talented writer. He enjoys writing music and has written several screenplays. He is a thinker and has definite opinions about what is important to him. He stands up for what he thinks is right and doesn’t let others opinions sway him.

He married his girlfriend of 4 years this past Christmas and they are extremely happy. He has met someone that completes him and loves him dearly. She is the daughter-in-law I have prayed for and I love that she loves him so well. She works full time with the Alzheimer’s Association in Fort Worth while my son completes his degree at UTA this year.

I am so proud of this child of mine, who is becoming a man of respect and integrity. He loves the Lord and I pray he will lead his family-to-come (in the distant future…hopefully not a LONG time away!) in following Jesus passionately. God has gifted him and his new bride in so many ways and I look forward to seeing how God uses them for His kingdom.


Can I Copy You????

I’m two-thirds through my first edit of my book and am at a loss. There are soooo many things to look for! I originally thought I would go through it with a fine tooth comb, but nope. That is not what is really transpiring.

I feel like I am on a rabbit trail, first focusing on one thing (such as sentence flow and structure), then see a glaring POV problem and start focusing on that. It is one thing after the other and I KNOW I am missing so much stuff.

So, you veteran writers out there. How do you edit? Do you edit in layers, going through your draft several times, focusing on different areas? Or are you able to get down and dirty with it and bang it all out at once. Maybe there is a better way to say that…. are you able to focus on ALL facets of editing and revision without being distracted by…everything.

Is this just a matter of experience? A matter of finding what works for me?

Well, I want to know what works for you! Maybe I can be a copy-cat.

random, words

And The Yeahs Have It

I’ve been pondering the word YEAH. (ye-ah). It has been interesting to me that many people write this word in many different ways. You have the way I write it,


And then you have other varieties:


So is it a matter of geographical location? Do people in the south do it differently than people in the north?

Is there a rule for this? A chapter on it in The Manual of Style?

Does it bother you at all to have so many different ways of writing words? Does it even matter? Does anyone even care? lolol

Just needed some randomness today.


Superior Scribblers Award

Yesterday I was awarded the Superior Scribblers Award by blogger friend, Heather Sunseri. She only recently jumped into the blogging world and has written some wonderful posts on writing and the writing life. Very thought provoking and encouraging! Please check out her blog, Balance With Purpose. Thank you so much for the award, Heather!

The blog award rules are as follows (which according to rule #5 I am required to post here):

  1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

The 5 people I’m passing this award to:

  1. Erica Vetsch, On The Write Path
  2. Terri Tiffany, Terri’s Treasures
  3. Keli Gwyn, On The Path To Publication
  4. Eileen Astels, A Christian Romance Writer’s Journey
  5. Marybeth Smith, Desperately Searching For My Inner Mary Poppins

I really wish I could award everyone! I love reading everyone’s blogs, even though I cannot always comment on each and every one! All the friends I’ve made are priceless and I value each and every one!


Winds Ablowing

The sermon yesterday focused on Matthew 6 when Jesus fed the crowds and then sent the disciples across the lake while he went to the mountatin to pray. The disciples obeyed Jesus and then was up against the wind, slowing their journey across the lake until the 4th watch of the night…about 3 a.m. That had to have been some wind!

The preacher (okay, it’s hard to call my husband the preacher) related this passage to Moses. What, you say? Yes, God fed the Israelites: Jesus fed the multitudes. God told the Israelites to walk through the path he opened in the sea: Jesus told the disciples to cross the lake and meet him there.

Here is where the difference occurred. Later God told Moses he would not go with them for He was angry with them, but Moses told God unless His presence went with them, please do not send them. The disciples on the other hand went across the lake on their own. What would have happened if they insisted on staying with Jesus to pray? Or insisted Jesus go up with them? I wonder…

Those disciples got in the boat and crossed the lake. At Jesus’ command. But…the wind was against them. So much so that it took hours, and they were unsuccessful. It was 3 a.m. and they still had not reached the other side of the lake. The were distressed at seeing Jesus on the water. They were afraid.

Isn’t that just like us? We feel the call of God and go out in our own strength to do God’s work. We do not go in His presence. We do not go IN Jesus.

How many times have you stepped out after hearing God call, but came up against the wind? Are you going in His presence or are you doing things your way FOR him and not IN Him?

This is not to say that going with and in the presence of Jesus makes our way easy and free from struggle. On the contrary, we are not guaranteed a life of ease. We will always have wind come our way because of the world we live in.

But if we find ourselves getting caught up in the struggle and often feel defeated or afraid, we might look to see if we are relying on God or relying on our own strength.
I just love it when I feel like God has spoken to my heart!