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Ch-Janet
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎02-09-2007
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Re: Questions for Leigh

I've hit a problem with my WIP. Earlier in the story the h confesses something to her friends. We need to see her do this as their reaction prompts her to risk something that forwards the plot.

In the scene I'm now writing she needs to confess the same thing to the H. Again his reaction and the resulting clash between the two of them is necessary to forward the plot.

But this means the reader is getting the same information twice. The characters react differently to it, but it's still essentially the same stuff. I've tried cutting one of the scenes but both turn out to be necessary. What can I do?
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LeighMichaels
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Leigh



Ch-Janet wrote:
I've hit a problem with my WIP. Earlier in the story the h confesses something to her friends. We need to see her do this as their reaction prompts her to risk something that forwards the plot.

In the scene I'm now writing she needs to confess the same thing to the H. Again his reaction and the resulting clash between the two of them is necessary to forward the plot.

But this means the reader is getting the same information twice. The characters react differently to it, but it's still essentially the same stuff. I've tried cutting one of the scenes but both turn out to be necessary. What can I do?




That's an excellent question, Janet. The standard wisdom, as you know, is to cut out one of 'em. If you absolutely can't, then try reducing one to bare bones. Preferably that would be the one with the friends, so that the reader gets the full explosion of what's going on at the same time the hero does.

So it might go something like this:

Heroine took a deep breath. I'm going to have to confess. Well, here goes nothing. She opened her mouth.
(scene break)
Her friends were horrified, of course. For the next hour they discussed alternatives -- Jill said she should XX, while Claire was all for YY. In the end, Heroine opted to try talking her way out of the mess (yada yada)....

The point being that you're hinting at the OH GOOD GOD moment, rather than telling it all; you're hinting at the reasons for the decision that's been made, rather than telling it all; and the reader's hanging there waiting to find out what the heroine actually said.

Give it a fling and see if it works! And let me know...

Best,
Leigh
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Ch-Janet
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎02-09-2007
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Re: Questions for Leigh

[ Edited ]
Oh, Leigh, thank you. It hadn't dawned om me that I should only hint at the first confession and leave the reader wondering. The only problem is what she tells her friends in chapter 1, reveals the big emotional flaw that she's going to spend the main part of the book overcoming --- and I feel the reader needs to know about that as early as possible.

So maybe I'm going to have to cut the second one. :smileyhappy:

I'll sleep on this and try both approaches tomorrow.

Message Edited by Ch-Janet on 05-15-200707:28 PM

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LeighMichaels
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Big emotional flaws

Ummmm -- I'm still inclined to think that hinting, but leaving the Big Emotional Flaw unspoken till later, is the better option. For one thing, once she becomes aware enough of the Big Emotional Flaw to talk about it/confess it, she's well on the way to solving it. Maybe it's better if she denies it, but the reader knows there's something wrong there somewhere.

Of course, without having read the scenes, it's hard to judge!

Good luck, and keep us posted--
Leigh
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Hollyabbie
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Staying focused

I just signed up for a writingclasses.com: Romance writing-level 1 class. But it has no information as to if this is your class.
So I guess my question is...Is it?
Holly


Out on the edge you see all kinds of things
you can't see from the center.
--Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Gotham classes



Hollyabbie wrote:
I just signed up for a writingclasses.com: Romance writing-level 1 class. But it has no information as to if this is your class.
So I guess my question is...Is it?
Holly




Yes, I teach all the Gotham romance classes. I'll be very pleased to see you there!

Leigh
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cariann92
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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POV in the book I am reading now

I am reading I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark. The main character, the heroine, uses first person for her pov. Then in the other chapters, the other characters use third person.

I thought this would be confusing, but it isn't. The book couldn't be done all in first person.

Does Higgins Clark get by with this because she is such a popular author?

An editor would reject an ms from me if I tried that, right?

Also Debbie Macomber writes with multiple POVs in one book.

Cariann - is there a question in there somewhere?
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LeighMichaels
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: POV in the book I am reading now


cariann92 wrote:
I am reading I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark. The main character, the heroine, uses first person for her pov. Then in the other chapters, the other characters use third person.

I thought this would be confusing, but it isn't. The book couldn't be done all in first person.

Does Higgins Clark get by with this because she is such a popular author?

An editor would reject an ms from me if I tried that, right?

Also Debbie Macomber writes with multiple POVs in one book.

Cariann - is there a question in there somewhere?


I think we can dissect a question from that, Cariann!

The use of first person by one character and third person by others is a fairly common technique in mainstream books, which is what Mary Higgins Clark writes. (Sometimes the publisher even sets each POV in a different font to help the reader keep them straight.) Sometimes authors use first person for all the different characters, alternating between them -- that's a little harder to follow, I think, and harder to do well.

So though Mary Higgins Clark IS a very popular author, that's not how she gets by with this approach -- it's because she and the editor agreed it's the best technique to tell the story. Some stories need to be first-person, and others simply can't be. Not long ago I picked up a single title romance by an author who typically writes first-person, and in the intro she thanked her editor for patience because after she had the book almost all written she realized it wasn't working in first person and had to be redone in third.

Debbie Macomber would also be considered a mainstream author. When she uses multiple POVs, it's becauae she's writing about a group of women who are equally important in the story, and that's the three or four POVs she uses. You don't get the POV of the bystanders, only the main characters -- and in that case, since the three/four women are equally important, it would be hard to single one out as a POV character.

An editor wouldn't automatically reject that approach -- it depends on the sort of book you're writing.

Happy writing,
Leigh
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Ch-Janet
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎02-09-2007
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Re: Big emotional flaws

[ Edited ]
"Ummmm -- I'm still inclined to think that hinting, but leaving the Big Emotional Flaw unspoken till later, is the better option. For one thing, once she becomes aware enough of the Big Emotional Flaw to talk about it/confess it, she's well on the way to solving it. Maybe it's better if she denies it, but the reader knows there's something wrong there somewhere."

The flaw is a self-esteem thing, which up until now has been supressed but not sorted out She fears she's not feminine enough to attract a man. Before the story opened she was avoiding confronting it, then something happens in the external plot that brings it into the open and she confesses to her friends that she feels this way. They tell her she's wrong but she doesn't believe them and it takes the rest of the book for her to learn to value herself just the way she is.

So although she acknowledeges the flaw she dosesn't see it as a flaw. She thinks its a truth and it's a belief she clings to for most of the book.

But, as you say, now she's aware of the belief she is well on her way to solving it!!!


Problem: I need her friends to know how she feels about herself in chapter one (so they can offer make-over help) and the readers too--so they understands her motivation.


I'll have to give this a lot of thought. :smileyhappy:

Message Edited by Ch-Janet on 05-17-200702:44 PM

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lavenderlass
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎01-02-2007
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Re: Big emotional flaws

Could you not give one of the characters the sort of personality that is quite instinctive about other people's feelings? There are quite a few of that sort of woman around, it only takes the slightest clue from the heroine to make her put 2 and 2 together and once she's worked that out the rest of the women will chime in, even if they only do so because they like the challenge of turning the ugly duckling into cinderella? I know because my mum & sister are always trying to transform me, but it never works! They're lovely though, and somehow manage to do it without offence, which I guess your other characters need to do.

Lynne.
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beccajean22
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Questions for Leigh

I have just recently stared the book club and I am very confused on how to proceed. I was wondering if you might be able to give me any advice on where to begin. Thnak you very much for you time.

Becca
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LeighMichaels
Posts: 297
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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for Beccajean22

Hi, and welcome to the book club discussion!

You'll find a useful section right at the top of the listing, on your home page, called "Start Here: How This Book Club Works". There are several posts there -- one is about the book club structure in general, and the other is a listing of the basic topics we've covered and the order in which we've tackled them. I think you'll find that list helpful as you work through the topics.

But really, you can just plunge in anywhere -- people are reading all over the board and the group is very willing to help!

Best,
Leigh
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