Lesson Thirteen from a Manuscript Red Line: Keeping inside the Point Of View, Part 1

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?  You can look under “Rant Worthy Topics” in my right navigation bar.  Choose “Gold Mine Manuscript” to see all the lessons to date.


I used to slip out of my POV all the time, and now I am trying to really get my head inside the POV character so I am very aware of them and their surroundings.   I used to write partially omniscient, and I could see through walls and such.  Silly me.

This publisher noted that when you are in one character’s POV, make sure the narration does not tell something that the POV character cannot see.  For instance, if your character looks out the balcony window, thinks it’s a warm wonderful night, and then goes to bed.  Don’t Pre-tell with a three sentence closing scene of velociraptors swarming just on the other side of the trees, quarreling about who will get to eat your main character.

Great dramatic effect? Yes, and they use it in movies all the time, but the POV character can’t see it, so it’s a bit strange and out of place, right?


Now, if they heard something in the bushes, a growl, something unsettling… that would work fine. Then let them go off to nighty-night.

The same goes for a passage like “What Jessica didn’t know, was that someone was stealing her car while she put on her makeup.”  If we are in Jessica’s POV, this doesn’t quite work.  We need to wait and follow Jessica out the door to find out WITH HER that her car was stolen.

Make sense?



Second Trailer for FIRE IN THE WOODS, From David’s Point Of View

Since I seem to be on this Friday Vlog kick, I figured I’d show off another piece of “exclusive content” I created for one of the vlog appearances.  This is a teaser trailer told from David’s point of view.

And in case you have not seen the actual trailer for FIRE IN THE WOODS, here it is.  This one I am super proud of. I think it really shows off Jess’s voice, and what the book is all about. Enjoy!

Looking back at 2014. Wow, what a year for me!

It was quite a year for me writing wise. I came into 2014 having queried FIRE IN THE WOODS for quite some time, and I had pretty much decided that the dystopian I was finishing up would probably be my debut novel. I had three more publishers on my bucket list to send FIRE to, and then I was going to tuck it away for a rainy day.

Fire-in-the-Woods-Cover 3DSo the big news, or course, is signing the three book deal for FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Plus, with the help of my publisher, Month9Books, I edited and marketed and did two complete blog tours for FIRE IN THE WOODS, bringing FIRE to #6 on Amazon’s ALIENS best sellers list in the UK, and #45 on Amazon’s YA/Aliens best sellers list in the USA.

Whew! Part of me still has trouble digesting that.

But this is what I also accomplished:

  1. Finished a nearly-final draft of a dystopian (That will need to be re-edited)
  2. Started a dragon shifter novel (That I needed to set aside because I got a contract)
  3. Finished the first draft of a middle grade contemporary
  4. Finished the first draft of an adult contemporary sci-fi murder mystery
  5. Completed and submitted ASHES IN THE SKY (Book 2 of FIRE IN THE WOODS)
  6. Completed 28,000 words of the first draft of book three of FIRE IN THE WOODS
  7. Outlined two complete contemporary sci-fi YA romances
  8. Conceptualized two additional contemporary science fiction novels
  9. Conceptualized (in infancy) a YA demon novel

That’s a lot. Probably the most I’ve ever done in one year writing wise.

It’s been quite a roller coaster. Here’s to entering into 2015 with the same great luck and support I had in 2014. It was a wonderful year.

What was your greatest accomplishment of 2014?


Lesson Twelve from the Gold Mine Manuscript Red Line: How Are Your Characters Feeling Today?

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?  You can also click “Rant Worthy Topics” in my right navigation bar.  Choose “Gold Mine Manuscript” to see all the lessons to date.

PKO_0008514 SICK GUY“Magellan walked back from the library slowly, feeling exhausted from studying all day.”

Sorry, Gellan.  You’re not allowed to “feel exhausted”.  I have totally failed you as a mother author.  (Don’t you feel like their parents sometimes?)  Anyway… .

According to this publisher, Feeling, Felt, and Feel are very telling words.  They are right up there with “look” for setting off the “no-no” meter.  Instead of using these words, we should be showing our readers how our characters feel instead.  Give us actions that show us that he’s tired without telling us that he is.

Errghhh. Okay…

“Magellan dragged his feet as he walked home from the library.  He could barely keep his eyes open after studying all day.”

Okay, they are forgiven.  Point taken.  The second one is better.  The word count does suffer a little in this example, but I could probably have done better if I gave it a little more thought. (They might even consider “barely keep his eyes open” as tell. too.  I could have probably done better there, as well.)

PKO_0001507 tired pink robeAnother bad telly sentence that I would have been guilty of before seeing the Gold Mine Manuscript was something like:

“Magellan was exhausted.  He dragged his feet all the way home”
There is no reason to say “Magellan was exhausted” and SHOW that he is exhausted right afterwards.  Just delete that first part, and stick with the showing part and it will sound much better.

This tip, will definitely help make your manuscript stand out from the others.  I still have to stop myself from doing this.  For some reason, I naturally “tell” First, and then I show.  I don’t know why.  I’m starting to catch myself, but sometimes it’s tough.

Hope this one helps.

If you don’t get it, please drop me a line, and I will discuss in more depth. I think this is a really good point that a lot of people seem to be stumbling with (me included).  I saw it a lot critiquing a recent 250 word contest.  Set yourself apart by trying to avoid it.


Happy Boxing Day! A special vlog about family

Boxing day is all about family — A day to be together and be thankful for each other and what you have.

While I spend the day with my own family, I thought I’d share a special memory.

Remember, even our furry family members have family. Here is a special Christmas memory for my little girl. She got to spend Christmas with her Mom. They were thrilled to see each other. And no, they did not forget. They absolutely remembered each other, and were thrilled (as you can see) Mine is the silver pup with the pink bows in her hair.

Enjoy, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Give someone you love a hug today.

Looking for a feel-good Christmas romance? Paper Wishes by Jennifer M. Eaton is only $.99

Merry Christmas

Looking for a nice Christmas romance to snuggle up with by the fire?  My contemporary Novella Paper Wishes is just $.99 everywhere ebooks are sold.

Enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Paper Wishes FinalPart one: Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

Part two: Confronted with a choice of keeping Jack or holding on to her values, Jill makes a choice that leaves her alone on New Year’s Eve.  But the magic of Christmas is still alive, and one final wish will decide their future, one way or another.


Buy link for Amazon

Buy link for Barnes and Noble

Merry Christmas


Lesson Eleven from the Gold Mine Manuscript Red Line: Pre-Telling

Yay!__Gold_Mine_Manuscript_is_back!For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please  see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?

I’m not sure I completely agree with this from the angle  where it’s marked, but I’m mentioning it nonetheless.  In the Gold Mine Manuscript, the MC had something weird happen to  him.  It’s something that could possibly  change his life.  One chapter ends  (paraphrasing)  “He had to find the  truth.  He cleaned up the mess, closed  the doors, and formulated a plan.”

The publisher highlighted “formulated a plan” and called it  “Pre-Telling.”  They said this is  telling us what is happening without telling us what “did happen.”  They asked the author to look for instances  like this in the novel and eliminate them.  They wanted her to show them what happened instead.

Now, I read this as a decent chapter close.  It left me wondering what the MC was going  to do.  I think that was the effect that the author was going for.  In my mind,  it gives you a little push to turn the page.  However, my opinion doesn’t really count, does it?  They red-lined it.

Do with this what you like.  I’ve seen this in published work.  Frankly, I didn’t mind it, but somebody “in the know” did.  I suppose, like anything else, once we stop  using little writing crutches like these, and we see what we can do without  them we will realize what better writers we can be.  Which, I suppose is what looking at manuscript red-lines like  this is all about… even if we don’t necessarily agree.

In some cases, you need to decide what is best for you.  However, I would consider trying to write without something like this, and see if you can still get the effect you want without the Pre-Telling.  You probably can.  If you can’t, and you are unhappy,  then maybe you have a decision to make.  Just get ready for the red-line (or maybe not… like I’ve said.  Some publishers have let this go.)

Hope this helps!



Vlog – Video Blog “What is your inspiration for writing an action book?”

Fire in the Woods CoverHere’s installment six of my video interview tour for FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Fire in the Woods CoverThis is the last vlog in the series, all about inspiration. I hope you enjoyed watching!

Lesson Ten from a Manuscript Red Line: Girls Rule and Boys Drool

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?

Note: Originally posted two years ago. See note at bottom of post…

Let me start out by stating… if your novel has a female protagonist… I HATE YOU.

PKO_0013466 sadWell, not really, but I’m jealous.  You don’t have to worry about a side-kick, because your Girl-Power is already there.  UGH!  This is annoying.

My BP and I actually had this conversation months ago.  We talked about how annoying it is that publishers all seem to want strong female characters only.  Well, at the same time, they are complaining that boys don’t read.  Go figure.

Both my BP and I have male MCs (main characters).  My BP at least already had a female side kick, but they actually asked her to beef her up and make her one of the main voice characters.  She’s working now on making her a more dynamic character.  I guess this is a good thing.  I like her.  She’s a tough cookie, but do we always have to have a girl?

Now, I am a girl, and I happen to like to read books about boys.  Boys tend to be stronger, and I don’t have to worry about annoying sappy emotional crap most of the time. [Ha! Since this originally posted, I’ve written FIRE IN THE WOODS. You never know where your muse will take you! ] I’m wondering if more boys actually would read if there was a wider variety of decent novels out there that didn’t force-feed them GIRLS just so the novels would be marketable to a female audience as well.   Maybe publishers are shooting themselves in the foot by not letting girl-free novels into the shelves?  I guess we will never know.

Yeah, I have to admit that Meagan has gotten more and more page-time in my novel, but I’m trying hard not to let her take over.  I’m trying to have her be there, with her own ominous annoying girly agenda, without spoiling the overall plot line.  Meagan is a princess and is trying to find a loophole that will let her marry Magellan, a commoner.  This actually works in nicely, because it makes the villain (her brother) more and more angry and homicidal every time he sees them together.

Hopefully I don’t have to make her too much more integral than she already is.  I want to be published, but I want the story to be intact when I’m done as well.  The story is definitely about a confused boy with no memory that has to save the galaxy… It’s not a love story.

Anyway… the point of this all is that publishers are still looking for a strong female presence in works that they are supporting.  They simply don’t believe there is enough of a male market of readers out there to support a strictly male protagonist.  They said they realized that a writer should not focus on writing to the market only, but it is something that publishers must consider.


Note:  I think times have changed somewhat on this. Big houses are still looking for girl books, because that is where the bread and butter is, but the qualified smaller houses are starting to reach more for the boy crowd. I have even seen a few agents interested in finding a good boy’s book. Times change – just go with the flow.



Vlog – Video Blog “What kind of research did you do to write your book?”

Fire in the Woods CoverHere’s installment five of my video interview tour for FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Fire in the Woods CoverThis is my favorite one, because I incorporated moving images. I was also less afraid of the camera by this time. This is all about research.