For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?
This is really more like an amendment to Lesson Seven, but I figured I’d call it out separately, just to make it more clear. In Lesson Seven, we discussed how important it is to make sure a character has a reason for doing what they do.
Also watch for “convenient” items popping up out of nowhere. In a recent writers group meeting we discussed this very topic… making sure that a gun doesn’t suddenly appear in the glove compartment of an eighty year old grandmother from Ohio… Silly things like that.
It is easy for a writer to place an item somewhere convenient… but remember to give that item a reason for being there.
Meagan has a candle in her room in the end of the novel. It’s very important. It’s never mentioned before, but I talk about it like it’s always been there. I caught mistake after digesting Lesson Seven. I just can’t let the candle suddenly appear like that, and act like it’s always been there.
Convenient fix by me: I needed a new chapter near the beginning of the novel, because I needed a place to SHOW that Meagan realizes that Magellan is supernatural. (This is to avoid a “telly” section later). I placed the scene in Meagan’s room, and actually used the candle as the driving force for that scene. It worked wonderfully, and I killed two problems with one chapter in a neat little
package. (And only about 550 words)
Like magically appearing characters, suddenly appearing items can be distracting, and make you lose credibility. Give important items a reason for being where they are, and keep your settings fluid throughout your novel.
- Writer’s Block? More Like Writer’s Verbal Diarrhea (susansheehey.wordpress.com)