Saturday, November 15, 2014

Smooth Scene Breaks

Enjoy my post on American Christian Fiction Writers website!

Smooth Scene Breaks

by Lynn Hobbs
Descriptions of a scene and section break are simple. A section break can be another characters point of view or closure of a particular scene. A scene break within the same scene will show days or hours later in the story; or the character’s advance to a new location.
A challenge to include them in a flowing manner is not only worth the effort, but a must for any writer. Reaching such goals can be a learning experience.
Often, as a new writer who doesn’t plot, it’s easy to enter a scene break without realizing the end result. The author knows how he or she wants the story to proceed, but can get in a hurry. If readers feel you ‘jumped around’ too much, they will not back track to reread where you left off. They will lose interest.
Follow my similarity of writing your story and taking a cross-town bus ride.
You board the bus on Fourth Street and plan to exit on Twentieth Street. Selecting a window seat, you enjoy the view, and exchange conversation with other passengers. Your goal is to have a relaxing ride. This is highly possible, unless you spot a donut shop a block away and excitedly depart the bus. Waiting for the next bus to arrive, it rains, and you have no umbrella. Irritable, and wet, you climb the steps onto the second bus; not having conversation with anyone. You then notice a coffee house and leave the bus again. Later, after enjoying coffee, you board the third bus, and your initial point is lost as you finally exit on Twentieth Street.
As in writing, the same principle applies.
Same ride, same destination, but after several ‘jumps'; your reader loses the point you intended to make and is drifting as much as you are on the bus ride.
Most breaks are necessary to move forward in the story process.
If possible, attempt to connect two scene breaks with one short sentence or paragraph. Again, a worthwhile challenge, this one also encourages growth as a writer. If done smoothly, the transition won’t cause the reader to ‘stumble’ while reading your words. You won’t lose any momentum, either.
One example of scene jumping:
Scene one ends: “I’m thankful for your advice and glad you sat next to me.” The young woman clutched the baby tighter as it’s crying abruptly ended. Glancing over her shoulder, the older woman departed the bus. “Babies feel more secure when not held loosely.”
Scene two begins: Is he here alone with that baby?
A smooth transition connecting the two scenes would be: “Babies feel more secure when not held loosely.” Nodding, the younger woman gathered the diaper bag, and left the bus at the next stop. A short walk to parenting class, she noticed a young man with a stroller entering the room. Is he here alone with that baby?
Writing challenges can be as rewarding for the author as the finished product is to the reader!
Lynn HobbsLynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga from Desert Coyote Productions.
Book #1: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, awarded 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2013, Texas Association of Authors.
Book #2: River Town, 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2014, TAA.
Book #3: Hidden Creek.
You can find Lynn on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter: @LynnHobbsAuthor
http://www.LynnHobbsAuthor.com
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

East Texas Christian Writers Conference

Don't miss out on great speakers and two days of workshops! The annual East Texas Christian Writers Conference is this weekend, Oct. 24, & 25, 2014, held at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.

Hope to see you there this weekend! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More Blessings!

I'm so excited for my friend and collaborator, Kristen Clark, whose new book, "Beginning a Woman of Worth: Creating a More Confident You", won a Gold Medal in the 2014 Readers' Favorite Intl' Book Award Contest for Biblical Counseling! Visit her website at htpp://www.BecomingaWomanofWorth.com to see what all the excitement is about. Also, stay tuned for her next book, due out in Dec/Jan and featuring one of my own stories! I can't wait. More to come.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Common Sense

Common Sense
     I received this as an e-mail and had to share!
>
> An Obituary printed in the London Times.....
>
> Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
>
> - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
> - Why the early bird gets the worm;
> - Life isn't always fair;
> - And maybe it was my fault.
>
> Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
>
> His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
>
> Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
>
> It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
>
> Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
>
> Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
>
> Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
>
> Common Sense was preceded in death,
> -by his parents, Truth and Trust,
> -by his wife, Discretion,
> -by his daughter, Responsibility,
> -and by his son, Reason.
>
> He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
> - I Know My Rights
> - I Want It Now
> - Someone Else Is To Blame
> - I'm A Victim
> - Pay me for Doing Nothing
>
> Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
>
> If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You A Predictable Writer?

Are You A Predictable Writer?

by Lynn Hobbs
How often have you started reading a book and quickly figured out what would happen next? Ho-hum…how boring. Interest is lost, yes, but any reader will notice a predictable pattern after several similar books by the same author.
Some refer to these as cookie cutter books. The villain is introduced on page six. Female doesn't like the male. Conflict is introduced. Female now loves male. Conflict resolved. Happy ending. No imagination. No spontaneity. No original ideas.
Example # 1: Villain is a male neighbor in a large city, female is a single Mom. Conflict is unpaid property taxes. Female interacts with sharp spoken neighbor…maybe at a town hall meeting against higher taxes. She falls in love with him, and his new comforting ways. Taxes are reduced and payment plan is secured due to this neighbors help. Dating begins…
Example #2: Villain is a female office worker in a small town, male is a single Dad. Conflict is gossip about the many fired sitters for his child who is horrible out in public. Office worker encounters male at a grocery store and in talking, develops a natural interest for him. She recommends her mother as his new sitter. Dating begins…
Change of scene, yes. Change of male and female roles, again yes, but way too predictable.
Ever stopped reading a book that lost whatever originally sparked your interest? It is disappointing. Maybe the author got caught up in beautiful language describing some countryside for several pages. Or possibly, too many step by step details of daily events. The fewer words used to describe anything, the better. It creates an important scene that pulls us in as readers. As a writer, you certainly don’t want to be known as being predictable and having a story that rambles on and on, pointlessly.
Anyone can use help, and we are never too old to stop learning.
You will find me first in line to purchase an exceptionally good ‘How to Write’ book with helpful hints. I am thankful for the author who shares tried and true writing methods that worked for them. I like structure, but at the same time, spontaneity is a must.
If you haven’t read “Scene and Structure” by Jack M. Bickham, please do so. You are in for a treat! I highly recommend this book. He gives great information on the elements of fiction writing.
Last year, a writer friend of mine, stopped writing her second novel. She was severely critiqued for her first novel…so the sequel came to a screeching halt.
She had not followed the procedure recommended by her writing group. She did not insert important information on certain pages of her romantic comedy.
A year later, after rewriting her first novel, that had great reviews, it was republished. She continued the sequel.
“How to Write” books and writing groups are most helpful. Learn from them but be careful, don’t lose your voice. Your best effort displays your own personality in your writing.
Hidden CreekLynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga from Desert Coyote Productions.
Book #1: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, awarded 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2013, Texas Association of Authors.
Book #2: River Town, 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2014, TAA.
Book #3: Hidden Creek.
You can find Lynn on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter: @LynnHobbsAuthor
http://www.LynnHobbsAuthor.com
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