Writing a compelling scene is one of the essential building blocks of successful writing, but it doesn’t always come easy which is why there’s many resources for writers. There are whole seminars in graduate school for aspiring writers on how to do it.
But I don’t have a MFA.
Neither do Jonathan Franzen, Amy Tan, Helen Oyeyemi and Elizabeth Gilbert.
And look, here we all are, making a living as writers.
The fact is, you don’t have to go to graduate school to write compellingly, sell a lot of books, or pay your rent with money you earned as an author.
But, no matter how good your writing is, a narrative book needs some essentials. Learning those must-haves is key to taking your writing to the next level.
There are 4 key elements that make a scene function well:
But as you probably know, it’s all about how these things interact that makes the difference between an okay book and a great one.
Resources for writers to perk up your prose.
I’m not a writing teacher, I’m just a person out there, working on my books like everyone else. However, I’m lucky to have a lot of friends who are experts. So here’s some of my favorite resources for writing!
Elements of a Scene Workshop – a 90-minute session with author Ines Johnson focused on using her GMC (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) Method. This is a great foundational piece to get you on the right path to write scenes that pop and pull your reader along.
Writing to Market Workshop – another 90-minute workshop with bestselling author Kirsten Oliphant about how to write a book that speaks to what the market wants right now! It’s a great way to approach your work: speaking directly to an engaged ideal audience.
How to Push Past Obstacles to Write a Children’s Book – this free 60-minute session with Karen Ferriera of Children’s Book Mastery gets into how to avoid the most common pitfalls children’s authors face, how to take your concept and turn it into a book that’s audience-ready, and how to do it successfully and on-schedule.
Writing Romance Novels – a free roundtable discussion with some of my favorite romance authors, who get into the difference between romance subgenres, share their best writing tips and talk turkey about craft.
Keep learning, keep writing.
There are SO many great resources for writers out there – a ton of them are also offered at our annual Women In Publishing Summit, where there’s a whole day dedicated to talking all about writing and editing, no matter what genre you’re in!