My B2B Marketing Book

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    The Witness
    by Nora Roberts
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    Epic Content Marketing: How to Tell a Different Story, Break through the Clutter, and Win More Customers by Marketing Less
    by Joe Pulizzi
« Bob Mayer Retreat & Agent Update | Main | Sudoku and Trimming »

First Scenes

I've been busy revising my Golden Heart Finalist manuscript for an agent request. I've shortened and tightened and tweaked like crazy and it's on her desk. So, say a prayer with me that this rewrite is the one.

I'm in the throws of what started out to be a rewrite of another completed manuscript. I guess it still is, but all that's left is the original idea, the characters and the setting. The theme is also the same, but pretty much everything else has changed.

I did say rewrite. Right? Argh.

But there's something wonderful about the whole re-germination process. I'm preparing for Bob Mayer's fiction writing retreat the first weekend in March. Bob wants pages plus a one-page synopsis submitted to him before the retreat. (The nerve of him!) Pages, no prob. A one-page synopsis means I'd best figure out what the heck'shappening and how/why the characters are getting there. Since it's no longer heading where I thought.

And there's the question of what happend to the $5 Million? That one's keeping me pretty busy.

Here's the thing - the new stuff that's bubbling up is really terrific. This story is the first one I ever wrote in full. It was six years ago and it's beenre-inventing itself in my mindever since. In the mean time I've written others, but this one kept calling out to me.

Silly me, I thought, a rewrite. Heck, I can whip that out and get back to Floating Downstream, my used-to-be work in progress. But, no. It's not going to happen until this one gets it's turn. Charly is very determined to find out what happened to her father. She just won't move on until I help her find out.

Here's the caveat. First scenes. You need to get the reader hooked, build empathy for your main character and not buryreaders in info dump. You need to orient them to the setting, the premise and the situation - and you need to do it quickly. Oh, and don't forget an antagonist and conflict and scene goals and getting a start on the throughline of the story.

I have the first scene out being critiqued right now by some terrific writers and they're all coming back with questions -- which is good -- but they want all the info in that first scene. Uh, no.

So, now I'm wrestling with what has to be there and what doesn't. Which are good questions that they'll wait to have answered? In fact, trying to decide which are questions that will have them keep reading the book to find out, vs. what are the questions that have to be addressed now, so they will keep reading.

Do you see the dilemma? And you're going to laugh, but I love this! It gets my blood pumping and my imagination flowing and then I attempt to wrestle it too the ground. But those characters are strong.

Once you give them life, there's just no bossing them around and sometimes it gets a bit irritating. Like, if they'd just go over there and do that, then I could wrap this scene and lead myself right into the next one.

They're not having it. The whole collective lot of them has decided that their agenda is more important than mine. Go figure.

Alas, I've pretty much figured out they are right.

Time for the next round.

Thanks for stopping by,


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