May 30th, 2016

What Happens After You Sign the Contract?

Weina Dai Randel


When I was pitching my novel to agents, I didn’t think of what would happen after you signed a contract with a publisher. To me, the process after the contract was like a grand party locked behind a door – I didn’t have an invitation, so I would not get to see what the fun of the party was. But after ten years of writing and eighty two rejection letters, to my uttermost joy, I received the invitation – I signed the contract with Sourcebooks, and my two novels about Empress Wu, The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, were finally published in March and April this year. I would love to share my experience of the process with you.

After the signing, I received a heart-warming welcome letter from my editor, with whom I would work for the next two years. The letter was thrilling to read, and it contained all the important dates: such as the due date for the developmental edits, the due date for the copyedits, the date when it was likely I would receive the book cover design, the date when I would receive the back cover copy, and finally the date when I absolutely couldn’t make any changes to the manuscript, when it was closed for ARC.

I read the letter at least five times to get familiarized with the terms such as ARC, advance reader copy, and the back cover copy, the paragraphs printed at the back of a book – I didn’t know my editor would write that, not me. The letter, I believe, was very important for a new writer to understand the steps of the process.

The real work began when I received the edits, which contained a list of bigger-picture problems – the opening chapters of the book, for example. Yes, the most important chapters I spent years writing. My editor thought they were too long and asked to get into the main character’s journey faster. I considered the comments, clarified some questions, and dove into revision. I cut some scenes, adding more clues and descriptions to a few important characters, and revised them on Track Changes, as my editor had requested. Then I submitted the revision before the deadline. And I thought, now what?

More revisions. The editor was pleased and sent me another list with more edits. There were about ten questions again, more detailed, such as concerns to a specific scene. For example, in the chaos scene where the horse bolted into a hall, did the lady committed suicide or was it only an accident? These edits were easier to fix as I only needed to work on the descriptive language. I was sure after two rounds of editing and many hours of perusing and corrections, the manuscript was ready.

I was proven wrong again, of course, when I received the copyedits.

If you think the developmental edits question your storytelling skill, then copyedits take out the thrill and challenge your writing mechanism. All of a sudden, I found myself staring at sentences replete with errors typed by my own fingers. There were some blatantly wrong usages of words, awkward sentences the editor caught, and many “nows”, “thens”, and “ands.” By the time I finished going over the manuscript, I was so embarrassed I felt like covering my head with a trash bag.

But the beautiful part of the copyedits was to see the manuscript set in the book format. I got a peek of important book data that appeared in the front of a book, and soon enough, I received the design from the format setter. There were discussions as to what font to use, where to place the time maker, etc., all very exciting topics. Around this time, I also received the book cover design, which made everything real.

Holding the ARC of The Moon In The Palace was most thrilling, but to my horror, I found more typos the copyeditors overlooked. My editor calmed me down, saying a proofreader will review the ARC before it goes to printer.

So followed the 2nd edits – another game of catch and correct, just before the book went to printing! Next came another deadline, another review, until my edits were accepted.

Were there 3rd edits or 4th edits? Yes. Indeed there was. I didn’t need to do that for The Moon in the Palace, but I went into the 3rd edits with The Empress of Bright Moon.

So I suppose the process, in a way, is truly like a party – it’s exciting, exhausting, but once you went, you’ll want to go there again.

So what do you think? If you’ve reached this point in your career, are these the steps you took?

If not, do any of these surprise you?

*  *  *  

Author photo originalWeina Dai Randel was born and raised in China. She came to the U.S. when she was 24, and English is her second language. She has worked as a journalist, a magazine editor, and an adjunct professor. She received an M.A. in English from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. THE MOON IN THE PALACE is her debut novel. Interviews of Weina have appeared on The Wall Street Journal China Real Time, Library Journal, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, New Books Network, and Tall

MooninthePalaceEmpress of Bright Moon

May 27th, 2016

What’s in a Name? How to Avoid the “Claire” Confusion

Adria J. Cimino

The biggest complaint about my debut novel, Paris, Rue des Martyrs? All of the “Claires.” Two extremely minor characters—a shopkeeper we see a couple of times and another person who is mentioned once but never seen—were named Claire. Another minor character was named Clara. Since these characters made so few appearances and didn’t play major roles in the story, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t see it as a problem. Until it was mentioned in some of my reviews. Ouch! The good news is most readers said it was a bit confusing but then had other positive things to say. Still. It got me thinking and made me overhaul my whole manner of choosing character names.

In the past, I would consider two factors when choosing a character name:

-Is it appropriate for the cultural background and age of my character?

-Can most people pronounce it?

Clearly, this wasn’t enough. Sure, those points are important, but all of a sudden, as I started thinking about the whole naming issue, I realized that if I hoped to avoid problems in future books, I needed to start asking myself more questions!

Now, I start my search for character names in much the same way as in the past, but that’s about the only aspect of the process that hasn’t changed. So, first stop, baby name websites. Second stop, for older characters, an Internet search for common names from the time period.

And then I consider/do the following before making any final decisions:

-Avoid similarity

Not only do I no longer choose similar names like Claire and Clara, but I avoid choosing names that start with the same letter. So I would avoid Jennifer, Janet and Jane in the same story unless there is a reason for the similarity. If there is a reason, no problem. But if it’s random, what’s the point of adding an element that might create confusion?

-Make a list

It might seem silly to list the characters, as if writing a play, because clearly I’m not going to forget the names of my main characters. But I might forget that I named the shopkeeper mentioned once early in the book Jennifer. And by Chapter 18, I might create another minor character with a similar name and not even realize it. Sure, I would pick this up in the editing process, but it’s always better to be organized right from the start.

-Basic isn’t always the best

When choosing foreign names, I stick by my original idea: If you’re writing for English-speaking readers, choose a name they can pronounce. And one that doesn’t result in gender confusion. For instance, in French, Jean-Marie is a man’s name. However, this doesn’t mean every French girl should be named Claire or Anne. I fell into that trap already! So expand your horizons beyond the basics.

-Take minor characters seriously

It’s unfortunate when an issue with the names of two or three minor characters overshadows all of the author’s hard work. So even if that character’s name will appear one time in my novel, when I create it, I give it just as much attention as the name of my protagonist. Often, one’s downfall can be in the details!

Is my new system complicated or unwieldy? Strangely, no. It’s given me structure, while still keeping the creativity alive. What’s in a name? A lot more than I ever expected.

Have you ever had this problem? Was it hard to wrap your head around renaming a character?

 *  *  *

Adria J. Cimino-author photo 01Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret. She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers. She lives in Paris with her husband, Didier, and daughter, Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by.



Twitter: @Adria_in_Paris



May 25th, 2016

How to Create a Monthly Social Media Calendar

You’ve hit that mid-year lull, haven’t you? That time when, instead of creating social media posts with an objective, you’re posting a lot of cat videos. Instead of planning goal-oriented posts that express your personality, appeal to your fans, and move you closer to your business goals, you’re re-sharing the tired memes from your friend’s feed.

It’s all right. The annual social media calendar we created in January can get a little dusty midway through the year. Today, we’ll clean that calendar off and give it new life in your monthly social media calendar. A monthly social media calendar allows you to know what you’re going to post EVERY DAY!! It helps you balance promotional posts with fun and personal ones, it insures you’re talking about themes and topics important to you and your audience, and it focuses you so that your social media posts are moving you toward your goals.

And the time investment for this ease and focus? Only about two hours at the end of each month. Here’s how to build your own monthly social media calendar:

Step 1: Write down your list of topics from your annual social media calendar.

If you created an annual social media calendar, then you already have a list of business goals, content topics, and personal events that you want to focus on in your blog writing, Facebook posts, Instagram photos, and other social media content this month. If you didn’t create an annual social media calendar, then make a quick list now of those items.

Should writing this list give you ideas for specific posts, go ahead and write those down now, too. For example, I have “summer entertaining on deck” as one of my topics. I need new outdoor pillows, and I figured it would be a fun Facebook post to quiz my lifestyle-and-home-focused followers about what color scheme they prefer for the deck.



Step 2: List the dates of any business, personal, family, holiday, or fun events you having coming up. Use these events to inspire posts. I have a professional organizing client whose college-age son came home for summer break. We used his homecoming to inspire a Facebook post about how to help your almost adult get and stay organized over the summer.



Step 3: Determine the topics and dates of your blog posts for the month. Your blog post can be the foundation of a week’s worth of social media posts. By creating posts that direct traffic to your blog, you are directing eyes to your website, which is property that YOU control. It’s great to get Facebook and Twitter love, but traffic that stops there is ultimately benefitting Facebook and Twitter most.

Step 4: For each weekday, decide which social media channel you’re going to post to and the overall theme of your social media posts. I don’t post to every social media channel every day, and I don’t require it of my small business clients. Who has the time? Determine which social media channels you’re going to post to on which days.

Also, you can insure your social media streams are both useful and entertaining by balancing your business-related and personal/fun posts. Choose now which days you will post “business” posts and which day you will post “entertaining” posts. You don’t have rigidly hold to this, but it does help you to remember in case all of your posts are listing to one side.



Step 5: Now, begin to fill in your calendar. Fill in your blogs first. As I mentioned, your blog posts can be the inspiration for many of your social media posts that week. The days before you publish your blog, you can build interest by posting a photo or tip as a “teaser.” After the blog is published, you can continue promoting it by listing a new fact, thanking the sources mentioned in the blog, or giving a shout out to sites where readers can get more info.



Step 6: Fill in date-specific events. Use those book signings, holidays, and special events in your life to create posts that give your audience greater insight into you or connect you with your audience on a larger scale. Post a picture of your Mom on Mother’s Day, post a picture of a fan from a book signing, show off your spangly gala dress, and give a thank you to that organization that invited you to speak. Your followers love the peek into your life, and they also love it when you show appreciation!



Step 7: Fill in the rest of the calendar using unused ideas on your list. Now that you have the “must-haves” filled in, you can use the rest of your calendar to discuss the “like-to-haves,” the topics that are important to you and help define your message. Promoting my wonderful clients, providing tips on social media best practices, and highlighting fun things to do in the D.C.-area are all topics that are important to me and that I’ll make sure to include now. Other go-tos to fill in your monthly social media calendar include:

  • Ask people to follow you on other social media channels
  • Promote other people or services in your community
  • Share an article that might appeal to your fans
  • Use an easy app like to create and post a quote you enjoy
  • Post a pic of your pet
  • Re-share older blog posts from your website
  • Ask your audience a question



Happy calendar building! And feel free to contact me if you need any help!

What’s one topic or theme that you’re interested in that could make your social media stream distinctive this month? How could you use that topic or theme creatively in a post?

 *  *  *

About Angelina

300by300_profilepicAngelina M. Lopez is a freelance copywriter and social media manager who helps solopreneurs and small business owners tell their story. She’s the cheerleader, strategy partner, and — if necessary — whip cracker for her clients. In her rare moments of spare time, she aspires to be a fiction writer. She and her family live outside of Washington, D.C.

You can find her EVERYWHERE: on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr and Wattpad. If you want to learn about, she needs to know it!

May 23rd, 2016

7 Ways to Restore Your Spirit Through Celebration

by Kathryn Craft

Turning Whine Into Gold

CelebrateEach of our fictional characters carries a spark from our own souls, it is said, and this is certainly true of me. My character Angela Reed, from The Art of Falling, is fond of celebrating. Any old thing, really, as am I (although it would be of great benefit to my waistline if I could think of ways to celebrate other than beer and pizza—but I digress). What endears Angela to readers is that she celebrates despite living with cystic fibrosis, a condition that severely limits life expectancy. Given these circumstances, how can she exhibit such an abundance of spirit?

Yet family members of those who have lived with cystic fibrosis often tell me that their loved one was just like Angela. This brings to mind similar stories from those who have traveled to third world countries, where death doesn’t even bother to hide, but is present in plain sight. A joyful spirit can prevail despite extreme challenge.

Anxiety and ennui, it would seem, are first world problems. Divorced from the need to seek a clean drink of water or enough food to fend off starvation, our minds worry over past events and project our fears onto what might come rather than rest in the fact that, right at this moment, we have much to celebrate.

This seems especially true of writers. After all, we spend most of our time in our heads, drumming up conflict. We bring fading memories of past dramas back to life in full living color to fuel our stories, and then worry whether the result of this effort will be good enough to justify the chance to do it all again.

Our poor brains. Our poor, bruised souls.

Yet we need not be poor in spirit. Here are seven techniques for restoring spirit through celebration.

1. Celebrate your mission. The writing life is hard. What on earth made you sign up for this challenging activity? Write it down and post it in your writing space, where it will motivate you when times get tough. Your mission will remind you of the joy and meaning that your writing can bring.

2. Celebrate your perspective. By the time someone is drawn to the writing life, she or he has typically lived through trying circumstances—abuse (physical, emotional, substance), dysfunction, bullying, mental illness—that made them feel like an outsider. That’s good. An outsider looking to fit in is a keen observer of the human condition, and therefore owns a great perspective from which to write a novel. Forgive the abuse, accept it as part of your life’s journey, and celebrate the perspective gained.

3. Celebrate your faith. In a 2003 keynote address at a writers’ conference, author Katherine Ramsland said something I’ve never forgotten: “It doesn’t matter what you believe, it matters that you believe.” In the publishing industry, where external rewards are so uncertain, we must remain grounded in the personal rewards we reap for our efforts. Delight in word count, the sudden insight, that perfect metaphor, the mute character who unveils her voice. Worry that you aren’t good enough or worthy enough is neither helpful nor honorable; put in the effort to earn your stripes and celebrate the faith that will see you through.

4. Celebrate your positive feedback. Do you keep a feel-good file? I do. It is filled with thank-you notes for especially appreciated pieces I wrote while I was a dance critic, praise from mentors and contest judges, and heartfelt missives from readers about what my stories have meant to them. I can’t recall the last time I looked through it, but just knowing it’s there is a comfort. My 4- and 5-star reviews remind me to celebrate that I have readers who truly connected with my work.

5. Celebrate your accomplishments. As word count comes and word count goes, we can easily convince ourselves that we are going nowhere. Update a personal version of your resume every year to prove this isn’t true. Maybe in-depth workshops inspired significant revisions on your first novel, or you had articles or short stories published, or you received a royalty check. Such forward movement proves you have not been spinning your wheels. Review your efforts and pat yourself on the back—then pass along what you’ve learned to the writers coming behind you.

6. Celebrate your health. So many of us take our health to be the unacknowledged foundation of our lives—until it isn’t. Every now and then, pull yourself out of your head and check in with the rest of your body. Are your eyes dry? Does your back hurt? Is your stomach churning from too much caffeine? Does your head ache from last night’s wine? While you can, celebrate the health you have with an after-lunch walk, late-afternoon yoga, or start tomorrow with a trip to the gym. If your health is precarious to the point that such activities aren’t possible, simply focusing on breathing in and breathing out can ground you in gratitude for the present moment: right now, you are alive and safe and all is well.

7. Celebrate first world status. When your mind races and a balanced outlook escapes you, get up from your desk and go outside and do something with your hands. Mow the grass, weed a flower bed, plant some vegetables—anything that can remind you of the toil and hardy spirit that allowed our ancestors to survive by day and then drop, bone-weary, into bed each night. Your writing life is a privilege of the technological age. Despite the fact that most authors earn income below the poverty line, we are literate and cultured and we know that books matter. Celebrate your contribution to the literature that makes the world a better place.

But I don’t have time to celebrate! I have promotional blog posts to write and contests to set up and plot holes to fill and a new novel to conceive! My problems are urgent and need to be solved!

True—but have you ever noticed that you solve problems much more effectively when you’re in a good frame of mind? Divorcing your sense of well being from external events, imagined or real, will help you celebrate all that is right in your life. Learning to elevate your mood will reduce strain on your interpersonal and business relationships and help you enjoy the writing life—no matter what problems come your way.

Let’s make today’s comment section into one big celebration!

How have you moved forward in your writing over the past year, and how did you/do you plan to celebrate?

Let’s do this!

About Kathryn

10685420_966056250089360_8232949837407332697_nArt of FallingKathryn Craft is the award-winning author of two novels from Sourcebooks: The Art of Falling, and The Far End of Happy.

Her work as a developmental editor at, specializing in storytelling structure and writing craft, follows a nineteen-year career as a dance critic. Long a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene, she hosts lakeside writing retreats for women in northern New York State, leads workshops, and speaks often about writing.

Kathryn lives with her husband in Bucks County, PA.

Twitter: @kcraftwriter
FB: KathrynCraftAuthor

May 20th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #15: What’s the Visual?

Margie Lawson

IMG_2124Most writers know Show Don’t Tell, but sometimes they think they’re showing when they are telling.

Here’s my oh-so-easy check.

Read the sentence that you think SHOWS the reader something.

Ask yourself —- What’s the Visual?

You may be surprised that the sentence doesn’t provide a visual.

Wondering why I care?

Wondering why I think you should care?

Most readers have a video playing in their mind of the scene they are reading.

If a writer TELLS instead of SHOWS, the reader’s screen goes blank. No imagery. No power.

When the writer TELLS, they’re sharing what the POV character is thinking. They’re intellectualizing for the POV character.

The writer is not putting the emotional power on the page.


He looked angry.

She seemed agreeable to the plan.

He made a face.

She didn’t say anything, but he could tell she was pleased.

He knew she was nervous.

She looked like she wanted to go with him.

 Jake seemed out of sorts.

If you’ve read one of my blogs before, or taken one of my online courses, or consumed one of my lecture packets, you know I always provide examples that support my teaching points.

Here comes the fun!

Example 1:

“Someone got hurt.”

She studied Susan’s face. “Are you okay?”

Whoops. What’s the visual?

We’re missing the subtext. We need to know Susan’s facial expression.

Example 2:

The POV character is watching Sam.

Sam moved around in an agitated manner.

What’s the visual?

Both parts of that short sentence are TELLING.

How did Sam move?

How does the POV character know Sam is agitated?

What’s his facial expression?

Example 3:

 Mike is the POV character.

Traci seemed upset. “I need to leave.”

Mike touched Traci’s arm. “Don’t leave. We need to talk.”

What’s the Visual?  Mike touched Traci’s arm, but the reader doesn’t know how Mike can tell Traci is upset.

The writer could SHOW, and share subtext, with Traci’s actions or face or voice.

Writers don’t need to add SHOWING to every sentence or paragraph. But many sentences need those visuals. They share the emotion, hook the reader.

Now we’ll dig deeper into some complex examples. 

The Ones We Trust, Kimberly Belle, 4-time Immersion-Grad

First Example from Kimberly Belle

Kimberly Belle could have written:

Dad nodded, but I knew he was still upset.

But this is what she wrote:

Dad nods at me over the top of his menu, but his forehead doesn’t clear. His eyes don’t unsquint. The general is a man who misses nothing, including, according to his scowl, the reason behind my non-reply.

Deep Editing Analysis:

            Slipped in a hint of setting: 

  • over the top of the menu

            Showing What’s Not Happening: 

  • his forehead doesn’t clear
  • his eyes don’t unsquint

Power Internalizations:

  • the general is a man who misses nothing
  • the reason behind my non-reply

Compelling Cadence

Everything shares subtext and deepens characterization.

Second Example from Kimberly Belle

Kimberly Belle could have written:

Dad let go of his anger.

But this is what she wrote:

Dad leans in, and everything about him softens. His posture, his expression, his ten-hut tone.

Deep Editing Analysis: 

            Shows Dad softening: his posture, his face, his voice

            Second sentence is a frag. Works well.

            Rhetorical Device: Anaphora – Triple Beginnings

  • His posture, his expression, his ten-hut tone

Rhetorical Device:  Asyndeton – No and after last comma

  • His posture, his expression, his ten-hut tone

Character-Themed – Her Dad was a General

  • his ten-hut tone

Compelling Cadence 

Third Example from Kimberly Belle

Kimberly Belle could have written:

“Things you don’t want to understand.”

But this is what she wrote:

His expression is like a sluice, locked down tighter than the White House during a terrorist threat. “Things you don’t want to understand.”

Deep Editing Analysis:

            She gave the reader a facial expression, amplified.

            Rhetorical Device:  Simile

  •  like a sluice

Character-Themed —  Her Dad was a General.

  • locked down tighter than the White House during a terrorist threat.

            Power Words:  Words that carry psychological power.

  • sluice, locked down, tighter, terrorist, threat

The Curse of Tenth Grave, Darynda Jones, NYT Bestseller, 2-time Immersion-Grad

 Empowered Example from Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones could have just written one sentence:

He gave me his full attention.

But this is what she wrote:

He finally gave me his full attention. He put down the pen he’d been holding and sat back in his chair. The movement was so small, so every day, and yet it sent a tiny rush of excitement spiraling over my skin.

He’d rolled up his sleeves, exposing his corded forearms. His strong hands. His long, capable fingers.

He noticed me noticing for sure that time, but instead of reaching out to me, instead of inviting me into his personal space, he waited. He simply waited. For me to speak? For me to act? I had no idea which, so I went with the former.

“Yeah, so, for this plan to work, we are going to need a dozen syringes, a case of nitrous oxide, a serial killer, and a tank.”

I included more paragraphs than needed, but I wanted to share Darynda’s awesome line of dialogue.  🙂

Deep Editing Analysis:

            Showing, Amplified, many times.

            First Paragraph:


  • Gave full attention


  • Put down pen
  • Sat back in chair

Telling – Carried psychological power

  • small movement
  • so everyday


  • Stimulus – all the Telling and Showing above
  • Response – Visceral — a tiny rush of excitement spiraling over my skin

Second Paragraph:

  • Action — rolling up sleeves
  • Clear Visual – forearms, hands, fingers

Third Paragraph:

  • Showing What’s Not Happening
  • Power Internalizations

Fourth Paragraph – Power-packed dialogue – lots of power words, backloaded with tank.

Days Made of  Glass, Laura Drake, RITA Winner, 2-time Immersion-Grad, Cruising Writers Grad 

SHOWING example from Laura Drake.

This Expanded Time scene is one of my all time favorites, by any author.

Harlie, a closet thrill-seeker, runs into an arena to save a Pomeranian from a stampeding bull.

The sweet rush of adrenaline hit her like a heroin-mainlining junkie. It sang through her veins, lifting her, making her impervious—superhuman. She sped up, heart thundering in her ears—or maybe that was bull’s hooves.

Everything seemed to slow. Details stood out in perfect focus: the shine of spit on the dog’s bared teeth, the whorl of hair at the center of the bull’s forehead, a small scar next to its white-filled eye.

In full stride, Harlie reached the center of the arena, snatched the now cowering fur ball by the nape and kept moving. The ground shook with pounding hooves. She tensed her muscles for impact, but felt only a sliding rub of horn on her butt and the rush of air at her back as the bull passed. Clutching the suicidal mutt in a death grip, Harlie sprinted for the fence.

She’d taken only a couple of steps when the panicked yells of the onlookers penetrated the swelling adrenaline chorus in her head. Harlie didn’t have to look. She knew bulls. The animal had wheeled, and from the vibrations in the soles of her fancy cowgirl boots, was bearing down to gore her.

No time. She heaved the dog toward the red-faced men on the opposite side of the fence.  Her brain registered a stop-action photo of the little dog flying through the air, hair blown back, mouth open.

She hadn’t known dogs had an expression for terrified but this one sure did. It hit the ground running and streaked for the line of boots at the fence.

Harlie spun on her heel. The bull was farther away than she’d guessed, but closing fast. She shot a glance to the fence. It seemed as if she were seeing it through the wrong end of a telescope. A bull will beat a human in a race, every time. She’d never make it.

No choice.

Tension zinged through her. The timing had to be just right. Failure would come in the form of lunging horns and bone-snapping hooves. Head down, the bull came on.

Decision made, the fear in Harlie’s chest lay down before a rising exaltation of knowing. Crouched in a marathon runner’s stance, she shook the jitters out of her hands and gauged the bull’s closing speed.

One more step –

Harlie exploded, launching herself straight at the bull.

She took two long-jumper strides.

The bull charged in, lowering its head to hook her.

On the third stride, perfectly timed, her foot came down in the center of the bull’s broad forehead. He threw his head up and she was launched, flying over the beast’s back.

It seemed she rose forever, her stomach dropping, shooting the sparkly fireworks of a roller coaster’s first hill. A quiet, high-pitched sound escaped her lips. It might have been a giggle.

When the arc finally began its downward tail, Harlie looked for a place to land.

Awesome example of showing visuals, and how to write a powerful expanded time scene. 

Thank you for dropping by WITS blog today.

Please chime in and share your thoughts on What’s the Visual?

Or just click in and say Hi. Let me know you’re here.

Post a comment, and you have TWO CHANCES to WIN!

1. Lecture Packet from Margie Lawson

2. An online course from Lawson Writer’s Academy – worth up to $75!  

My WITS blog for April had over 200 posts!

I doubled the drawings and we had four winners.

If the avalanche of comments on this blog WOW me, I’ll double the winners again.

The drawings will be Sunday, 9:00 p.m. Mountain Time.

Check out the courses offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy. 

1. Revision Boot Camp – May 16 – June 15, registration is still open!

2. Create Compelling Characters  – Starts June 1

3. Writing Compelling Scenes  —  Starts June 1

4. How to Write Dialogue with a Psychological Punch  — Starts June 1

5. Pinterest for Authors — Starts June 1

6. Virtues, Vices, and Plots  — Starts June 1

margie-lawson-1-readingMargie Lawson—editor, international presenter—teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners. Margie has presented over ninety full day master classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and on cruises in the Caribbean.

To learn about Lawson Writer’s Academy, Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes (in Denver, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Canyon Lake, Dallas, San Jose, Albuquerque, Australia, and more), her full day Master Class presentations, on-line courses, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit

I love WITS! A big THANK YOU to the uber-fun and uber-talented WITS bloggers!