Reply To: Lisa Warren

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Lisa Coy

Hi Zara,

I appreciate and agree with your thoughts on my mystery prologue draft. I need to read more of the genre and shelve this story for a bit. I just returned home driving from New Mexico’s WFWA retreat. I learned how to strengthen my narrator’s voice by shading, tempering, and using sensibility (Pro’s perspective, response and reactions beyond day-to-day ordinary human experience) and make it sound unique.

The first chapter always trips me up. I know to use “who, what, where, when” but, for some reason, struggle with breaking everything down. I’ve been told how important “urgency” is in the first scene and to go deeper into active character.

But now agents and publishers want much less visceral, action tags (only unique movements), descriptions, and minimal time in exposition, but gobs more emotion. They want the character to change in every scene. To find meaning in every small moment, no static hiss. The perfect balance between showing and telling. Make big scenes small and small scenes big.

I’m hoping now that I have time to read, maybe you’ve touched on a few of these in your Power Charge submission. I need to make a smaller checklist for revision.


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