Spin those plates

Jump the Cracks
At writer's group this morning one member read out loud a chapter of her historical midgrade novel.

This member is a former teacher, an amateur historian, and a very good writer. Her prose is so lush and evocative it can make you weep. She knows grammar and syntax and her words flow as smooth and sweet as honey.

And yet, when she finished reading, we spent a half hour dissecting her chapter to shreds.

...Why didn't the main character know this awful secret about her best friend? If they're best friends, surely MC had an inkling before now that something was wrong.

...If MC is so afraid of her brother's horse, why is the nasty beast mentioned in such calm brevity in the stable scene?

...Would an 11-year-old girl really give a speech like that, to her best friend? Or should it be broken up into bits and pieces of dialogue?

etc
etc

It always makes me think of  that old circus trick, where the guy spins a dozen plates all at the same time. Keep them all spinning; don't let any one of them drop.

That's what it's like to write a novel.

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Jump the Cracks
stacy_dekeyser
Stacy DeKeyser ~~ Author of books for teens
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