When all you have for counsel is yourself, you can never be sure if a re-write is the right thing to do. What if the original version is better? What if I've made it worse? There are, however, some things we can do to help make this crucial and difficult decision a little easier.
I wrote to book reviewers and undertook polls on a number of Facebook groups: AmWritingFantasy (693 members), Fantasy Writers Support Group (5,447 members), The Phoenix Quill (846 members), and Writing Bad (8,000 members). The results are pretty interesting and hopefully will be of some use to writers.
Why the hostility toward flashbacks? If done well, they work. But done badly, they break the reader’s experience, preventing them from discovering what happens next in the story. To quote editor, Sol Stein, “If we are enthralled, we don’t want to be interrupted.” The trick, therefore, if you feel compelled to use one, is to use the flashback in as little a disruptive way as possible. Here are a few techniques to help you do that.
I spend a lot of time reading the blogs of others, lapping up the helpful tips, experiences, and stories they have to share. It’s important to support these excellent writers, and just as important to share their work for the benefit of others. So, here are some of my favourite articles from the past week or so, covering everything from writing tips and marketing, to calls for submissions and new books to read:
We've all read that novel where at some point you put it down and forget it ever existed until you trip over it one day and then in a state of annoyance donate it to the charity shop. It failed to grip you, to compel you to go on. Often the culprit is a lack of suspense—the glue that binds the reader’s hands to the covers.