How to Make a Scene

April 2009
by Chris Roerden

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How to Make a Scene

by Chris Roerden

This article is not about pitching a tantrum when your books don’t arrive for your gala launch. It has nothing to do with the hissy fit your author throws when your editor suggests a rewrite of chapter two. No, this article focuses on the basic building blocks of a novel: scenes. It is the first in a short series of articles on how to get the kind of writing from your authors—or yourself—that sells fiction.

I support the current growth of fiction in independent publishing because I know how hard it is for writers to get past the gatekeepers at literary agencies and large royalty houses. I’ve been a gatekeeper, one of the meanies who brandish secret criteria to rapidly sentence 95 out of 100 manuscripts to the “no” pile.

Although my reading these days is more for pleasure than pay, I select my reading material using the same criteria for craft and technique that I’ve used professionally. You won’t hear me talk about rules or good and bad writing. Effectiveness is what it’s all about. Some techniques are more effective than others.

Target Marketability

Certain techniques are valuable for all fiction and most nonfiction. My own books and articles focus on the writing and…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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