Friday, July 29, 2011

Lesson 5: Embarrassing Blunders (+ bonus lesson w/JEFF SINCLAIR! Punch!)

Howdy Everybody!

As you can see from the title... We've got another awesome guest author today.  The fabulous Mr. Jeff Sinclair hails all the way from Canada.  I'm loving these Canadian authors, aren't you?  I hope you enjoy our videos! :)

Here's mine:

1. Your, you're:

You're is a contraction of two words put together You and Are.

So the secret is easy.  Every time you go to type YOUR or YOU'RE, remember to reread the sentence and if  you meant to write you are, and it makes sense, then type YOU'RE.  If it doesn't make sense to say you are, then type YOUR.

I love your hair.  You're so amazing the way you can style it like that.  What did your mom say when she saw it?  Come on, let's show my sister, you're going to freak when you see her response.  I know she's going to love it too.

Make sense?

Okay.  On to the next set of words:

2. There.  Their.  They're:

There is the word we use to say where something is or to describe something.  It is also the most commonly used of the three similar words.

There is my hat!  I've been looking for it everywhere!  Place that there.  There are several ways you can do that.

Their is the word we use to describe people or living things with.  It is always associated with a person or animal you're talking about.

Their hat is sitting on the counter.  The monkeys liked their new home.  The fish made their way home happily.

They're is a contraction of the words THEY ARE.  So the same principal applies as before with you're.  If it make sense to say they are, then that word goes there.  <--hehee.

They're such a cute couple.  They're the fastest cars I've ever seen.   Those colors are so cool, they're awesome!

Okay.  Next words:

3. It's, Its:

It's is a contraction of IT IS.  So same principal again. If it doesn't make sense to say IT IS, use the other one.  A little secret?  Its always is associated with an animal or human.   Actually, the difference between its and it's confuses more adults than anything else I know of.  If you're not sure, do the contraction test out loud and see if that apostrophe is needed or not.  Lol!  Don't you just love the English language?

It's such a pleasure to see you.  I'd stay away from the dog, its days are numbered.

Okay.  One more set of words:

4. Where, Were, We're:

Where is used to describe where something is.

Where are we going?  Have you seen where my ball is?  I'd love to see where that movie was made.

Were is used to describe something that has already happened.  It's in the past.

Were you happy with the song I wrote?  What were you thinking?  Just so you know,  you were not fooling anyone.

We're is a contraction of WE ARE.  Same rule applies as before.  Replace the words WE ARE in your head to see if they make sense.

Hey, we're all heading to the park, do you want to come?  We're in here!  We're so loving your party, it rocks!

Whew!  Well I hope that helps.

Bonus Lesson, Punch! by, Jeff Sinclair:

Now onto Jeff's video--ways to start your story, or make it Punch!

Thank you so much, Jeff!  So I'm going to post a couple of my story starts below so you can see how it is I try to start with a punch... a grab the reader's attention:

PERSUADED (The Jane Austen Diaries)--

            There was an awkward tug, a twist and a slight jerk, before the glass beads spilled all over the floor. 
            I’m such an idiot!  This wasn’t even my necklace!
            He was supposed to have left by now.  He’d already said good-bye to his friends.  I watched as Gregory hovered in the doorway, debating over what he should do.  I decided I’d make it easier for him.  As I knelt on the floor I turned my back, completely ignoring him and picked up the mess. 
            There, now you can go.  See?  I don’t need you.  It’s only a few beads after all.  I sighed at the thought of being such a klutz in front of him, again.  It wasn’t a loud sigh, so I was surprised to see his long lean fingers surrounded by mine and the beads.  I glanced up and saw the top of his blonde head as he avoided me, yet, at the same time acknowledged the fact that I needed help.  It had been years since I’d seen that head and those hands so close to my own.  Years.  Bewildered, I paused a moment and didn’t know how to handle myself.  

PRIDE & POPULARITY (The Jane Austen Diaries)--

“Taylor Anderson is the hottest guy ever!” Madison said as she leaned in closer to me to catch a better view of him moving across the concrete basketball court in our local park.

To my right, Alyssa, who looked just like a younger Lucy Liu, practically burst an internal organ when she exclaimed, “I know. I’ve secretly dreamed of marrying him since I was ten.” A pathetic sigh followed.

Disgusted with myself for somewhat agreeing with their drooling, I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, you and every other girl in this park. Look around you—is there a girl here not into Taylor?”

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Gothic Faerie Tales, Book One)--

The prince half sobbed, half howled into the night air—his feeble skin ripped, agonizingly making way for the tormented form to escape.  Nearly doubled over, he’d never known such excruciating pain before, and yet the old woman continued to laugh at him. 

Her unmerciful cackles pierced his ears louder than his tearing skin.

Sickened and dazed, the transformation ended with a jolt, leaving a deep rooted throbbing ache throughout his whole form.  Everything stung with the awareness of newly stretched and swollen limbs.  Taking a ginger step, he practically fell over from the searing nerve endings as they shot up from the soles of his feet to his legs and back.  Tender, singed and unprotected newness covered his whole form.  He was so preoccupied with trying to cope, he didn’t hear the woman until she repeated herself.

“You’ll be sore for quite some time, so you’d better get used to it.”  Her laughter grated again.

“Why?” gasped the prince, “Why me?  Why now?”  He tried to straighten and turn to meet her gaze more fully, but while attempting to, he stumbled and collapsed.  Fire surged through every bone as his raw nerves met the harsh ground.  The pain was more unbearable than the transformation.  Nausea flooded into his pounding skull and threatened to spew out his throat onto the ground if he didn’t hold as still as possible.
He felt her cane grind into his hip, but he was too weak to acknowledge it.

“You boy, needed to be taught a lesson.”  She jabbed the sharp stick and continued, “Now you will forever know what it feels like to be ugly.  Your eyes are too hazy at the moment to even see the figure you’ve become, but when you awaken—” she moved the cane to his inflamed disjointed knee and dug deep into the taunt tissue. He flinched and writhed in agony, his howls filling the darkened forest.“—and you will awaken. 

You may wish you were dead, but however, that is not the purpose of such a transformation.  You will live through this—it will be several days until you’re healed enough to make it back to your castle, prince.”  She hissed his title as if it were the curse and not her hex.  “At that point.  When you’re able to crawl up the stately stairs to your fine room, I want you to haul yourself up upon your chiseled table and peer into the looking glass.  Take in every inch of your demented form.

“That will be the day you embrace what has truly happened to you and the day you realize what it means to be an hideous beast forever.”

“NO!” he yelped as her cane lashed at his engorged, twisted spine.  “Please…”  His body convoluted.  Nausea swam in dizzying circles, until he could no longer focus on anything but the bile rising, aching to relieve itself, as the cane pounded again and again.

The old woman wheezed, and thankfully, the whacking stopped.  She coughed for some time, before weakly sputtering out the rest of the curse.  “You-you will be forced to stay this way forever, half man, half beast—unless you find some poor pitiful female to embrace, accept, and love you for the monster that you are.”
Her breathing became more labored.  “You h-have one year to achieve that impossible feat.  O-one year from today to ch-change your spoilt habits and become a man.  If-if you do not succeed, you will be forced to roam the earth in your gruesome form, terrorizing all who meet you, c-causing them to flee in fear from your presence.  Though I must warn you—”

She wheezed again, a huge snarled inhale, which forced a series of bone rattling hacks from her.  They became larger and more pronounced with each cough—precious air forcing its way into her battered lungs. 
The prince felt the space around him shift, before he heard the thud of her collapse and the silence that followed.

It was several minutes before he was able to slowly scrape his body against the earth in painful strides enough to see her, and another several minutes before he could move his limbs enough to ascertain that she was indeed dead.

He smiled then, a bitter hate-filled smile. 

Thank you for participating in today's lessons!  I hope they have helped.  :)  And thank you, Jeff Sinclair for sharing your video and the start of your favorite books with us! 

Homework HOMEFUN ASSIGNMENT:  We want you to add the beginning of your story and we'll critique it.  Also, if you have a question for me, you can add that as well!  

See you next week.  :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lesson 4: The Long Haul (finish that story!)

Howdy!  Today's lesson is on keeping yourself motivated to actually finish that story.

Hope you enjoy the video:

Remember the best way to get something done is to just do it.  So sit down, write at least 15 minutes a day and prioritize your time.  Enjoy yourself, plan new twists and turns and have fun! 

HOMEWORK HOMEFUN ASSIGNMENT:  Share with me in the comments below something new that you've written and you're excited about.  300-400 words is best.  I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lesson 3: Develop that Character (+bonus lesson w/PATTI LARSEN! Sensory)

Hi guys! It's an awesome day today.  We've got the totally amazing Patti Larsen as a guest author.  So be sure to welcome her. Two ultra cool ways to make your book better!  :)

But first, we've got Lesson 3 from me.  

Answer these 20 questions for EVERY crucial character in your book.  You'll be grateful you did! :)

Character Development Sheet: 

1. What is their full name and what does it mean?
2. What's their favorite color?
3. What's their favorite food?
4. What do they like to do?
5. Do they have a favorite TV show or author?
6. What's their favorite type of music/bands/singers?
7. Who's their role model/idol? 
8. What's their family life like? 
9. Do they have brothers & sisters?  How many of each/names?
10. What's their favorite animal?
11. What do they wish for?
12. What do they want to be when they're older?
13. What are they afraid of?
14. What embarrasses them?
15. What makes them happiest? 
16. List 5 good things about them.
17. List 5 of their worst traits.
18. Where do they live?
19. Where do they wish they could travel to?
20. If they could take back one instance in their life, what would it be?  What do they regret most? 


In the comments mention one new thing you learned about one of your characters.  (Fill the rest of the character sheets out on your own. I promise it's really fun to do! :) )  Don't forget to see Patti's lesson too.  You guys are so lucky! :)

Patti Larsen’s Guest Lesson: Sensory Writing

First, let me say a MASSIVE thank you to Jenni for letting me be a part of this amazing process! I love teaching, sharing, imparting, expounding, explaining… you get the point, right? I’ll slap a bit more about me and who I am at the end of this post but for now I’m too excited and want to get going. Don’t you?

Today’s lesson is all about writing from a sensory point of view. We have five, after all and, if you believe in such things or even write about them (hello paranormal!) six.

Like Jenni, I’ve posted the majority of the lesson in the video below:

Example One—Fresco, Chapter Two


Fresco stood on the sidewalk and watched as Justin’s truck drove past into the intersection, hitting another car. The two vehicles spun toward the curb, locked together.

Using Senses:

Fresco had a heartbeat to register he now stood on the sidewalk next to the stop sign. The sun beamed down on him, warming his face. The world was silent, a jolting change from the blaring music. Justin’s black truck roared past in the next breath, careened into the intersection, t-boned by the blue sedan. The impact rippled the air, rushing over, through and past him in a shockwave. He felt it before he heard metal shriek and clash, the deep thrum of humming tires, the sharp bellow of shattering safety glass, the thrum of releasing airbags. The two vehicles melded together with enough force to spin them 180 degrees and come to a screeching halt against the opposite curb. Smoke billowed from the front of the blue car, bits of yellow and red plastic scattered as though tossed with casual disdain. Something within the crippled four-door hissed and sputtered its way down to death, its bonnet compressed, embedded in the passenger side of Justin’s four by four. The truck bent inward where the cab met the box but appeared almost intact compared to the crumpled mess of the family midsize.

This example is obvious and out there, the descriptions fleshed out and drawing on all the senses.

Example Two—Curiosities, Inc, Chapter Four 


Danny walked in the front door.

“Gram?” No answer. Relieved she wouldn’t have to make small talk, Danny headed for the kitchen.

Using Senses:
Danny stepped into the cool, musty quiet of the front hall and closed the heavy door behind her. She kicked off her sneakers, piling them in an untidy heap on the mat by the door. She thought she heard quiet voices talking, but couldn’t tell from where.
“Gram?” She called upstairs. The voices fell silent. Come to think of it, the house felt empty, still. She was pretty sure she was alone. No answer from her grandmother, anyway. Relieved that she wouldn’t be forced to make small talk and lie about how great her day was and passing off the voices as the murmurs of the old house, she drifted through the front living room.

Here, the example is more subtle. Cool implies physical feeling of temperature. Musty speaks to scent and quiet to hearing. Three simple words tell the reader volumes without having to go to deeply into description. Can you spot the rest?

Example Three—Henry


The town sign read Avlin, Texas, pop. 967. Viviana paused there for a moment before driving on.

Using Senses:

The neglected town sign emerged from the rippling heat. Avlin, Texas, pop. 968. No, sixty-seven. The eight was crossed off.

Viviana paused there, far from the interstate, from civilization really, all tumbleweeds and cacti in the Texas sunshine. She dabbed perspiration from her upper lip with a delicate handkerchief, cursing the rental agent who swore the car had air conditioning. Such curses were not to be taken lightly. That false young man would suffer a whole year of hurt because he tried to pull one over on an old lady.

Viviana popped a freshly pickled eyeball into her mouth and hit the gas.

Is it making sense (no pun intended!) to you now?

Now that you’ve seen the examples, ask yourself: are the differences obvious? Which connects you better to the characters, the scene, the story? Is it better to use sensory writing or worse? Is there such a thing as too much sensory writing? Can you go overboard?

Of course! There’s no need to use this type of writing for all five (six) senses in every scene. Choose the one (or two) that makes the most impact on the story. And play with it. Vision isn’t always the best choice, for example.

Using sensory writing will add great depth and vibrancy to your writing. And it’s fun!

Homework HOMEFUN ASSIGNMENT (remember for everyone who comments, there will be a contest later): 

Read the following sentence:

Mary sat in her chair and waited.

Plain, ordinary and boring, right? Okay, here’s your assignment! Layer on the sensory writing! What is she smelling? Tasting? What does the chair feel like? What can she hear? Is she a telepath? Go WAY over the top with this adding as much sensory writing to it as you possibly can. I want to feel like I’m right there next to her.

Now, pare it back. Which are the most important ones to her particular story? What can you cut out and still get across the tale you’re telling? Play around with adding the unusual because it can lead you places in your writing you never expected. Have fun!


Oh and I promised a little about me… I’m a mainly YA author of paranormal and dark urban fantasy, though I dabble in adult thrillers as well. I have several books coming out over the next six months, the first of which is Fresco with Etopia Press. The sequels are right on it’s heels! I also have a YA paranormal series, the Hayle Coven novels, signed with Etopia, a middle grade novel coming Spring 2012 with Acorn Press and an adult/YA crossover thriller called Best Friends Forever also with Etopia. I teach a writing structure workshop, Get Your Book Done 101 and when I’m not writing I’m thinking about it.

You can find me at where I write about my favorite subject—writing. And at where I write about my second favorite subject—my novels.

Twitter I’m @PattiLarsen
Facebook you can find me at

Psst... Isn't she amazing?  Thank you Patti for stopping by.  You so rock! :) --Jenni

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lesson 2: Pace Yourself

Hi guys!  As always, most of your lesson is in the video, so give it a whirl.  By the way, the background noise would be--you guessed it--my kids.  Lol!  Enjoy.  Next week's lesson will be on character development and really digging into and developing amazing characters your readers will remember for years. :)  Who's your favorite author and why?  Tell me below.  Later, I'll be doing a contest and the winners will be drawn by the people who comment and participate in class.  You'll want to win this contest... I promise. *grins*  (I'll tell you more about it in a couple of weeks.)

So onto pacing.  First off, narration (where you tell us what's happening) or inner monologue/diaolgue (where the main character is thinking to themselves) is really tough to get right.  In this scene from Pride & Popularity, I had to get Chloe through her first date and then onto her disaster date in one day.  The first date, had to be memorable enough to believe she really went on one, but not actually shown.  I used a lot of Narration for this and a tiny bit of inner monologue/diaolgue to tell about that first date and basically zoom past it, keeping it light and entertaining so I could really get to the second date with Collin.  The disaster date.  The one that mattered, since Collin is a crucial character.  So really watch how I speed through... and then begin to slow it down, all the sudden before you know it you're actually in the room with Chloe and feeling her emotions.  

Example 1--Pride & Popularity, Chapter 9 Dating Fumbles:

Jacob clearly had a great time. He thought it was funny when I screamed. I’m not so sure the people who sat in front of us thought so, however. Since every time I screamed out in fear, I made them jump. Yes, sad but true. That is me. I am the person you can hear in the movie theater that yells or screams so loudly it actually scares everyone else. That’s when people in front of you can get a little bit hostile.

Needless to say, Jacob and I both survived the ordeal, which is obvious, or I wouldn’t be telling about it now. Then I had to go on my date with Collin, where I spent the entire evening wishing I were anywhere else—even if it was back in that scary movie with Jacob and the scarier people in front of us.

I knew the date with Collin would be a disaster from the get-go. I mean, it’s completely evident that you have an odd date when the guy actually asks you out through your mother. But does he have to sit there in public and continue to be odd? Pardon me, but I thought the reason you took a girl out on a date was so you could get to know her a little more, not so you can play with your phone all night, studiously avoiding her. 

I let out yet another silent sigh as I watched my finger twirl around the rim of my glass of lemon water. We had ordered our food a few minutes ago, but I knew it would be a wait due to the amount of people there. The Lion’s Den is only the nicest restaurant in our city—which figured, since Taylor’s dad, Lionel Anderson, owned the place, just one of his many business ventures. I was a bit surprised at first when Collin pulled into the parking lot. It actually made me have some respect for him that he had thought to make reservations.

With another sigh, I moved my hand from the glass and began to refold the creases in my linen napkin again. The other customers all around me were having a marvelous time as they laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.

With regret, I looked across the table at Collin and watched his face light up as he read another email from one of his online friends. I wasn’t sure he had any real friends, just online ones. Collin laughed. He must’ve read a joke. He really does have a nice smile.

Example 2--Now in this one, I've actually gone in and broken it up, so you can really watch how one scene can speed up and slow down to catch just the right amount of pacing to move the story along.  This is one of my most favorite scenes from Northanger Alibi.  
Northanger Alibi Chapter 13/14: 

“Six and seven?” I beamed. “Oh my gosh. How cute is that? You coach first graders?”
Tony nodded his head and chuckled. “They’re really cool, too. Some of those little guys can run almost as fast as me.”
Aww. I could just picture him running on the field with them. Gauging his expression, I could tell he really loved being with them. “So, what’s your team’s name?”
Tony glanced down and shook his head. “I didn’t come up with it—believe me—the whole team had a say. I got outvoted.” He laughed. “We’re the Bumble Bees.”


The Bumble Bees? As in bzzz—bzzz?”
“Yeah.” He snorted and then imitated a little kid’s voice. “‘It’s ’cuz we have gots a stinger and stingers hurts.’”
“Didn’t you tell them that once they sting someone, they die?”
“Ah, man. I should’ve thought of that. Where were you when I needed you?”
I chuckled. “So, what team are you playing against?”
“Uh, today that would be the Fighting Ninja Warriors.”
What? I burst into laughter.
“Yeah, I’m totally expecting to get our butts kicked.” He laughed with me. “Something tells me Fighting Ninja Warriors aren’t afraid of little Bumble Bees.”
“Ya think?” I giggled again. I couldn’t help it.
“You want to know the worst part?” His eyes playfully sparkled into mine a second.
“There’s more?”
“Yep.” He nodded and focused back on the road. “Our uniforms are purple.”
“Purple bees?” I bit back a grin. “Purple bees can be cute.”
“Yeah, if you’re a Care Bear, maybe.”

That was it—I lost it. I totally cracked up all over again. Tony was seriously so cute. He kept me giggling the whole way to the soccer field. It was amazing, the direct contrast between him and Jaden.
Man, I should’ve never gone with that wolf! I could’ve already seen the Bumble Bees play, if I hadn’t. Besides, who wouldn’t love to hang out with a vampire all day? Especially if he was as cute as Tony.
Since he was the assistant coach, and expected to be early, we were the first ones on the field. I unloaded the cones while Tony hauled out the big net of balls he had stashed in his trunk. It only took a few moments to get the cones set out and the soccer balls freed and lined up for the children.
Tony was teaching me a few dribbling tricks with the ball when the kids started to show up. He was super good—his feet were so quick and light, by the time my feet would make it to where I’d seen the ball, it was already gone. I really didn’t want to stop, but the kids had other ideas. They were way too excited to see Tony.
As they came on the field, they raced right over and started ganging up on him, each little guy eager to be the one who stripped the ball from him. Tony laughed and ran all over the field, just barely keeping the ball in front, with loads of kids chasing from behind. It was easy to see that this was a warm-up game he played with them all the time. Everyone was laughing, and some of the parents egged the kids on.
“Come on, Max! Get ’im! Get Mr. Tony.”
“Kayla! The other way! Go the other way! Look, Mr. Tony’s comin’ up behind you!”
“Go, Justin! You can do it! Get the ball from Mr. Tony!”

SLOW DOWN: I decided it was my turn. “Run, Mr. Tony! Run!” I shouted loud enough to be heard over the parents’ laughter and shouts as I climbed up to sit on the bleachers.
Tony must’ve heard me because he whipped his head up and smiled the cutest smile I’d ever seen just before a little girl rammed right into him, causing him to trip over the ball and send him sprawling onto the field.
“Ahhhh!” It became a mad chaos of chuckles and whoops as the kids all tackled him in one large purple dog pile.
Tony finally emerged the winner, triumphant with the ball in his hand and children dripping from him. It was the most charming thing I’d ever seen. My heart practically burst from my chest with happiness.
Is there a more perfect guy on the planet? No way—it has to be him. Eeeh! And he’s smiling right at me.

It became all seriousness once the coach arrived and blew his whistle. The children and Tony jumped to attention immediately and jogged over to the man, who looked like he was in his early forties. Within seconds, the team was back on the field, and Tony was leading them through a series of proper warm-ups. Even that was super cute to watch.
Of course, it helped that every few minutes Tony would look up from what he was doing and grin at me.
Just before the game started, it was discovered that they were short a referee, so Tony quickly volunteered. He collected a black referee shirt and ran across the field up to the stand where I was sitting.

“Hey, can you hold this?” he asked, not even slightly winded. His eyes beamed mischievously up at me.
He is so hot. I bit my lip and looked down at him. “Hold what?”
Before I could blink, Tony whisked off his shirt right in front of me. Ahh! I glanced away as he leaned forward and tossed the other one over his head.
“Thanks,” he replied. He flung the shirt in my lap and climbed up the side of the bleachers, giving me a swift kiss on the cheek before dashing back out to the field again.
My hand flew to my cheek while my other one clasped the white coach uniform. I didn’t care that it was slightly damp. He’d just been wearing it! Once he’d made it out to the field again, Tony lightly ran backward a few steps and gave me a wink and a little salute before focusing solely on the game about to begin.

There was something almost magical about that game. Even though the Bumble Bees didn’t win, they weren’t upset or disappointed or anything. In fact, every one of the little guys got a special hug and a high-five from Tony at the end. He also made a point to exclaim in the coolest older brother voice I’d ever heard, “Man, you rocked! You are the best soccer player in the whole world!”
Every kid heard the same thing. And they knew he told them all the same thing—they were standing right there—but they didn’t care. They knew they were special, and that Tony loved them. I could tell that was all that mattered. I’d never seen so many happy, excited faces run home after a losing game—but it made me think, really think. Just who are you, Tony Russo? How can one guy capture the hearts of so many people around him? And does your heart have room for one more? All at once, I wanted to be a part of Tony’s life—that is, if he’ll let me

Thank you so much for reading my lesson on pacing.  I hoped it helped you understand a bit more and see where you can apply this to your own writing.  Also, if you'd like to receive these lessons straight to your inbox every Saturday, then sign up to my protected email list on the right. --Jenni

HOMEWORK HOMEFUN ASSIGNMENT:  Don't forget to read a book from your favorite author this week and really see what it is that captures you about their writing style.  Pay very close attention to their pacing.  Comment below-- I'd really like to know who your favorite author is and why.  How do they inspire you?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lesson 1: Show and Tell!

Hi! Welcome to Show & Tell! First click on the video and see what I have to say about showing and telling. Since most of your lesson is in this video--you really want to watch it.  Promise.  *grins*

Example One--Pride & Popularity, Chapter 12 Party Time!


While I was sharpening my pencil, Taylor came right up behind me.  He came too close for comfort and really bugged me, making it so I couldn't think properly.

SHOWING (Okay, so here is the same scene again--this time showing it.):

As I began to sharpen my pencil to make my ploy look good, I was surprised to hear Taylor’s voice behind me.

“Why are you sharpening something that’s already sharp?”

Dang! “One can never be too prepared.” I cranked the wheel of the sharpener. “What are you doing here?” I tossed over my shoulder.

“Oh, just sharpening my pencil. Same as you.”  He stepped forward and stood right behind me. His arm reached around mine to show his pencil.

I paused to compose my senses. Taylor was so close I could smell his aftershave. He smells so good. The tingling warmth of his arm as it touched mine nearly undid me. I turned my head slightly to look at his pencil, but I couldn’t focus enough to comprehend what I was seeing. He breathed on my neck, sending a multitude of sparks racing down my back. What is wrong with me?

“Your hair smells good, Chloe,” he whispered near my ear.

“Uh!” Instantly, I became a flurry of motion again as I realized I had nearly gone dizzy over the guy. Taylor dropped his arm and chuckled as he stepped back.

Example two--Persuaded, Chapter 13/14--(Now for a little something a bit more action packed... How about this one?):

TELLING: Kylie stupidly decided to show off without her helmet on. She ended up hitting a rock and flipping her ATV.  Gregory was the first person to her side after she fell down.  He thought she was dead.


            Everyone moved back as Kylie revved the engine and peeled out.  Her tires flew over the hill and soared quickly back again.  I wondered briefly if she was going to try for three spins in the air.  I wouldn’t doubt it.  She sped to the spot but this time passed it to create her own donut in fresh dirt.  She jerked her handle bars, but failed to notice the medium-sized rock beneath her tires.  In one electrifying moment we all watched Kylie’s ATV jolt to the left just as it was supposed to, but as she stood, the front tires bounced wildly on the rock causing the whole vehicle to become unstable.  In a flash the momentum from the speeding ATV repeatedly whipped and rolled—top over bottom—crushing Kylie’s lifeless body beneath its weight.
Chapter Fourteen

            The world stopped.  Everything froze around me as I beheld the horrific scene in front of my eyes. 
            And then as if by slow motion the pieces of my shattered brain began to click together and I was able to process what had just happened.  This was real.  I was not on some movie set in California.  Kylie had just been seriously injured—or killed—when her ATV rolled over flinging her with it.  It had ruthlessly cracked her head into the ground and instantly she was thrown from the machine, only to have it flip back onto her before the ATV plummeted to a stop about three feet away.  
            Gregory was the first to her side.  He was the first to move at all.  Had it not been for his anguished cry of, “She’s DEAD!” I don’t think I would’ve fully come out of my trance-like state.  As it was, his agony triggered me into motion.

So, can you guys tell the difference?  Do you see why it's so important to really get in there and show those scenes?  Don't be shy--give us those emotions.  

However, be careful not to bog the reader down.  There is a healthy balance.  Next week we'll talk about pacing.  *grins*  Don't worry.  I've got your back, your story is gonna be awesome!  I promise. :)

Jenni James
Author of The Austen Diaries:
Pride & Popularity July 2011


Take a scene from your story where you were telling and show us in the comments section how you fixed it.  The scene doesn't have to be big, just show us how you went from narration to story telling.  :)