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Hello, i would really like it if you could help me in my writers block. i have written in total around nine different beginnings of novels. however i cannot seem to get the unexciting bits right. i can create a scene with a click of a finger but i can not get my characters from A to B without ruining the moment. I am currently writing a historical novel about love and death, the only problem is i am sixteen so i do not have any past time experience. if you have anything that might be able to help me i would very much appreciate it .
yours sincerely Billie Smith

Hi, Billie,

I think most writers suffer from this. It takes practice to get past what are known as "transition scenes." It may be as simple as starting a new chapter to get past the uncomfortable spots, or finding some event to tie into later things. Sometimes it's even useful to START a boring scene, but then spice it up with an unexpected thing that takes up the time. A few I've used successfully to grab the reader are (and the reasons why it grabs them):

1. Have a passerby faint and knock over your MC (who is she? what happened?)
2. Gallop a runaway, riderless horse through an outdoor boring scene. (where's the rider? why is the horse in a lather?)
3. Have a child start screaming (is s/he sick, hurt, scared?)
4. A dog chases a chick through the middle of the house (where'd the dog come from? and the chicken?)

These are done literally MID-SENTENCE--and preferably while your main character (MC) is speaking. You start to talk or deal with the boring realities of eating, sleeping or toiletries and BAM! The scene is swept away with the crisis and you mention in one line that the MC grabbed a turkey leg and raced off to deal with the situation, or the boring high tea was upended when the trays were knocked over and your MC was immensely grateful.

Basically, take the boring and make it fun and exciting. It happens to all of us every day, so it'll make sense to the reader even if it's a setting that's unfamiliar.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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