7 Essential Things to Help Insure Success for Your Facebook Fan Page

 A Facebook Fan Page is one of three things considered essential if you want to develop a successful online presence. But many people assume that just creating a fan page is all they need to do. Life any successful component to online networking, a fan page takes diligence and work.

A Landing Page is the first thing you need. This page acts as a call to action to anyone who visits your page. You should never assume that someone who visits your page will automatically like it. You do need to understand that this page will only come up automatically when someone isn’t a fan of your page. That is a Facebook requirement. Continue reading “7 Essential Things to Help Insure Success for Your Facebook Fan Page”

The Construction of Chapter 8 – Kenzie’s scene. Don’t Rush the Drama!


One of the struggles I see with many writers – and even myself – is the rush to the climatic parts of the story.  They see the drama of the big pieces and want to get there immediately to wow the reader. However, the problem is when we don’t give the drama resonance – when we don’t show the progression of emotions leading up to it, and the significance of the drama, we miss out on the punch. I always advise clients to take their time, to feel the nuances of the scene and allow the reader to, also.

 However, sometimes it can feel like eating an elephant.  You have so far to go, and today you’reworking on a toenail. (okay, yuck.  Maybe I should find another analogy).  What about a birthday cake?  The kind with the nummy flowers in the middle?  What if you dove into the middle and only at the flowers? You would destroy the cake. You want to build up to the flowers…or maybe it’s like a five course meal, each piece of the meal whetting your palate for the next. (apparently, I’m hungry today!) At any rate…you have to devour this chapter before you can move onto the next.  Don’t destroy the deliciousness of your drama by feeding it to the reader too quickly.

  Continue reading “The Construction of Chapter 8 – Kenzie’s scene. Don’t Rush the Drama!”

Act 2: Keeping the Middle from Muddling

Is your Act 2 slowing down? Do you find it muddling along? Are you running out of content and creating mundane, circular scenes?  Here’s a way to fill Act 2 with powerful content.

The last scene of Luke and Kenzie’s story was an example of a combo reaction scene to the Romance, and the ramping up of the suspense thread again.  I also threw in a piece of the spiritual thread – that idea that relationships are what hold us together
and make us better people – which is what Luke is supposed to learn on this journey.


Just for a second, I’m going to dive into a discussion about the spiritual journey.  Although this is a romantic suspense, every book has some sort of theme, and even deeper, a story question.  It’s this question your hero and heroine have to grapple with as they journey through the plot.  If your plot does not make them look inside and question who they are, and thereby grow as a person, then your story has no purpose.  The point of a story is character change. J It is this character change thread that will give your Act 2 relevant and powerful content.


I teach a class called Character Layering – it’s a method of character revelation in a story that highlights your hero/heroine’s change, and it is accomplished through what I call, Essential Scenes.  Here is a list of those scenes and when they occur:

Layer One: His Attire: (which reveals his Identity) mannerisms, clothing, public goals(Hint: Commonly this is chapters 1-2)


In Meet the Hero or Heroine, you have a scene that shows:Their Storyworld,Their Identity (that essential element that makes them who they are)Their Goals (what they want)The Glimpse of the Greatest Dream – We want to see what he’s after, what matters to him. You do this by having him see what he wants—just a glimpse of it.Their Competence (if you need to save word count)


Layer Two: His Behavior (which reveals Character/Values/Competence): Remember, this layer reveals how he treats people, his habits (which also reveal values), his reactions to stress (which reveal past hurts, and his essential character).


I am good,so very good (the scene that reveals their values and their habits)

Just give me my blankie (his reactions to stress)


Layer Three: His Choices (which reveal purpose/Noble Cause): This layer reveals his external struggles regarding plot, his greatest dreams, and why he thinks he’ll never find them, his obstacles to love.There are a few scenes that accomplish this layer:


  1. If I could only – what stands in his way to storming the castle and rescuing the princess. (Money, skills, opportunity).
  2. All I want is to be Happy – the story about his fondest memory and why, and what his greatest dream is.
  3. This may lead to The One that Got away story – the revelation of his past romances


Layer Four: His In-security: His internal struggles, greatest dreams and fears, how he feels about love, his
spiritual vacancies. (This might occur anywhere from chapters 12-18.)So you need an Out of Character scene – Have the hero do something that goes contrary to his goals,

Which then leads to the What if I lose everything scene: Have a hint of his greatest fears happen, a sort of foreshadowing of the black moment, and have him consider giving up.

The Sacrificial Act
makes him heroic, but also changes him into the person he needs to be.


Layer Five: His Spiritual Lie and the discovery of the truth.

(Often this occurs near the climatic ending, anywhere from chapter 16-20.)


A Black Moment relates to the greatest fear. It’s when it comes true in some way. You need the Black Moment Event scene, which leads to the Breakdown/Epiphany Scene.

On my character change journey, Luke has accomplished all of Layer 3, and part of Layer 4, so I’ve moved him along sufficiently.  However, Kenzie has a journey also, so as  I construct the next chapter, I’m going to check in with this chart and see where
she is.

When she was on her date with Luke, she dipped into Layer 3, sharing a bit of herself – but I think Kenzie needs more revelation – what stands in her way to happiness?  What is her greatest dream?  I’ll touch on these in this chapter, as well as move her toward layer 4 – uncharacteristic behavior.

Using this chart, as well as some of the others helps me find powerful content for Act 2, and keeps the middle from, uh, muddling.  J  It gives the story focus as they move forward and reveals the essential information for each step in the journey.  If you’re hunting for content for Act 2, try inserting an essential scene and see how it opens the story to new plot threads and deeper character revelation.

Tomorrow, we’ll move into the Character Interview, the Story Threads, the Scene Starter and the first line.

Happy Writing!

Susie May


Seven Things Every Writer Must Do, Part Five: Enjoy the Trip!

I once rode in a bicycle event that took us past some pretty incredible sights. The space shuttle was clearly visible from launch pad 39A. Alligators lined the trenches on the side of the highway and we pedaled within a few feet of the largest known eagle’s nest.

 When the ride ended and we were packing up our gear, one rider exclaimed, “Wasn’t the space shuttle awesome?” One of the faster, more competitive rider responded, “what space shuttle?” He went on to explain he was so concentrated on finishing the “race”, he saw absolutely nothing except the backside of the rider in front of him.

 How sad! He missed out on some of the greatest natural and manmade wonders in Florida. I couldn’t help but ask whether he enjoyed himself. He answered gruffly, “what do you think? Cycling is not about enjoying yourself. It’s about winning the race.”

 Oh really? I don’t think he could ever have made a more incorrect statement to me. You see, I love to ride my custom-built Waterford touring bicycle. But I’m 54 years old. On my best day, I’d never cross the line first. I recognize that and went for the journey, not for the win.

 I had the joy and peace of having watched a white ibis walk along the shoreline, and a gray heron spread her massive wings and launch herself out over the marsh. I saw massive space technology sitting silently toward the heavens in the Florida wild. I can’t imagine missing out on that to cross the finish line before everyone else, even if I could.

 I’ve known writers who are so focused on what they decided was the finish line—publication—they completely forget to enjoy the journey. I urge you not to make that mistake. Here are a few things I recommend you consider:

 You’ll never pass this way again. It’s true. A dear friend just saw her very first novel on the shelves at Walmart. I’m sure she will see many, many more there, but she will NEVER again see her first one there. Fortunately, she embraced it. Soaked it up. Savored the moment. And of course, she took pictures.

 Crossing the finish line without having enjoyed the journey will leave you empty. It’s like getting the check, paying for the meal and tip without having gotten the food. Seriously! The joy is in the journey, not reaching the destination.  

You learn more from the trip than you will by reaching the end. Think about it in terms of your novel. What if the only thing you had in the entire book was “The End”. Not many readers would give you raving reviews would they? Why? Because you’d rob them of the excitement of the journey. They get to know your characters. Love them. Hate them. Walk with them for a while. They need the journey. So do you.

 Repeat after me, “It’s all about the journey”. Enjoy it. Learn from it. You’re writers will thank you for it!

  Reba J. Hoffman Member Care Coach 

 Reba J. Hoffman is the MBT Member Care Coach. She has a PhD in clinical counseling and is the founder and president of New Hope Institute of Counseling. Reba uses her gift of encouragement to help writers overcome negative emotions so they can live their dream of being a writer. Her works appear in publications such as Running for the Woman’s Soul by Road Runner Sports and The Good Fight by Donna Hicken. She is the author of My Book Therapy’s Dare to Dream, a Writer’s Journal. Contact her at reba@mybooktherapy.com.


So, what about your journey? What are you learning? Have you been too focused on the finish line? Email me your story at reba@mybooktherapy.com. I’d love to hear about it!