Susan May Warren

About Susan May Warren

Former Russian Missionary Susan May Warren is the best-selling author of more than 40 novels and novellas with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill, and Summerside. A Christy award and RITA winner, and multiple finalist for the RITA, Christy and winner of Inspirational Readers Choice contest, Susan currently has over a million books in print. A seasoned women’s events speaker and writing teacher, she is the founder of http://www.mybooktherapy.com an online community for writers, and runs a fiction editing service teaching writers how to tell a great story. Visit her online at: http://www.susanmaywarren.com.

Author Archive | Susan May Warren

Extreme Book Makeover: The Secret of turning your POV character into a HERO.

Does the ACT 2 of your novel feel saggy? Maybe you’ve run out of great ideas to liven the plot? In this episode of Extreme Book Makeover, we’re going to talk about ACTS of HEROISM to add some twists and turns to your story.

Acts of Heroism

Remember – the key to a great character is to develop his story (and all the story pieces) off the page, so he walks onto the page fully formed. (That includes your character’s Lie, Wound, the Greatest Fears and Dream, as well as the Stakes of the story)

Now, let’s employ the concept of ACTS of HEROISM. Acts of Heroism are those character-change actions that take your character from an everyday Joe to a hero.

It’s not the grand gestures, the great sacrifices . . . Acts of Heroism are the choices your character makes that push him beyond himself beyond his comfort zone and changes him.

These choices will not only make your reader love him just a little bit more – but also cause new problems for your hero.

Read the RestDoes your book need an extreme book makeover? Try our Premium Membership for a week, FREE!
Continue Reading Comments { 0 }
Rachel Hauck

Extreme Book Makeover: Widen your plot to keep your middle from sagging!

Do you feel like the tension in your story has started to sag?

That you are simply rehashing old plot problems? It can be a challenge in Act 2 to keep the reader caring, the story filled with enough tension to keep the pages turning.

I watched Saving Mr. Banks this weekend. Wanted to love it. But it had a few problems. The main character (Pamela) suffered from a fatal case of unlike ability, even with her backstory – and got redeemed too late. But that’s another topic. Bigger was the issue that, aside from Walt Disney wanting to keep a promise to his daughter (the stakes of the story), we simply stopped caring about the character, mostly due to her obsessive need to get the story right.

Thankfully, the story tension is resuscitated by the backstory, and the fear of young Pamela losing her father.

In other words, Peripheral Plotting saved the day.

If your story seems to be going in circles, or worse, dying…this trick just might give it the life it needs to hang on.

Peripheral Plotting is the technique of pulling in ancillary elements and using them to create more tension in your plot. Ideally, it will push your character along their journey, creating more sympathy for your character – and even motivation for their next choices.

How does Peripheral Plotting work?

Read the RestDoes your book need an extreme book makeover? Try our Premium Membership for a week, FREE!
Continue Reading Comments { 0 }
Rachel Hauck

Extreme Book Makeover: Start with the End to craft the Beginning!

I love writing contests for unpublished authors. I got my own start with a writing contest, and I believe there is nothing better for a new author than entering a contest to see if they have what it takes to write a story. (by the way, here’s a shameless plug for our own contest, the Fraiser!) The feedback can be essential to helping an author strengthen and add shine to their story.

The problem with these contests, however is that an author can have a fantastic opening chapter, honing and crafting it to compelling brilliance….

And still have the book fall apart after that.

Why does this happen? Because it’s easy to get excited about the beginning of a story – but maintaining the momentum to the end is challenging. In our Extreme Book Makeover seires, we’re headed into ACT 2 – how to keep the middle from muddling. But the key to keep Act 2 momentum going starts with a look at the END…and hinting at it in the beginning.

Start with the End in Mind.

Read the RestDoes your book need an extreme book makeover? Try our Premium Membership for a week, FREE!
Continue Reading Comments { 0 }

Extreme Book Makeover: Help Me Hook My Reader: Starting on the RUN!

I watched the Oscars last night. (Best. Oscars. Ever. #OscarTwitterPic #PizzaDelivery)

I’d only seen one of the movies in the Best Picture category – Gravity. In fact, I saw it this weekend, in our home theater, where I think I only breathed twice in an hour. Terrifying, in a non-horror-film, wow-I-never-want-to-be-there way.

The story, in a nutshell, is about a scientist who is working on the space shuttle – specifically OUTSIDE the shuttle in a spacewalk – when, due to a crazy set of circumstances — she gets untethered and thrown into space. Her quest is to somehow get back to earth.

It’s an amazing movie – the special effects will blow your mind.

And, it’s a great example of starting a movie with just the right amount of PIPE.

Pipe is the distance between the first sentence and the Noble Quest. As an author, you’re opening the faucet of your story, and the pipe is how long it takes for it to start spilling out. The shorter the pipe, the sooner your reader receives the benefit of the story.

However, many authors suffer from Too Much Pipe Syndrome, or the belief that they must tell their reader everything about their main character before the story starts for the reader to enjoy the story. Another way to put it is they start their story way too early.

Read the RestDoes your book need an extreme book makeover? Try our Premium Membership for a week, FREE!
Continue Reading Comments { 1 }
MBT Menu