"Writing a Winner" with Deborah Raney

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DEBORAH RANEY’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched her writing career after 20 happy years as a stay-at-home mom. Her books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Deb’s 23rd novel released from Howard/Simon & Schuster in May 2013. She and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy their simple life in Kansas, but also love traveling together to teach at conferences, and to visit four children and four small grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deb on the Web at www.deborahraney.com.

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"Writing a Winner" with Deborah Raney

  1. 1. Checklist for Writing a Winner
  2. 2. Opening Is the reader’s interest captured in the first line, first paragraph, first page? Does the novel begin in the right place?
  3. 3. CharactersAre lead characters likable, yet flawed? Do they feel larger-than-life, yet realistic? Do they have clearly drawn desires and ears? Do they change and grow from opening o end?
  4. 4. PacingDoes the reader feel compelled to keep turning pages? Are there “hooks” in every scene?
  5. 5. DialogueIs the dialogue natural and realistic, yet concise? Does it advance the character arcs and plot? Is there enough dialogue?
  6. 6. Secondary Characters Are the secondary characters believable? Do they have a solid reason for being in the story?
  7. 7. Setting Is the setting well- described and integral to the story?
  8. 8. Setting Is the setting well- described and integral to the story?
  9. 9. Setting Is the setting well- described and integral to the story?
  10. 10. Point of ViewIs the POV for each scene wisely chosen? Is it well-distributed? Does the writer avoid head-hopping?
  11. 11. Style Is the author’s “voice” unique and appealing without being intrusive?
  12. 12. ClichésDoes the writer avoid clichés and stereotypes in plot, dialogue, narrative and characterization? Is it written in a fresh way?
  13. 13. Most Important: Would you recommend this book to your reader friends? To your writer friends?
  14. 14. Checklist for Writing a Winner

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