I finished (for the third time) one of my favorite chapters from Shades of Treason. My hero and heroine are together and alone, and they’ve just been through hell. Always a fun moment, right?

The rest of the book should move faster. I had to work out a lot of inconsistencies in this draft, but I’m pretty sure I had the complete plot in mind by this point in the book, so I don’t have as much to smooth out. Once I finish this draft, I’ll do one more read through, doing my best to Margie-ize the draft.

What’s Margie-izing? So glad you asked!

Last October, I went to a Margie Lawson Immersion Course in Colorado. It was phenomenal. Exactly what I needed to make my writing better. She’s studied New York Times bestselling books and authors and identified all the things! that make their stories awesome. Much of it has to do with rhetorical devices.

Bet you never thought you’d hear that word outside of English class. Rhetorical devices. It puts a big smile on my face.

Rhetorical devices are fun. They’re not easy, but when you nail one, wow. It makes the book shine.

I need to find the list of rhetorical devices from the immersion course, but here are some of the things I’ve written to make this book not-so-ho-hum ( oh, looky, that’s a rhetorical device right there, the hyphenated run-on. I freaking adore hyphenated run-ons.)

Other examples from my last chapter:

Instead of writing

“I know,” he said, his tone grave.

I wrote

“I know.” Those two words contained enough force to cause a galaxy to expand. 

Instead of writing

She was the only woman in her class of anomalies – the only woman ever to complete the training – and he was hot, built like a soldier.

I wrote

She was the only woman in her class of anomalies – the only woman ever to complete the training – and he was built like a Zenith Predator*, all hard, defined muscles and smooth, lethal movements.

(Hmm. Now that I wrote that boring sentence, I’m kind of wanting to use the hyphenated run-on built-like-a-soldier-hot. I think it’s a good descriptor. 🙂  )

So, the writing is going better now. I had a very hard, very slow August and September. My brain was preoccupied. I was doubting the story and my ability to write it (this happens pretty much every other day), and I was just kind of down about the whole thing.

Not anymore. Because I loved this chapter. And there are so many other chapters I love just as much. I really, really can’t wait to let you all read this book!

* The Zenith Predator is a fighter that can fly in space and within a planet’s atmosphere. It’s developed earlier in the story. A pretty sleek bird.