My path through writing, editing, teaching

Kermit the Frog typing on a mechanical, old-style typewriter
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I’ve been a grammar stickler forever. I actually like diagramming sentences. I’ve been writing since I was in my teens. My mother has a picture that suggests I was writing stories as a first-grade student, but we’ll leave that for family albums. I was that 100% spelling test kid. I…

I am an editor and I host a workshop. Frequently in my workshop I get the question. “how many words make a scene?” I do have an upper limit of word count for scenes submitted to the workshop, but my answer to this question has to do with structure.

Story Structure: The Scene


Large chunks of narrative (occasionally dialogue, which I’ll discuss another time) that provide background (for characters’ actions) or setting detail are often referred to as “info dump.” Not all chunks are equal, however. Not every large paragraph must be cut apart.

“Info dump” is a problem when it harms pacing…

When to use

“Third person close, rotating” and “first person, rotating” (which is becoming a trendy narrative style) are both common POV choices for romance because it means that the whole story will be told partly from one lead’s perspective, and partly from the other lead’s perspective, giving the reader the fullest idea…

Lara Zielinsky

Fiction author, editor, and teacher willing to share what I’ve learned and what I’ve taught others to improve their writing.

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