Fiction Writing Made Easy

#97: First Chapter Analysis: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

June 27, 2023 Savannah Gilbo Episode 97
#97: First Chapter Analysis: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Fiction Writing Made Easy
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Fiction Writing Made Easy
#97: First Chapter Analysis: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Jun 27, 2023 Episode 97
Savannah Gilbo

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Join me and fellow developmental editor Abigail K. Perry as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:

[08:20] A very quick summary of the first chapter 

[21:00] A micro-analysis of the first chapter to see how many scenes are present within the opening chapter—as well as how and why the scenes work

[34:00] Our thoughts on how the opening chapter gives readers plenty of clues re: what this story is going to be about (and how it plays on the global stakes)

[47:00] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

Click here to pre-order a copy of my brand-new book, The Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and get a handful of extra-special pre-order bonuses for free!

👉 Looking for a transcript? If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, scroll down below the episode player until you see the transcript.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In today’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the first chapter of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Join me and fellow developmental editor Abigail K. Perry as we talk through the first chapter of this popular fantasy novel. Here’s a preview of what we talk about:

[08:20] A very quick summary of the first chapter 

[21:00] A micro-analysis of the first chapter to see how many scenes are present within the opening chapter—as well as how and why the scenes work

[34:00] Our thoughts on how the opening chapter gives readers plenty of clues re: what this story is going to be about (and how it plays on the global stakes)

[47:00] Final thoughts and episode recap


Rate + Review + Follow on Apple Podcasts

"I love the Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast!" ← If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing this show! Your rating and review will help other writers find this podcast, and they're also super fun for me to go in and read. Just click here, scroll all the way to the bottom, tap five stars to rate the show, and then select "Write a Review." Be sure to let me know what your favorite part of the episode was, too! 

Also, if you haven't done so already, make sure you're following the podcast! I'll be adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the feed, and if you're not following the show, there's a good chance you'll miss them. Click here to follow now!


Links mentioned in this episode:

Click here to check out the LitMatch Podcast with Abigail Perry! You can also get in touch with Abigail through her website or on Instagram @abigailkperry.

Click here to pre-order a copy of my brand-new book, The Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and get a handful of extra-special pre-order bonuses for free!

👉 Looking for a transcript? If you’re listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, scroll down below the episode player until you see the transcript.

Speaker 1:

Like what Abigail and I both say all the time is if you hear yourself thinking the reason to switch or to add another point of view is because I don't know what else to do and the reader needs this information. That's probably not the best choice. So, instead of just kind of succumbing to that, say what's a creative way to get this in from my protagonist's perspective, or use it to, like Abigail said, build the suspense.

Speaker 1:

So, just a thought exercise. Welcome to the fiction writing made easy podcast. My name is Savannah Gilbo and I'm here to help you write a story that works. I want to prove to you that writing a novel doesn't have to be overwhelming, so each week, i'll bring you a brand new episode with simple, actionable and step-by-step strategies that you can implement in your writing right away. So whether you're brand new to writing or more of a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you. So pick up a pen and let's get started.

Speaker 1:

In today's episode, we're diving deep into the first chapter of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I'm super excited to dig into this first chapter because I'm a big fan of this book and I think there's a lot to learn from these opening pages. As usual in these first chapter episodes, i'm joined by a very special guest, abigail K Perry, who is a developmental editor and the host of an amazing podcast called Litmatch, where she helps writers find the best literary agent for their writing and publishing careers. I will link to her podcast in the show notes, as well as where you can find Abigail around the internet if you want to get in touch with her Now. If you've been listening to this podcast for a while, then you already know the deal about these first chapter episodes.

Speaker 1:

But just in case you're brand new here, or in case you need a reminder, abigail and I like to pick apart the opening chapters of stories to see how the author hooks our attention and pulls us into the story, and we like to analyze these opening chapters on both the macro and the micro level. So basically, we're asking why does this chapter work? and then how does the scene or the scenes within this chapter work? So that's a very quick overview of what we're going to dig into today. We're going to hear more explanation for everything once we get into the episode. So, with that being said, let's go ahead and dive right into the conversation.

Speaker 2:

You picked this one a discovery of which is by Deborah Harkness, and this is a very popular read And I remember when you picked this one, i was thinking to myself I read it, i didn't love it. And then, going back and reading this first chapter, i was surprised that I didn't love it. I mean, i remember it was years ago. It came out in 2011. So we're talking 10 plus years that this has been out now. But I read it when it first came out And maybe I thought I was going to love it more than I did. I think it was the vampire line that I didn't love. But funny, because going back and reading this first chapter, i didn't think I was going to be enthusiastic to read it. And then I was reading this first chapter and thinking to myself what was I thinking? Why didn't I like this one?

Speaker 1:

And it's funny because I read it and I loved it When I first read it. I've read it. This is my third time going through it. I'm listening on Audible right now And as I was going through the first chapter, again I'm like what the heck? Why didn't Abigail like this? This is totally up for.

Speaker 2:

Allie, it's totally on my alley. I think I must have just been in a mood or something that I was reading.

Speaker 1:

We were just talking to you before. we pushed record about how we both tried to read book two, and this is a book that neither of us finished. So book two in this series, and we can talk about that a little more later But our hypothesis was maybe that's why you don't have the fondest memories- Yeah, i think that must have been it, because I remember I stopped with book two and it was something like the only other series I stopped in.

Speaker 2:

book two was Game of Thrones, and I know you know that's my goodness.

Speaker 2:

Well, I know, I know that is a lot of people like, especially if you're a fantasy lover, that is, you know, a juggernaut for you. I just couldn't get into Game of Thrones. It wasn't for me. I think I didn't like the writing very much, but I also had trouble liking certain characters And I think I just fastened on that And I read, I read book one and I read half a book two. When I stopped And I read all of the Discovery Witches and I think that I read, I either read all the book two and didn't go on to. I think I did read all the book two and then didn't go on to book three, but I might have stopped. I don't remember book two, I'll say that where this one I do remember. And when I was reading this first chapter though, I was like why didn't I like this one? Because I am very much like the first chapter. I enjoy the writing, I'm interested by the magic, So yeah, maybe it's time for a reread.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, we can talk about the series later. I think that's. This is the case study I always bring up when I say you know, be careful of changing your content genres or your commercial genres from book one to book two, and I think this is an example of a series that did that. And it's, i'm curious, for whoever's listening, you know, let us know, did. If you read book one and two and three, how did you feel about them? Because I usually don't stop halfway through a book and I just could not get through book two. I think I was so changed so drastically from book one that it wasn't. I felt like I was reading a totally different series that I never signed up for.

Speaker 2:

And you know it's so interesting because there's a difference between genre blending and changing your genre in a series. Because there are plenty of books I actually my favorite books tend to genre blend, but ultimately when it's a series you create, especially with your sequel, you have created expectations for what your series is in that first book. So if you change content genres in that, it is a risky move. I just I always remember back to one of Brandon Sanderson's videos at BYU that he has on YouTube I just love the series And he talked about a friend or a fantasy writer that had approached him and was really struggling to understand why people couldn't get into his book. And Brandon Sanderson read it and he said that it started out action and then halfway through it it changed.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So you also don't want to change within the story. It has to blend, it's not like a complete shift of focus.

Speaker 1:

Well, and I think, like you said, you have to maintain and escalate the stakes from book one And I felt I know we're getting like way into the weeds of the series, but it was almost like the stakes kind of petered out And I kept thinking like what? I want to go back to the drama from the first book, like what happened with that instead were sucked back in time And it's like not much happens And you want to be raising the stakes so you don't go backwards.

Speaker 2:

Definitely not, Yeah Yeah. So before we get into it, Savannah, why don't I just read the back cover, just in case people? because it is an older one. Most people you know a lot of fantasy writers have probably heard of Discovery, which is some other readers might not have heard of it.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

So I'll just read the back cover real quick to give you a taste of what the story is about. Okay, so here this is it. I'm reading it directly from the back of the paperback version. Okay, deep in the heart of Oxford's Bolean Library, diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, unearths an enchanted alchemical manuscript. Wanting nothing to do with sorcery, she banishes the book to the stacks, but her discovery has set a fantastical underworld stirring and soon a horde of demons, witches and other creatures to send upon the library. Among them is the enigmic Matthew Claremont, a vampire with a keen interest in the book. Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. A discovery which is a mesmerizing and addictive tale of passion and obsession that reveals the closely guarded secrets of an enchanted world Cool.

Speaker 1:

So then we're going to dig into the first chapter and I have a summary of that, but basically what we're going to do is look at it on the big picture level. So how does this tell us, kind of, what expectations we can have about the book going into it, plus what we just read on the back cover? And then we're going to dig into the chapter to see how many scenes are in there and what that scene structure looks like, right? So let me read a quick summary of the first chapter and then we can dig in. Sound good, sounds great. Okay, so this is a very clever and unusual book known as Ashmole 782.

Speaker 1:

While researching 17th century chemistry at Oxford's Bodleian Library, diana immediately senses that the book has supernatural powers because she's a witch and she can sense these things, even though she's rejected this part of her heritage. She resists her own magical powers because she blames her parents magic for their disappearance and death. So instead she relies on research and science to direct her own life And so far it's worked out for her. She's a published author and a tenured faculty member at Yale. But while examining Ashmole 782, diana struggles to treat it as just a regular book. It sighs and refuses to open until she lays her hand on it, and inside, the illustrations seem to be alchemically incorrect. There's no accompanying explanatory text, but Diana comes to realize this book is a polympsest, a manuscript that has been erased and written over with new text. And the complicate matters even more, the original writing is hidden by a spell. Disconcerted and determined not to get involved with magic, diana sends the book back to the stacks.

Speaker 2:

Perfect Love, that summary. One else I think is really interesting about this first chapter is something you know we can get into this maybe a little bit later, but this is a really good example of weaving backstory, threading backstory into content. And I don't know about you, savannah, when we get into the scene analysis that I analyzed. This is one scene, one chapter. I did too. Okay, and there's a page break. If you at least have the paperback version, yes, and there's a page break on my version. It's page six. It's about halfway through the chapter And that is not where the scene ends, but it is a significant piece of where a backstory description ends about her parents And I just if you're ever wondering how to weave backstory, if you're a writer out there and you want to study a really strong example of this this was as strong as the other example I usually go over with writers is The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. Yeah, and then after that it weaves a fully fleshed out backstory moment into a bigger event.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And this chapter does that as well in a way that it's engaging and we see its own beat level of five commandment scenes in the backstory, but it's within the content of what she's doing in the library, so I just wanted to pull that out real quick.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and there's actually a lot of backstory that they're getting in, and I wanted to find a point where we could talk about it today, where I'm like this is where it got too much for me, but I actually didn't mind it, yeah. So I think you're right, it totally works, even though there's quite a bit. So it is a really good example to study.

Speaker 2:

I think it's a good example, especially because there are pages of it, right? So a lot of writers might question, being like wait, i've been told not to write this much backstory. Is this? why is this not info dumping versus threading into the greater content? And I think because Diana is not learning that she's a witch in chapter one. Yeah, so she knows it and she has history with it And because of that history, she's neglected pursuit of her own ancestry, which is So I think that's really important because it details the dangers of where you can go by being a witch, and he also emphasizes that when you're too powerful, there can be dangers with that, and Deborah explains that in examples of what her mom is doing. That's something that Diana witnesses, right, and I think that that's really interesting because it's almost warning, it's establishing stakes for me first of all.

Speaker 2:

And then it's putting a warning into what Diana pursues in this first chapter. Which did you think that this first chapter was the insetting incident of the entire story?

Speaker 1:

In theory, could she walk away? I guess that's my question to us. If she walked away, could she go on with her life? If she went back to Yale? Yeah, i think she would walk away.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i think, and I think that would be, because what she's going to do here, she's going to open up some magic, right, right. So would that magic still come for her or not?

Speaker 1:

Basically what we're getting into is that the other creatures once she touches this book in the first chapter vampires, demons. everybody wants something with this book, so I mean, i think it could be an inciting incident. I guess it depends what story structure we're looking at, because it could also be a book.

Speaker 2:

Right? Well, because that's what I wanted to ask you. That because it's interesting, because I almost felt, especially if you read the back cover. Wanting nothing to do with her sorcery, she banishes the book to the stacks. That's a pivotal moment described in the back cover, And usually in the back cover you would describe an inciting incident. At the same time, it's chapter one, So I guess this is the opening image. Are we seeing this as the flash of what she's neglecting and what she'll be called to pursue? So it's interesting. It's like are they together? Are they separate?

Speaker 1:

Does something take place? Yeah, I think the inciting incident is definitely to do with the book. I'm just trying to remember because I'm not at this point in my reread what happens. Does she get the book back?

Speaker 2:

right away, right, because I mean it's in the stacks, it's not like it's something that she can't go call upon again, right? I think that's the key there. That's where it's like I don't have the perfect answer, but that's something that I, if I were to continue rereading this, that's something that I would be paying attention to, because I am curious if this is overlapping opening image with inciting incident or if they work better. It's two separate things in the story.

Speaker 1:

And I think that's interesting too, because I'm not mad at the idea that the inciting incident could happen in the beginning. I think what's interesting is that we go back to the library and we kind of keep dealing with the effects of the book, so it's not like the book thing happens and then something else comes out of left field, right. So yeah, i don't know, i think we could go with. Potentially that's the inciting incident. If not, it's like the mini inciting incident before being thing.

Speaker 2:

Whatever it is, it hooks my attention Totally. I think that's a big picture stakes, which is what we'll explore first with the seven key first chapter questions.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, One more thing on that, too, is it's interesting that in a way, it could seem like a coincidence, right? Where, like she picks up this random book and then all the people come into town, but because they set up what her studies are all about and they've given us, like that, this is basically what she pours all of her time and energy into, you can't tell yourself it's coincidence, right. It's just like we're literally watching the day her life changes. And this is a thing that writers will hear often about where to start your story. Pick the day that your character's life changes. Yes, she is in the middle of this. All kinds of research. I think she pulls out like five books the first day she's here, the first day we meet her, and one of them just happens to be this book that's going to bring all this other stuff to her.

Speaker 1:

So, it's a good example of starting in the right place too. Oh, absolutely, i think part of it is like her touching it too, like if anybody else had called it, it would matter.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, no, definitely, definitely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, that is a good segue, then, into the seven key first chapter questions, which we do first to analyze the big picture, setting up expectations for what the story is, and then, after that, we will go into the micro analysis, you know, zero in and look at the scene structure to see why this is a well structured scene, and to do that we use the five commitments which come from Story Grid and Robert McKee. Yep, let's dive in. Okay, so the first question, as always, deals with genre, and the question is what kind of story is it? So we're talking that we have two different genres content genre and commercial genre. Commercial genre Where are we marketing it? Content genre What type of story is this? so that we understand reader expectations.

Speaker 1:

Right, And so I would say this is adult fantasy with a big splash of romance. You know there's romantic that word's going around these days so we can call it that Adult romantic Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And that's what's so interesting, because commercially there is genre blending just by that, yeah Right, i mean in the back cover describes that purposefully like equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense Right.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So we are seeing a lot of that right there. for content genre, what did you think? I landed on action and worldview. Yeah, that's where I went to. I think that that's especially with big picture stakes and we'll talk about stakes at the end of the series of questions but you can see that danger is afoot in some way, well, and I'm with you there.

Speaker 1:

If I were a listener who's writing a story like this, i might wonder why is it not love? Why is it not a love story? So I can share my two cents about that. It's if we, like Abigail said, we're going to talk about stakes later, but the story is about Matthew and Diana. Right, but it's more about this bigger plot that Diana's been pulled into And, like Abigail said, we're hinting at that danger in this first chapter. Yeah, so you know we have to look at what's a bigger deal Diana possibly dying or Diana possibly falling in love probably dying right, yeah, 100%.

Speaker 2:

And I think that, like a good example to model with this, i always like to use the Hunger Games and a lot of the explanations, and the Hunger Games has a huge love triangle that makes that story, and that's in that trilogy, super interesting and exciting. You know, team Peter, team Gale, yeah, but ultimately the main question that you're thinking as a reader is well, can't us survive the games? there is absolutely, without a doubt, the question of well, can't us love Peter back, and that makes the story extra interesting and adds that layer. And Diana and Matthew have that same question in this story. But ultimately I think you're, and especially from this first chapter, asking yourself will she survive? Is there something going on with survival? Right, yep.

Speaker 1:

So we can get into that And then, like we said, we're in the kind of the plot question, right, what is the story really about? Yeah, so it's about. You know, if we zoom out to who's kind of behind, who's the antagonist in the story, we could probably say it's the Covenant. And then there's like one person maybe that represents the Covenant, but the congregation sorry, the congregation wants to keep the species separate and they don't want blending between the species and they just want to hold on to their like archaic rules, you know. So they don't want anyone to get a hold of Ashmole 782, because that's going to hold the truth that all the species want. That basically says the congregations not telling you the whole truth. So that's like. The bigger picture is that Diana and Matthew just so happened to be a vampire to which they're involved in this Right And do you think this is a good place to talk about what Ashmole 782 is?

Speaker 1:

Sure, it's an alchemical text and it shows the like, an allegorical chemical wedding of the red king and the white queen, which are like the feminine, masculine elements, and basically it's going to tell Matthew and Diana and everybody that the species can merge together.

Speaker 2:

Okay, And maybe this is actually I'm going to jump around a bit with our questions, because I think that we keep touching on this one and it's actually the seventh question, but I think it's valuable to talk about now. So the seventh question deals with stakes and the question is what are the stakes and why should readers care what happens next? I think that we've been touching on it now, So let's just talk about what the stakes are. So when you're reading this, I mean my main question, especially with Ashmole 782 coming into play as a reader if I was a first time reader especially I'd be wondering why is this such a bad thing, if this gets out or not?

Speaker 1:

If the deal with the book Right?

Speaker 2:

What's the deal with the book and why is it such a bad thing if different species of magical powers get it versus others? So what do you think about that Savannah? What do you think are the stakes if Diana is able to get this manuscript and protect it versus a more evil force of nature?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So basically it comes down to two things. Everyone believes that Ashmole 782 might hold the key to explaining why the supernatural creatures, or the groups of supernatural creatures, exist and, more importantly, why they're dying out. So each group wants the manuscript to see how they came to be in the first place and then what they can do to help their species stay alive. So the stakes are actually pretty big. We can't forget about Diana either, because if she gets ahold of Ashmole 782, she's going to learn about her powers and her history and she's going to embrace all that, and that will allow her to be successful in the external plot.

Speaker 2:

So question three is point of view and the question is who is telling the story?

Speaker 1:

So this one's fun because Diana is the first person narrator for most of the book, but occasionally we switch into third person to show Matthew's perspective and his son Marcus's perspective.

Speaker 2:

Okay, So let's talk about that, because we did a recording for Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pell and there was Marcellus in first person with the octopus, and then we went to third person limited, following the other two main characters who were in it. So interesting. Here we have another example of some flipping And I have so many writers who always want to do that and it's not necessarily the best move for the story. And then when it does happen in store I mean I love plenty of stories that do it but I think the execution of it is what you have to be mindful of when it best serves the story and when it is just feeling like it's the only thing. You needed to just deliver some information that you didn't feel like you could tell any other way.

Speaker 1:

So that's the key, because a lot of writers that I talk to that want to do this. it's more of like that would be fun or this might set my book apart, but that's not a good enough reason to do it. They want to have an actual, solid reason for the story. that's more than just a way of decorating something Right.

Speaker 2:

Like a way of I don't know how else to deliver this information. Yeah, Where? usually what I found, especially if there's first person or there's a limited even if it's third person, it's limited perspective in some way. I find that writers tend to then feel like they need to either switch POV, inconsistently right, or they feel like they need to drop something that's more like I don't know, not necessarily first person, but they need to give away information because they feel like the reader needs to know something that's antagonistic, right, that the limited character, which is a main character that we're usually following, wouldn't know otherwise.

Speaker 2:

And my question is well, why wouldn't that just add suspense to the story? Like, can you figure out how to deliver that better through the main characters figuring that out? Why do you feel like you have to give away the answers before instead of revealing them through setups and payoffs? Right? And if you can't answer that question, then my question is well, why consider that route then? Yeah, if it's not going to best serve the story, because the suspense for the tension might work better. So, in this case, savannah, why do you think this was the best execution from point of view?

Speaker 1:

Yeah Well, let me back up a second, because we talked about this the other day and one of my group coaching calls And what we kind of boiled it down to was like why are we doing this? Why are we trying to switch point of view, or why are we thinking we need to get the information in from someone else's point of view? And then I asked one of the writers in there. I said are you just worried? Like does it come down to you? You're not sure if you can execute what you want to do, like the suspense like you're talking about. And then more than one person was like I think this is my problem too.

Speaker 1:

So it's kind of I feel like a lot of people go this route because they either don't know what they don't know or they feel like I would love to evoke some suspense, but I don't think I can pull that off, either because I lack confidence or I don't have the tools. So I think it's like a deeper problem, right, it's kind of like sometimes writers do this too with like plot twists where they're like that would be really cool to have a plot twist. I just don't know if I can pull it off. And I think this is where that we are always telling people. This is where that skill of writing comes in, right. You just have to know why you're doing something. Try it, get the beta reader or the editor feedback and see how it's received. But yeah, we don't want to go the easy route, just to go the easy route, right.

Speaker 2:

And what do you think are the advantages of this approach to point of view with the switching? Why do you think it is more effective than less effective?

Speaker 1:

Well, i think you know Diana is a first person narrator. I think that's a really good choice because she's the one we're supposed to latch on to the most, yes, and we want to be really, really close to her. So first person's a great choice for that. And then Matthew and his son Marcus. They're in third person limited And so that although we still have interiority and stuff coming out in their perspectives, we get a little more distance from them than we do in Diana's perspective. And again, that just helps us deepen the relationship with Diana, because she feels at times really distant from Matthew and Marcus as well. So that's my two cents. What do you think?

Speaker 2:

I would agree with that. I also I really like Diana in first person because I think that her narrative voice comes out really well in first person. But something you know, maybe this can help move us into the character question as well. But I think that it's so important that she is now commenced And that is so significant to the story itself. And I'm with you. Like I first person, just automatically it's going to lock you in to that character on a very personal level. You've had, curiously, start to live through them automatically, so you have to be a really exceptional first person narrator to pull that off. At the same time, like it's focusing on that character's narrative voice and how their character comes through in the voice. And I think that Diana sounds quite different than Matthew and his son Marcus.

Speaker 1:

Of course Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Right. So it's like you know, and it's not just because you switched to third person, it's because the narrative voice of each character shines through, right. So I think it's a good example of having both options but also continuing to limit us into the perspective. Just one of them has maybe slightly a little more distance, but not really because, like when you're limited, it feels pretty close to me. Like when you're having first person or third person limited.

Speaker 1:

It's quite different than omniscient Right And that's what I was going to bring up too is that we're not saying that first person gets you close and third person doesn't, right? So when you read this book, you'll see that you do feel pretty dang close in both. It's just third person allows you to zoom out a little bit if you want. You definitely don't have to And, like Abigail said, we're not an omniscient, so we don't have that narrator that's over top of Matthew and Marcus telling their story. We're still in their perspective, just from a third person style.

Speaker 2:

That's for, ultimately, to writers, like when I'm saying what you need to pick, you do need to pick in with intention your point of view and what you're trying to restrain as well as let the reader in on. At the same time, it's okay to experiment. Like he said, savannah, like you said, i'm just like don't allow self doubt to prevent you from trying a point of view. If anything else, like try a chapter and rewrite it in every point of view and see which one you feel naturally called to Yeah, because you might have a strength in writing one more than the other. And then it could be a question of if you do, if you really enjoy writing one more than another, then you can ask yourself what could be the best execution of that point of view for your story and what information is provided to the reader and the characters versus not.

Speaker 1:

Right, And I think what Abigail and I both say all the time is if you hear yourself thinking the reason to switch or to add another point of view is because I don't know what else to do and the reader needs this information. that's probably not the best choice. So, instead of just kind of succumbing to that, say what's a creative way to get this in from my protagonist's perspective, or use it to, like Abigail said, build the suspense.

Speaker 1:

Yeah exactly So just a thought exercise. But so we're on question four which character should they care about the most? I think we're both saying Diana, mm-hmm, yeah, what about? what in the first chapter makes you care about Diana?

Speaker 2:

Well, she's sympathetic for a lot of reasons, and I think one of the things is I'm very interested in her. You know, i'm especially interested in her because she's extremely intelligent, so she's very competent in alchemy and she's driven. You can see, this is something that she is going for, one of the lines that stood out to me. I don't have it open right now, but basically what happens is there's a little backstory that talks about how, because of what has happened to her parents, she and her parents have passed away. She doesn't want to pursue her heritage, she doesn't want to know about her ancestry, she doesn't want anything to do with magic, right? So she pursues alchemy and her aunt Sarah, who is also magical, kind of chuckles at her and is like normal humans, don't pursue alchemy, you know right, so I'll read it.

Speaker 1:

I have it up. She says we used to call that alchemy, there's a lot of magic in it. And then Diana's like no, there's not Right. So the whole point of my work was to show how scientific this pursuit really was.

Speaker 2:

And so that made me chuckle. I really liked that about her, because it's like she's trying to neglect what inside of her is calling to her, but at the same time she's like, no, no, she's in denial a little bit about it, but she doesn't in a very competent and intellectual way.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So I liked that line in particular because her aunt, sarah, you can tell, is seeing through this and Diana's like no no, so we can see very clearly the flaw that is going to need to be addressed throughout the story.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

But I really like Diana in her drive and in her curiosity.

Speaker 1:

I'll say Yes, because she does I like that too.

Speaker 2:

I mean, she goes for it right. Savannah and I both love Harry Potter, and I think that's one of the things that makes Harry so fun is that he's curious, and that tends to get him into trouble but also opens opportunities for him to become the boy who lived. And I think with Diana it's pretty similar, where it's like when you come across something peculiar in your life, do you pursue it or do you not? And she's not afraid to pursue something that calls to her, even though there are warnings around it.

Speaker 1:

And.

Speaker 2:

I like that about her. I'm like, oh, you're going to be interesting Right.

Speaker 1:

I think she kind of views using magic or her intuitions. She kind of views that as like almost cheating and she wants to succeed, quote unquote, fairly. So she's really big on trying to not use the shortcuts that her magic or her intuition can give her. Yes, but she's still drawn to texts like Ashmole, you know, because it's in her blood.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I like that as well.

Speaker 1:

I think she's cool And also, you know how do we not relate or feel sympathy for someone who's lost their parents? Exactly, ashmole has a great aunt who I think she's hilarious and fun, so she's loved, she's got a good family vibe, even though she doesn't have her parents, and she's just trying to do good Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, you can tell that she's a likable person. You know she has like, even just through one of the tricks with characters. Her friend Sean, shows genuine concern for her when he thinks that something is up Like this. You know she obviously, you know, has personality right. Yes to second, how do you not have sympathy for someone who has lost their parents? Very commonly you'll notice that a character lacks something, and in this case she lacks her parents, right. So that has caused a wound in her that has established her Black and White worldview that is going to be challenged in the story. So that's a good tool to use.

Speaker 1:

Right, and all this we're getting from the first chapter, which is really cool, right, exactly Okay. So question number five where and when does the story take place.

Speaker 2:

So dealing with setting, and we are in Oxford. Yep, so here we are in, i believe that's London. So we're in Oxford and specifically, we're in the Bodleian Library Right, which will be important.

Speaker 1:

Yep, and it's, i mean, an important setting for multiple reasons. That's where the book is, that's where she and Matthew meet, And then I know, through the course of the story, we go to France at some point, we go to the States at another point, so kind of all over the place, which is kind of cool, yep.

Speaker 2:

And then the interesting, because in backstory you get history that her family is from New England.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So they were in the Boston and they heard her ancestry. They're in the Boston area. One of her aunts or uncles, I think, was Burnd and Salem Yeah. So yes, you kind of get a tip off for that. So it gives you some preface to where we might be going if you do leave the main setting area, Right.

Speaker 1:

Yep, okay, and so then, emotion wise, how should we feel?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i mean I'm intrigued by Ashmael 782 as much as Diana is. I also am excited to see how this story develops. I feel like there is danger afoot because of the backstory that we hear about, when her mother has a specific experience where it feels like some demons have come out and tried to grab Diana as a young girl, to the point of her mother, when she's telling, her father is weeping, so you can tell that there is a line that you can misstep And that danger can happen with air. So just because that backstory is in there in this really engaging and vivid way, in visual way, i'm nervous for her but also excited to see what happens as she engages with this magic.

Speaker 1:

Right And we talk about this a lot in my notes and all the course and my membership where it's like how do we evoke curiosity and concern in a scene? And I think this is a really good example of evoking both curiosity and concern.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about some setups real quick, savannah, because you talked about how there are other magical beings in this library. Yeah, and did you notice any specific details that you think tipped us off to that, as it will be played off later.

Speaker 1:

Well, we know that Jillian's a witch because she tells us that, right, Right, And then Jillian's going to become a more important character later on. The setup in this first chapter more had to do with the feeling that Diana gets, when she's around, a witch, a demon or a vampire. So it's made clear in this opening scene that witches specifically Jillian is an example of this. She has a specific feel that Diana is attuned to.

Speaker 2:

So that's what I was finding too, but what I like about it is that the subtlety is planted so as it starts to grow. Savannah and I recently did Legend Horn for our Book Notes Book Club And the main character in that Brie the first time that she interacts with Sel, she also has this sense of feeling Right Now. Something that's interesting is when I do work with fantasy writers, i feel like sometimes they rely too heavily on just a feeling, like they sense a certain feeling, and then it doesn't develop more than that. So I think that if you do pull attention, if you pull the reader's attention to something that is off, make sure that that is built into the story as it evolves right And to your point.

Speaker 1:

I see writers who do what you're saying where it's like a strange feeling prickled at the back of my neck And then they leave it at that or they'll be like how curious. But she's literally saying a strange feeling. you know, whatever that specific feeling is, it must be a witch. So she's literally telling us what the feeling means, which is not evoking that like false sense of mystery that sometimes I see in drafts, right And part of that goes to because, again, Diana knows that she's a witch, so she understands this. Right.

Speaker 2:

Where, if she was someone who was learning magical powers for the first time, that would probably be an inciting incident of a story is when she would learn that for the first time that would be new to her, So she would start to understand. So I think you either can identify it, but then you don't know where it is, or you can feel something or have a sense of something, and then you need to learn that with the character as they learn what it is.

Speaker 1:

Right, Well, and something I see that kind of makes me laugh sometimes is in drafts, where the person doesn't know they have magical abilities. They'll feel something and they'll kind of be like huh, weird. And then they like go back to their day where if I had that feeling you know, I don't know if it's realistic that I would just brush it off.

Speaker 2:

No, So, and then- Especially if you know the stakes for it, you know Right.

Speaker 1:

And then, even if I did kind of say like whatever I'm doing is more important than pursuing this feeling of danger, i would still have some assumption about what the feeling meant. So you kind of you have to. I guess what we're both getting at, no matter which scenario you're in, is you have to ground it in something, so it's not just like a strange feeling prickled the back of my neck how strange. Then I kept walking and just went on my day, right.

Speaker 2:

And I think that, even like what you're emphasizing there with the how strange it almost, is a cheap shot and calling your attention to it, yeah, where I think that you can more naturally weave it into the content, yeah, which is, you know, basically what you're saying.

Speaker 1:

And an example of that is something like instead of saying how strange it's, like you know, the icy feeling prickled the back of my neck, probably because I was paranoid because of the nightmare I had last night. So explain it away. So we're not just like, hey, look at me, i'm a clue, right.

Speaker 2:

Right, it's like almost too much of a giveaway when you do it the other way. Yeah Right.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so we talked about stakes already too. So you know we understand there's danger, we understand something important's happening, we understand the backstory, so I think we care plenty coming out of this first chapter.

Speaker 2:

Oh, definitely. And, like I said, this was when I reread this first chapter, whenever I read it in 2011,. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it because I was kind of thinking myself I don't understand what I was thinking Right.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so that's the seven big picture questions. We get those from Paula Munier's book. I don't know if we mentioned that It's called The Writer's Guide to Beginnings. We do this with usually every analysis. We're big fans And now we want to go into the micro structure, so we kind of spoiled this. Already. We both saw one scene in this first chapter. We use the story grid, five commandments. If you follow the story grid or anything Robert McKee does, you're probably familiar, but we'll explain those as we go through it too. So one scene, one chapter. What is Diana's goal in this scene? Because we like to start there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and her goal right now is that she's working on a paper Right, so she's looking specifically for text that is going to defend her argument, and we don't even necessarily know specifically what her paper is about, but we know that she's collecting resources and that the resources that are pulled including Ashmole 72, is something that could benefit her analysis.

Speaker 1:

Right, okay, and so then I agree with that. That's her goal, and notice too that she's doing research for something specific. Like Abigail said, she's not just there having fun reading books. I like the specificity of it. So then the inciting incident is the first little bit of conflict that gets in the way. What did you have for?

Speaker 2:

that. So that would be for me. I had when Sean Hanser Ashmole 72. So Sean is giving her something And then she has this whiff of the uncanny that drove away the library's familiar smell of pencil shavings and floor wax. So when he's handing her manuscripts she had her skin prickles And she had when she has contact with leather. So something very off about this one particular manuscript that has been handed to her.

Speaker 1:

Yep, so that's what I had to.

Speaker 2:

And so that brings us to turning point, because I wanted to take your brain a little bit about this, because when I'm looking for turning points, i think that in general, i was able to identify what the turning point was in the scene, but I was trying to find a very specific action or revelation that led to the crisis decision. So when I always see turning point in crisis as they go hand in hand, because the turning point is an action or revelation that forces the character into a crisis decision or too equally weighted bad or good decisions that will lead to consequences either positive or negative So when I was looking for that, there was conflict and complications that arise between an inciting incident or even before an inciting incident, to a turning point. But one of them is the purpose of the scene that turns the value shift. And I was curious, savannah, because I have some ideas, but I was being able to, in general, describe what I think the turning point is And I didn't know if you got something specific.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think there's two things that would draw my attention. So it's one when she discovers that it's magic and she realizes that's why she's feeling the whole, or it's when she realizes the polymcess.

Speaker 2:

Yes, So how do you think, with both of those, what leads to her figuring that out?

Speaker 1:

Well, and I actually like to look for the question because I think either way it's kind of like what do I do? Study it more or ignore it, right? So when she discovers it's magic, it's kind of like open it or not, or like use magic to analyze it or not. So either way, go forward or ignore it. And then when she discovers it's a polymcess, it's either study it more or send it back to the stacks, right? So I think either way we went, it's probably in the realm of fine. But I'm looking for this part because I saw there were kind of two parts after she discovers it's magic and after she discovers it's a polymcess, that she debates, and that's another thing as we can kind of talk about as we look for the Savannah.

Speaker 2:

When writers are writing a crisis into a story, you don't need to be as point blank as the character decides between this and this, or they debated between this or this, but in this case she does talk about debating something, but it's natural. I found it. I found it. So, for example, for it.

Speaker 1:

Basically, this is where she's got the book and it says even at a safe distance, this manuscript is challenging me, threatening the walls. I directed to separate my career as a scholar from my birthright as the last of the bishop witches. And then there's like some backstory. And then it says, but albeit willingly, I had called up an all chemical manuscript that I needed for my research that also seemed to possess another worldly power that was impossible to ignore. My fingers itched to open it and learn more. Yet an even stronger impulse held me back. Was my curiosity intellectual, related to my scholarship, or did it have to do with my family's connection to witchcraft? So then she stares at it because she's just not sure. And then she says my mother would have known what to do. Some more backstory. Quite a bit of backstory, actually, here.

Speaker 2:

So she goes. I shook myself and focused again on the dilemma that faced me. Right, the manuscript sat on the library table and a pool of lamp light It's magic pulled on something dark and noted inside of me. My fingers returned to the smooth leather. This time the prickling sensation felt familiar. I vaguely remembered experiencing something like it once before, looking through some papers on the desk in my father's study Right.

Speaker 1:

And then the next line she turns resolutely away from it and she's occupying herself with something more rational. So that could be seen as a decision right. But we I think we're both leaning the same way that the turning point is when she discovers it's a polymcess, because she goes back to it. So she's turning away from it here, and then she just can't ignore it.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, and this is where I liked how this was woven in here, because you can see again, we are in first person. So there is a bit of an advantage to having us, like hold, as a reader, deeply into the internal debates between it. But this notice that her debate is engaged within description of her action as well, on what's pulling her in a way into it. Right, that even tugs between backstory that is woven into her debate and the exact sensations that she's feeling within this moment of her deciding do I go to it or not. And I think that that's quite different than when I sometimes, when I see writers, it comes off a stick if they're actually explicitly putting down the crisis question. You know I needed to debate between this or this, and that is going to flatten the crisis instead of immerse us in the actual internal struggle through context.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, because we can kind of feel the book pulling us too. You know, there's a part. The guilt numbers on the spine winked. I sat down and considered the options. Ignore the magic, open the manuscript and try to read it like a human scholar, push the bewitch volume aside and walk away. So she's like she's still thinking about it. The other thing I want to say to that is it's totally fine if you have a flat crisis in your first draft.

Speaker 1:

So you know none of what we're saying has to be, like you know, buttoned up on your first draft.

Speaker 2:

No, absolutely not. If anything like, I'd actually encourage you to write a flatter crisis in your first draft, because then you know that there's a crisis there, so there's a reason why the story is moving forward. You can perfect all of that in later drafts. It's more important to get plot and structure down and then figure out how to perfect your prose.

Speaker 1:

Right And so okay. so then we're going to keep going. We get some more backstory while she's trying to ignore the manuscript. So then it says I held my breath, grasped the manuscript with both hands and placed it on the wedge shaped cradles the library provided to protect its rare books. I had made my decision to behave as a serious scholar and treat Ashmole 782 like an ordinary manuscript. I'd ignore my burning fingertips, the book's strange smell and simply describe its contents. Then I decide with professional detachment Whether it was promising enough for a longer look. my fingers trembled when I loosened the small brass clasps. Nevertheless, the manuscript let out a soft sigh.

Speaker 2:

This is such a clever climax because it reinforces the backstory earlier where she was trying to convince herself when Sarah calls her out, or Aunt Sarah calls her out about the specific focus of study that she's pursued. I think she's doing the same exact thing here. It's going to be a professional opinion that I'm going to pick this.

Speaker 1:

And so you just said this was the climax. So you're thinking the turning point was like discovering that it was more magical than she thought.

Speaker 2:

So I think the turning point, because then she discovers that that's what's a column sest. Yeah, column sest. Yeah. She discovers it's a column sest after this Yeah, so I guess I lean to. This is where I was more generalized and specific. I have lean towards. She feels that it's magical. Does she engage with it or not? And then her climax was to engage with it. Yeah, you are leaning towards the latter.

Speaker 1:

Let's keep going and then we can decide. So she opens it. Her palm tingled much as her skin tingled when a witch looked at me. And then the tension left the manuscript. She reads the first couple pages and then, as I turn the first page, the parchment felt abnormally heavy and it revealed itself as a source of the manuscript strange smell. It wasn't simply ancient, it was something more, a combination. You know smells. Whatever It says. Slowly I turn the pages if it were a fragile leaf. Words shimmered and moved across its surface, hundreds of words invisible unless the angle of light in the viewer's perspective were just right. I stifled a cry of surprise.

Speaker 1:

Ashmole 782 was a column sest, a manuscript within a manuscript. And then it kind of keeps going. This was not an ordinary palimpsest. The writing hadn't been washed away, it had been hidden with some sort of spell Dragging my attention from the faint letters blah, blah, blah.

Speaker 1:

I focus instead on writing a synopsis. And she's in the synopsis. She's trying to not write anything about magic. So then she says scholars do one of two things when they discover information that doesn't fit with what they already know, they sweep it aside so it doesn't bring their cherished theories into question, or they focus on it with laser like intensity and try to get to the bottom of the mystery. If this book hadn't been under a spell, i might have been tempted to do the latter, because it was bewitched.

Speaker 1:

I was strongly inclined toward the former, and when in doubt, scholars usually postpone a decision. So then she types an ambivalent final line needs more time, possibly recall later. And then she closes it and her fingers want to touch it again. And then, let's see, she takes it to the desk and Sean says do you want these tomorrow? And she says I'm done specifically with that one. You can send it back to the stacks. So in both scenarios she kind of has a little decision. The first one's more literal. So what do you think? Okay, now that we have it all laid out on the table.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think that's interesting to consider when I'm debating how to pick this. And again, I just always like to say to writers that ultimately, no reader is analyzing a story on this level, So this is really beneficial for writers to understand, because they're tools to help you figure out why you were writing that scene. So if I were to ask myself this question, I think maybe my question would go to which one is going to lead to the climatic action that opens up the magic that calls features to this book right to this manuscript. And so that would be my first question, maybe from an author's like, really zooming out and going from the office perspective to ask myself that question. The other thing I would ask is if I were to stop after one of these moments, would that be possible? Like, would there or is there still to gain?

Speaker 2:

If not, how could one moment be? if I went with the first option you know not that it was at Poundthas would that work as resolution? Why would that be more beneficial as a resolution than as a turning point crisis? So these are just some questions that I would be asking myself when I was debating from an analytical perspective. Do you have any thoughts or answers to those questions, Savannah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I think if I were zoomed out, i'd probably pick the first option, where she realizes it's magic and she's drawn to it and she decides to open it, because it's the touching it and the opening it that drags her into the central conflict. I think the Poundthas is cool, but that's probably part of the resolution And if I'm channeling the writers who are in my notes, novel course, i might be like well, there is a second decision after the first decision. Why is that okay?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, And I see this actually a good amount. I think that I can see multiple decisions in a chapter And again, decisions just make a character interesting. Right, When a character has to decide something, that just gives them a reason to act in agency. So I don't think that having multiple decisions in a chapter is a negative thing if there can be probably an overload. I think that the difference would be when they're aiding the stakes in the scene, if it's creating content, aiding the stakes and tension in the scene. In this case, when she figures out that it's a Poundthas that is going to up the level of why engaging with this, which she has already done, might be more dangerous than not. So it's interesting that she's then even going to pursue it further, when she's starting to realize just how powerful this piece of this manuscript might be. I do think I agree with you, Savannah. I would lean more towards the first decision, because the touch is what's really important right in the plot.

Speaker 1:

And also something I see in drafts, where there are multiple questions or decisions in a scene. And if I were to say what's an example of one that doesn't work, let's pretend that in this scene, diana realizes it's magic. The question is do I open it or not? And then Matthew comes in and it's like do I talk to him or not? Right, and then Sean falls down and it's like do I help him or not? Those are kind of unrelated. So we're not escalating or showing like in this case, we're showing the poll that Ashmole has on her. And if I ran a scene like that where there were three different types of decisions about three different topics, almost I'd be like what's the main point of this scene? I think that's an excellent point And we don't have that question in this scene. We know what the point is Right.

Speaker 1:

So I think let's just go with Ashmole being magic and her opening. It is the turning point in the crisis and the climax. And so the resolution is she realizes it's a polymcess. She can only realize that having opened it, and that's the other thing to consider when we're looking at a turning point. Where's kind of the point of no return in the scene. So by her opening it. She can't go back from that right. Right, once she touches it it unleashes something, right.

Speaker 1:

So then the resolution she realizes it's a polymcess. She sends it back to the stacks because she's determined to ignore magic, and the air in the library kind of squeezes on her and shimmers and she realizes something magical just happened. So the other thing we look at is like what's the main thread or what's the main change? And we're harping on it. It's she opened the book and that's going to set off this trigger of events. That's right. So by opening it, she's moving closer to danger. More magical creatures are going to come closer to her and put her in even more danger, but she's also moving towards realizing who she is.

Speaker 2:

Nope, and embracing who she's meant to be as well.

Speaker 1:

Right And finding the love of her life So yeah, i think it's a really really good example. I don't have the word count, but I am curious to look that up at some point because it feels pretty long It's adult though as well.

Speaker 2:

It's adult, yep.

Speaker 1:

And, like we said, there is backstory, but it's a meaningful backstory And that could be. You know, we said earlier too that if this is the inciting incident which I think we're both kind of leaning towards, it is yeah of the story. She got us right into the action and the inciting incident while delivering a you know a good amount of backstory. That is relevant, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think that's why I found so interesting about this, because if you are women's fiction, upmarket fiction or historical fiction writer, the giver of stars by Jojo Moyes I encourage you, if you liked this first chapter, go read that first chapter, because it does the same exact thing where it's a very important, inciting moment in the first chapter. But the backstory has, it's fully fleshed out, five commandments within the five commandments of the scene.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I think that's and I wonder, I'm curious Savannah if that, because there are. I mean, this one is more dominantly, I feel like, action driven than historical, but I wonder, in historical in general, if that is a pattern that might happen. I'm not, I can't speak to that, for certain I can't either.

Speaker 1:

I've seen it. Yeah, And this is funny because we've had this continuous discussion about how I don't necessarily find myself drawn historical fiction And then Abigail keeps pointing out well, like that book you read is kind of historical. Like this book is kind of historical and I loved it.

Speaker 2:

So apparently I don't know what I like, but no, i think you do, but I don't think you like historical as the main focus. Yeah, you like historical elements that create an action slash fantasy story. That create context in interesting places. that could challenge the character, but it's not necessarily about the historical time period, right? Just makes me laugh. Well, it'd be funny because we're reading lessons in chemistry for our July book club pick and that arguably could be called historical fiction, right.

Speaker 1:

Right. So we'll have to see what you think in the end. Yeah, so we'll have to do a little bit of a convert. I don't know, yeah, we'll see. But yeah, so I mean, i think this one was also fairly straightforward to analyze, which is really cool. I'm going through a reread right now, like I said, so I'm very excited to even see more than I realized last time when I read it and just see how it shapes up.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, this was fun, yeah, and it's always good to reread anything that you think is used as a worthy example of what you're doing with your own work. So that fine line of not trying to copy exactly what a story is done it's always about the same but different But knowing your masterworks and understanding the personal masterworks as well can help you understand why you like certain executions that an author does in the story, and this one, like I said, this would have me hooked to read. So I would be curious to reread and ask myself what was happening in 2011? Right, i know.

Speaker 1:

I think it was Abigail in 2011. That's funny, but yeah, and also I think we would both encourage anyone who does want to analyze something, do it with a writing buddy, because, you know, abigail and I came in with different thoughts, some similar thoughts, and we always learned something from talking with each other. So I think it's a great exercise to do with the buddy, definitely, definitely.

Speaker 2:

We'd love to hear from you as well. So thank you so much, savannah, for joining me again. I always love being here with you and I'd love to hear from everyone else.

Speaker 1:

Thanks, that's it for today's episode. Thank you so much for tuning in and for showing your support. If you want to check out any of the links I mentioned in this episode, you can find them in the show notes listed in the description of each episode inside your podcast player or at savannahgilbocom forward slash podcast. If you haven't done so already, make sure you're following this podcast, because there's going to be another brand new episode coming out next week. If you're an Apple user, i'd really appreciate it if you took a few seconds to leave a rating and a review. The ratings and reviews tell Apple that this is a podcast that's worth listening to And, in turn, your reviews will help this podcast get in front of more fiction writers just like you. So if you have a quick second, please leave a rating and a review and share this podcast with some of your friends, and then I'll see you next week with a brand new episode full of actionable tips, tools and strategies to help you become a better writer. So until then, happy writing.

Discovery of Witches Chapter One
Witches' Backstory and Scene Analysis
Romantic Fantasy Story Elements
Ashmole 782 Point of View
View and Character in ADoW
Crafting Fantasy Scenes With Subtlety
Discovering the Polymcess
Analyzing Turning Points in Fiction