Author Toolbox 6: Adding To Word Count

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.


A new year and I’m hoping for new ideas that lead to new outlines. I’ve been throwing around an idea about dissecting and expanding some shorts and seeing where they might go as novellas or novels.

Obviously the short would be the core of the story but adding words means adding new ideas or/and adding sub plots.

Here’s what I’ve been considering:

  • add a reversal into the main plot line
  • add subplots and characters complications
  • dig, sift, and seek out places for more tension
  • deepen the point of view, descriptions, atmosphere, arcs
  • transform summaries into scenes
  • dig into the layers of the character’s past and add some regrets, grudges, and unresolved issues

The biggest challenge of lengthening a project is making the additions intricate parts of the story, to move it forward and not be bits of fluff I’ll land up cutting on my next round of revisions.

How do you add to your word count? Any advice for me.

Gleaned from:


The Fire that Inspired Flaming Crimes by Chrys Fey (Part 3)

AUTHOR NOTE: Many scenes in Flaming Crimes (Disaster Crimes #4) came from real life. For this short blog tour, I am sharing my memories as a ten-part continuous story, so hop along for the entire experience.

Series: Disaster Crimes #4
Page Count: 304 
Digital Price: 4.99 
Print Price: 16.99

Rating: Spicy (PG13)


Amazon / Barnes & Noble

The Wild Rose Press


I moved out of the way so the firetrucks could get by. And then I stood there, transfixed, praying that they would be able to save my home. As I watched, I noticed a patch of flames at the edge of the road. The flames stretched up, as if willing itself taller. And then I saw something that I thought was impossible. A flame jumped. It bounced into the middle of the road and hopped to the other side where it ignited the grass.

I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to sprint down the road and stop it, but the grass was dry, and it spread too quickly for me to do anything about it.

Wringing my hands, pacing, and praying while my family rushed in and out of my house, a car pulled to a sudden stop beside me. I looked to see my best friend stumble out of the backseat, with tears streaming down her cheeks. We grabbed each other and embraced while her dad and uncle went to help my family.



Donovan turned in the opposite direction. Fire burned along the street, licking the asphalt with its orange tongues. The flames were as tall as him and seemed to be gyrating against an invisible barrier, trying to break through it. As he watched, the unthinkable happened. A ribbon of fire broke off and leapt into the middle of the street. The flame bounced along the asphalt to the other side where it ignited. He ran to the burning grass, but that flame had a mission. It spread quickly, aiming for the dry brush a foot away. When he reached it, he stomped on the flames with his sneakers. He wasn’t fast enough, though. The brush burst into flames, and those flames were slithering up a tree trunk. He had nothing to put it out with, so he ran back to the firefighters.

“Hey, it jumped the street!” He pointed. In the short time it took him to get to the firefighters, the fire had doubled in size.

The story will continue on these blogs:

1/8Circle of Friends BooksPart 1

1/9Sandra CoxPart 2

1/10Elements of EmaginettePart 3

1/11Julie FlandersPart 4

1/12I Think; Therefore, I YamPart 5

1/15Alex J. CavanaughPart 6

1/16Just JemiPart 7

1/17Sandra DaileyPart 8

1/18FundinmentalPart 9

1/19Elizabeth SeckmanPart 10

About the Author: Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Goodreads

Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Thank you for reading this post! Don’t forget to hop along to the other posts on their designated days for the full fiery story.

SHARE: Your fire story with me.

IWSG 44: Making My Writing Stand Out

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

Co-Hosts: Tyrean Martinson | The Cynical Sailor | Megan Morgan | Rachna Chhabria | Jennifer Lane.

My plan includes writing and submitting. I don’t have the nerve or experience to self-publish. I prefer getting someone else to front the bill for the editing, cover art and promotion. Although I offer my help—I don’t have expertise to do the job alone.

I know how to put a story together and that’s hard enough.

A lot of my writing has become methodical. I run through several story ideas until I can put one down in an outline. Then I peruse it and ask myself what makes this different or better than everything else out there.

I’ve read that most queries need to address what makes the pitched story stand out.

I don’t like to move forward until I’m sure the project has got something special or different (in my eyes anyway) and have been doing cross genre work: sci-fi mystery and my latest—magical-realism mystery.

My magical realism mystery is still in the outline stage and will be much more graphic than I usually write. My heroine is ferocious, passionate, too hard-headed and stubborn. At first I was going to make her psychic, but I gave her grandfather the ability instead. His love interest is a fairy that keeps offering talismans and henna tatts to my hero. Who knows if they’ll help, but it does make her feel more accepted into the family.

What makes this one special? A world where monsters might be good guys (or bad) and the person set on protecting the world from them isn’t stable enough to get the difference and sees himself as Dean Winchester saving the world one monster at a time. He helps my hero look for her lost lover. Hence the violence.

What do you do to make your story stand out? Any tips for us.

How I Survived Writer’s Block

Recently I was stuck. Not sure why. I could have been scared or had writer’s block. Who knows? The thing is I pulled out of it and I’m going to share how it happened.

A colleague asked for a proofreader. I volunteered. I do this often, so remember that if you need someone to read for you. Anyway, as I’m reading this lovely story about dragons, I felt inspired to revisit my project.

I landed up hopping between both projects. A bit for her and a bit for me. Turned out I’d get tired trying to revise my work for several hours at a time without a break.

a change is as good as a rest.

― Winston S. Churchill

I’m almost at the point to shout out for beta readers. Yep, here I go again asking if anyone is interested in reading. Symbiotic Slip will be ready in January. If you like to give it a go sign up below:


IWSG 43: Inspiration Away From The Group

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.


OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

Co-Hosts: Julie Flanders,
Shannon Lawrence,
Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

Answer: Not much but reflect and be grateful.

I met @DelilahSDawson during SWiC16. She led a workshop on writing first chapters and I’ve been following her ever since. She’s a charming open woman who shares day-to-day life as a professional writer.

The biggest message she has shared to date is: Be brave and take a chance. I played it safe and was rewarded with rejection. So I decided to follow her advice. I wrote a science-fiction mystery that’s way out there.

She teaches by example. Works hard. Shares the whole traditionally-published author experience. Goes to tons of conferences. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve met her or will meet her. Reading her tweets keep me inspired until I get back to all of you.

Which brings me to something very important–you. Thanks for your visits, commets and time. And I hope your future will be filled with boatloads of happiness and success. And I expect many more years ahead with you in my life. I lift my glass to you. Cheers.

In 2018 I’ll be taking the biggest chance of all–submitting to agents. I’ve made a list and I’ve checked it twice. Life seems better since I comminted myself.
If you’re interested in reading my latest, Symbiotic Slip, please sign up below.