Advice, Fiction, Motivation, Tips, Writing

It’s always about chocolate!

First, let me define a “candy-bar” scene. It’s one that you’re just itching to write — something sweet enough that you can dangle it on a stick in front of yourself so that you can say, “When I’ve done these next three chapters, I’ll get to write that one. – Holly Lisle

chocolatesDuring one of my marathon click this link, then click this link, then click this link sessions, I stumbled across the above quote from Holly Lisle.

She advises that you write only one sentence—a teaser—to keep you writing toward it. I do this in my Scenes file. I create a Word document in which I list the scene descriptions, including the “candy bar” scenes. As I write, I go back and detail what happens in each scene, including the story-time date it takes place, if applicable. I also add the page and chapter number after the last scene in a chapter.

But I’m not overly strict about the one sentence rule. Sometimes I “see” the scene played out and I have to write it down. Sometimes I “hear” only the dialogue and need to record it before I lose it. So, I have other files: one for each character, titled [Character Name] Notes, and this is where I write bits and pieces that will be incorporated into full scenes at some point.

For me, chocolate doesn’t get any better than truffles, so I have a pineapple truffle I’ve almost written up to and a raspberry not too far off. Yummmm!

21 thoughts on “It’s always about chocolate!”

  1. I love the way chocolate is almost always a good analogy. And I’m with Alexis. The worst thing is when you can’t write it down, like traveling on the freeway at 70 mph. Funny how such brilliance doesn’t seer itself onto your brain but blows out the open windows like… so many candy wrappers. (Whew! Thought I was going to lose that one, but I did it. Full circle!)


    1. I admire your skill at full circling. It almost made me dizzy. And you must have a foot as leaden as mine!

      Yes, I hate when something comes to me when I can’t write it down. I jumped out of the shower and made notes on the mirror with an eyeliner pencil once.


  2. Hi Linda,

    Great article. The chocolates are drool-worthy. I have scenes always floating around in my head in different stages of morphing. I let them simmer for quite awhile before I lay them out and see where they lead me.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Claire. Mine all seem to be floating, simmer scenes lately. I keep trying to lay them out, but they don’t want to lead anywhere. I’m afraid I may be too impatient to be a writer.


  3. Linda, I just saved a draft for a post that was kind of similar to this…I think time I’ll link back to yours (if I can figure out how to do it – gee, I think I’ll start checking in with you before doing posts. we were doing good there for a while. notice I avoid the yellow smiley guy for you.)

    I like the system you have for each character. I should set something similar up. I just them all down in that notebook of mine, and then struggle to find them all in the mess…


    1. I don’t mind if everyone else uses 🙂 it just seemed I used them excessively.

      I could never keep track of anything, if I didn’t use my character file system. And even though I have to shoot those darlings (ala Judy) I drag their carcasses to the appropriate file because I just can’t bear to delete them into oblivion. You never know, after they rot, they might reveal some beautiful bones.


  4. Linda, loved the eyeliner on the mirror note bit….that made me laugh…I think we should all carry mini tape recorders. Maybe located inside our 007 spy/novelist watches…..but by 2025, we’ll probably just have a button we push that’s labeled “remember.”

    Mine will be just inside my elbow where it will be easy to use even if I’m driving. (just close the arm)

    buddah says we never “lose” and idea, that if we don’t get to express it right then , right there, that it will come back to us in a better way when we’re ready to accept it…..(or use it for our novels…lol)

    good monday to you!
    Karen :0)


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