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 ‘Fury stared at the rain gleaming down the uneven glass of the café window, obscuring almost all of the bustling harbor front. Not that Fury felt able to take in much of her surroundings. It had taken Lady Margaret less than a minute to recommence berating her. The instant they sat down in fact. Something about a delay finding a porter.

“Of course, it is all my fault, Mama.”

After all, they had traveled for over five months across France. Most things were.’                      (The Unravelling of lady Fury)


‘Rain drummed ceaselessly on the coach roof, much as it had on the journey there. Not that Cass felt any better now than then, especially given the fact the blinds had already been rolled down, so she couldn’t see a thing of her surroundings.

“Pourquoi ne font pas vous me bandez les yeux? Ce serait plus simple,” she muttered as the coach door opened. Not especially graciously. Was it any wonder? Colonel Caruthers had kept her here—wherever here was—under lock and key for four months now.

The French she had learned and the geography, the codes, and the ciphers. It was all very interesting if she was meaning to learn these things. She wasn’t. And she objected to not being able to escape, even if there was nothing to escape for. Owned? It made her time with Devorlane Hawley seem rosy by comparison. Damnable and all as he was, at least he had never insisted she eat frog legs. ‘ (Loving Lady Lazuli)conv.







Hard, isn’t it, that moment where you’ve cliff-hung, or thrown the story pieces in the air and now you teleport it forward. Maybe you don’t want to but you need to keep the momentum going. Your lovers are apart, or maybe they are together but nothing much is happening. How do you cover this?

Frankly don’t look at me, I’m only the writer. Rain…in case you’ve noticed from both these extracts… is purely co-incidental. A scene setter.conv



conv.Well no…..because that’s not what the overall story is about.


Maybe I don’t know much about this and maybe I have always been a panster right down to flying by the seat of them but I think a checklist is in order.


1. Where did you leave off and why?

2 Where do you want to get to?

3 What was your leads’ state of emotional play then and why?

4 What was going down between them?

5 How do they view one another now?

love is the

6 What have they done for each other in the meantime?


7 What is your leads state of emotional play now and why?


Now, start the scene, filling a few details of the time gap. Where are we now exactly.  And move it forward touching briefly on your answers as you do, to the next important story point.  Open this section the same way you do a story, with the protagonist’s life about to change for better…or for worse….


extracts copyright Shehanne Moore Etopia Press.