My advice is … to get some good advice from those in the know.

There are so many websites and blogs available for writers, both published and unpublished, that it gets hard to choose which ones to follow. Too much good advice gets confusing, and the wrong advice is simply detrimental.

One of my favorite blog style websites is and one of the many standout contributors to this blog is the well known writer, agent and president of the Donald Maass Literary Agency, Donald Maass. His highly acclaimed books on the craft of writing have opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of what makes a novel work. His posts on the Writer Unboxed blog teach me that the small stuff in my writing makes all the difference.

The July 2, 2014 post by Mr. Maass addresses the idea of infusing scenes with “the point of view character’s fundamental, underlying and (as yet) unmet need”. He leaves us with two questions that can deepen the urgency of what’s happening to the protagonist in your book: What’s your protagonist’s underlying inner need? How is it infused in the scene you’re working on right now? All this must be done without mentioning this inner need or making it too obvious, basically showing, not telling.

Sounds easy to do, but it’s not. Unless we, the writer, know exactly what our protagonists underlying inner need is. Food for thought and another great piece of advice to strengthen any work in progress.