Friday with Friends–Gail Gaymer Martin

One Child’s Wish
With his Dreams Come True foundation, Ethan Fox turns wishes into reality. Amazing trips. Meeting heroes. But Ethan has come to care deeply for a sick boy whose dream
is. . .a dad. And not just any dad. Ethan. Though little Cooper has a great chance of getting well, widowed Ethan can’t chance loving—and losing—again. Yet he’s spending time with the sweet boy and his lovely, single mother, Lexie Carlson. Could a little boy’s wish for a dad of his own come true after all?

Available where all good books are sold at the end of February or order or view information on Amazon. Click to Order:

Writing Tip:
Gail Gaymer Martin

From Gail Gaymer Martin

At a writers’ conference in Texas where I was on staff, I met Frank Ball, the director of numerous Christian writers conferences in the northwest area of Dallas/Fort Worth. He shared one of his teaching tools with me which is an excellent way to remember the essential elements of fiction writing to help your reader becoming emotionally involved in your novel. Although Scoop It Up is an acronym for techniques to be used in the first chapter of your novel, you will see that it can work for future chapters and scenes as well

The same SCOOP elements can also help you prepare a back cover blurb of your complete novel.
Situation: The environment or condition in which the story takes place
Character: A name of title of the person whose desire matters most.
Objective: The deep desire that the character is desperate to satisfy.
Obstacle: The condition that put the goal’s fulfillment in doubt.
Plight: What the character risks in the pursuit of what he or she wants.

By the end of the story, the IT comes into play.

Insight: What the character learns, which he didn’t know in the beginning.
Transformation: How the character changes, either positively or negatively.

To carry readers’ interest into the next chapter or continuation of the story, you can also use UP
Unresolved: The unanswered question raised by the current insight and transformation.
Problem: The character’s concern about what will happen next.

Here’s a sample from my imagination:
Returning to the small town in which she lived her teen years (Situation), Emily Dorset, (Character), homeless and in trouble wants to find the father of her four year old Cody (Objective) although Race Bradley doesn’t know he has a son (Obstacle). Will Race welcome them into his home and heart or turn his back? (Plight)

Asking questions in town (Situation), Emily (Character) learns Race is still single and now the owner of his parent’s lovely home (Objective), but he is mayor of the city winning over a man of questionable morals.(Obstacle). Will admitting Cody is his son ruin his reputation in a town that values his moral standards (Plight)

Hopefully this gives you the idea of how to use SCOOP to summarize your novel and build a story that offers readers conflicts in every scene.

Frank Ball is the director of the Northwest Texas Christian Writers and author of the book, Eye Witness,

© Frank Ball 2010 Used with permission.

For more guidance in Writing Ficiton Right, visit my blog at


Gail Gaymer Martin

A Dad Of His Own – Steeple Hill Love Inspired, March 2011
Dad In Training, Groom in Training, Bride In Training – Steeple Hill Love Inspired
Monterey Memories – Barbour Publishing
Writing The Christian Romance – Writers Digest

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