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It’s our last weekend! Procure your beverage of choice. Light a candle or turn on some background music. Find a comfortable place to spend some time. You’ve done so much, and it’s time to take a look at everything.

I want you to find the burning places in your pages. Mark them in your document or on your printed pages, or list them in your notebook.

I’m not talking about the prettiest sentences or the most realistic dialogue (though it’s wonderful if you find writing that you are proud of). What I’m asking you to look for are the moments or ideas that seem to pulse with energy. They might scare you a little, or at least make you uncomfortable. They might make you tear up, or fill you with anger or longing or joy. They are the parts of your story that are not easy. Instead, they beg to be explored for two or three or four hundred pages. They ask questions that you cannot answer simply.

As you search through your manuscript, you may find that you don’t see these moments in the words on the page. It might be that you feel that energy below the surface of certain scenes or descriptions or interactions. If this is the case, try to put them into words for yourself now.

That’s all I’m asking you to do this weekend. Just find them and make note of them. These places are at the heart of your story. Keep them in your mind and let them guide you. We'll turn back to them next week.