Lynnette Jalufka


Lady Theresa clenched her fists at her cousin Elyse’s call. All she wanted to do was enjoy the tournament, to see the horses charge towards each other, to hear the crack of lance upon shield. Instead, Elyse has decided to turn their outing into a husband-seeking mission.

If that wasn’t enough, Lynnette has put her into third person limited point of view. That’s not as intimate as the first person point of view Elyse illustrated, though the same rules apply: the reader can only know what she is thinking.

Theresa thanked the squire that showed her Sir Edwin’s horse as Elyse came down the path with another suitor.

“There you are, Theresa,” her cousin smiled brightly. “I want you to meet Sir Reynald.”

He bowed with a flourish of his hand. “At your service, my lady.”

“Good day, Sir Reynald,” Theresa said. He looked more like a peacock than a knight ready to joust. Feathers cascaded from his helmet, and his armor and surcoat were too clean to have seen regular use. Where was his horse? A knight is nothing without one.

“If it pleases my lady to bestow me a favor, I will wear it proudly during the tournament,” Reynald grinned.

He’d be lucky to survive the first round. “I’m sorry, Sir Knight, but it might get tangled in your feathers. I wouldn’t want anything to hinder your prowess. You’ll need every bit of it.”

“Theresa,” Elyse hissed.

Reynald turned red. “Then I bid you good day, my lady.” With a quick, stiff bow, he strode back down the pathway.

“Theresa, how could you insult him like that?” Elyse asked.

“Dearest Elyse, if I had a lance, I could knock him off his horse myself.”






Lynnette Jalufka

Good day, fair readers. I am the Lady Elyse, who you met last week. Lynnette has graciously allowed me to illustrate first person point of view while I am at this tournament in search of a husband for my cousin, Theresa. First person is point of view’s most intimate form. You learn everything I am thinking and feeling. All my motivations are exposed.

The disadvantage is that you only know my viewpoint and no one else’s. I can guess what someone is thinking by their expressions and actions, but alas, it is just a guess.

“Sir Reynald,” I hail the knight standing by a tent.

He flashes a warm smile and strides over to me. Here is his opportunity to marry a noblewoman and increase his land.

Wait, I was not thinking that. That is not my point of view. I thought he would be a good match for Theresa. Besides, he is too noble to marry for wealth. But if he is thinking that…

“At your service, Lady Elyse.” He bows in front of me.

I clear my throat. “I had wanted you to meet my cousin, but it seems she has disappeared.”

“Don’t worry, my lady. I shall help you find her.”

He offers me his arm and I take it. “We should look by the horses,” I say as we journey into the crowd.

Dear readers, be careful when writing in first person. Remember, you can only write what I know and feel.



Lynnette Jalufka

Here are two characters at a medieval tournament. What point of view am I in?


Lady Elyse looked around at the brightly colored tents that housed the knights of the tournament. Surely one would be a good match for her cousin. She stopped at the tent of Sir Reynald who was talking to his squire. He would do nicely: handsome, charming, and from a good family. “Theresa.” She turned to thin air. Her cousin was gone! “Theresa!”

Two tents away, Lady Theresa gave a heavy sigh. She wasn’t deaf. The beautiful gray horse being saddled for the joust was far more interesting then Elyse’s latest attempt to find her a husband.


So, what’s the point of view? I am in both character’s heads, so this would be third-person omniscient. Now, here’s the important part: is this the best way to tell what happens in this scene? It depends on what I want to accomplish. If I want to show Elyse’s frustration with her cousin, I would need to put the second paragraph in Elyse’s point of view. If I wanted to show Theresa’s irritation, I would need to change the first. Could I leave it as it is? Possibly, but that’s usually frowned upon today unless it’s romance.

Ultimately, it’s my job as the author to figure out the best point of view to tell not only this scene, but the entire novel. That may take rewriting the scene in different points of view to find the right one.





Lynnette Jalufka


I am a visual learner. I need to see how to do something before I can do it. Just telling me doesn’t work. Then the task is accomplished in the hardest and clumsiest way possible. The same goes for writing. Reading examples from books helps my stories more than someone telling me how to do a technique. In fact, I’m currently rereading a novel to remind myself how to put emotion in a scene.

This month has been about plot twists. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is full of them. I still get chills when I think about the one towards the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I love the way Rowling inserts clues beforehand.

Revisit your favorite books that you remember being shocked or surprised at the plot twist. When did it occur? What did you need to know before the twist happened? Were there hints? Doing this enables you to apply the same techniques in your own stories. No wonder the first rule of writing is “read, read, read.”




Lynnette Jalufka


Today’s the day you’re going to sit down and write that plot twist. Here’s six tips from

  • Think of all likely outcomes for the story…and then throw them out!
  • Develop obstacles that are seemingly impossible to overcome, and then think of a plausible solution that the audience won’t guess, but will understand and believe when it happens
  • For a big shock, make it seem like there is only one possible outcome to the story—and then use your twist to completely surprise the audience
  • For a surprising but less extreme twist, develop your story in a way that makes the audience totally unsure where it is going or what could happen, leaving it open to many possible outcomes.
  • For a clever and thought-provoking twist, use small clues throughout the story that the audience may forget or only take small note of, and then bring back those clues in the twist
  • You may choose to foreshadow your twist with either very subtle and hidden clues, or very noticeable and direct clues, depending on how close you want your audience to get to figuring it out.

As a mystery fan, I personally love it when the author leaves small clues and/or foreshadows the plot twist. It makes the book memorable.



Lynnette Jalufka


How do you go about doing a plot twist that will not have your readers throwing their books, or electronic devices, against the wall? I found some great advice on

When developing a plot twist…your goal should always be geared towards the audience’s reaction. As an overall rule, remember that they’ve taken the time to invest themselves in your story. You want them to get some sort of satisfaction for that—so, while your plot twist should be surprising, and may even be shocking, it should not strongly disappoint an audience, or leave them feeling cheated, tricked, or manipulated by their emotional investment in the story.

When developing your plot twist, you should have one of these goals in mind:

  • To leave your audience saying, ‘No way, I can’t believe it! I never saw that coming!’
  • To leave your audience saying, ‘Oh yeah, totally—how didn’t I see that coming?’
  • To leave your audience saying, ‘Wow, I knew it was possible, but never guessed it would really happen!’

In short, remember your readers. You want them to finish the book. They are the ones who will decide whether your twist is successful.



Lynnette Jalufka



A major part of deciding what genre I write is defining my audience. I write what I want to read. So, who am I?

Well, I’m obviously a woman, who has lived long enough to know that life is very hard, no matter what century you live in. Everything is conspiring to crush my dreams, but I press on. I’m desperate to know that there is hope after I make a wrong decision, when life takes a cruel turn, that disaster can be overcome. I want to be encouraged.

To escape my insignificant life, I read about another time far removed from my own. An adventure where I can hear thundering hooves and clashing steel, where men are bold and courageous when they have to be, and ladies can be just as bold and courageous, with a little romance in the mix. A clean book, one that does not contain profanity, descriptive sex, or graphic violence.

So, what do I write? Inspiring fiction with a medieval twist.



Lynnette Jalufka

I was surprised when my critique group called my current book a young adult novel. It does have a seventeen-year-old heroine. In fact, I have a young adult either as a protagonist or a major character in all my ideas for future novels. And I’ve been reading several young adult books lately. I like journeying with young people as they struggle to find their place in the world.  But I didn’t write this book for a teenage audience, which is the main component of YA. I’m writing what I want to read as an adult. Then again, adults make up half the YA readership.

There is another problem with categorizing this novel as YA. It is the first in a series about a noble family determined to protect their kingdom. The second book concerns the relationship between a mother and her son as they deal with tragedy along with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The third one chronicles a woman as she deals with her teenage daughter and her mother-in-law while they’re lost in enemy territory. These sound more like women’s fiction than young adult, except with battles, sword fights, narrow escapes, and other fun stuff like that. I just don’t see how to market my current work as young adult without drastically changing the entire series into something I don’t recognize.

So, is my novel YA? I think young people will enjoy it. But branding it as such is a different matter.



Lynnette Jalufka


I never considered myself a fantasy writer. I always thought I was an historical novelist because of my love of history. My first novel was about a person in the Bible. It drove me crazy trying to get all the details right just in case a biblical scholar happened to read it. The right one seemed to allude me, no matter how much research I did. (Someday, I’ll revise it for publication.)

So, I went back to a medieval story idea I’d been thinking about for years, in which I created my own kingdom. No one can tell me this wasn’t right in medieval England because the story doesn’t take place in medieval England. This is 13thcentury Armonye, with its own different regions, customs, and rivalries. The closest genre it fits into is medieval fantasy, although there are no fantastical elements like magic or strange creatures. The only thing that makes it fantasy is that it doesn’t happen in a historical place.

Why the Middle Ages? No period in history is more misunderstood, but it captures my imagination like nothing else. There are horses, swords, knights, ladies, castles, and battles. There’s great courage combined with chivalry, the noble knight fighting for his lady. In truth, I think it’s cool to be called “my lady.” I know that’s a romanticized view, but it’s great fuel for stories.



Lynnette Jalufka


One of my top all-time movies is the original animated Beauty and the Beast from 1991. (I haven’t seen the live action version and don’t care to.) It retells the familiar theme of seeing past one’s looks into the beauty inside.

Belle wants nothing more than adventure far from her everyday life. When her father is taken prisoner in an enchanted castle ruled by a hideous beast, she offers to become Beast’s prisoner instead. Belle doesn’t know that Beast must learn to love someone and have that person return his love before the last petal of a magic rose falls. If he doesn’t, he will be a beast forever. Step by step, they grow closer together until the handsome Gaston, who wants to marry Belle for her beauty, attacks the castle.

Engaging characters, great animation, and awesome music make this movie come alive. I love the scene where Beast dances with Belle in her golden dress. If you haven’t seen it in while or at all, rent it, stream it, check it out of the library. It’s well worth watching. I shed a tear the last time I saw it.