I’m busily writing a series of cozy mysteries called The Endurance Mysteries. The first book, Three May Keep a Secret , introduced Grace Kimball, her friends and their small Midwest town of Endurance. In the second book, which will be out next year, one of Grace’s friends buys a Victorian home that is falling apart. This friend wants to restore it to its 1880’s splendor. Because of this plot decision, I had to create a history for this house. Grace researches its history for newspaper articles in the Endurance Register. I had a lot of fun creating a background for… Continue reading
I’ve taken some characterization classes and used the checklists from these to better develop my characters. I love the checklists. The classes have been great. They helped me better define and deepen my characters. So I wasn’t sure what I would get out of a webinar on characterization that was something different. Turns out it was a lot in terms of thinking slightly differently.
A few highlights from the talk by author Jade Lee to think about:
- Using the Elements – air, water, fire, metal and earth. Think about which
Last month, I wrote about some of the more interesting places I’ve recently visited for research purposes. Well, I’ve been at it again, this time starting with “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself into Print” by Renni Browne and Dave King. This gem of a book was hiding in full sight among the1200 or so volumes currently eating my Kindle alive. (Note to Self: Serious Housecleaning Needed ASAP.)
Once I started the Browne/King book, I literally couldn’t put it down. The advice is so well… Continue reading
Flash Fiction or Micro Fiction are terms used to describe a story that is very short, usually under 300 words, although some flash fiction can run up to 1000 words. According to Wikipedia, flash fiction in China is often called Smokelong due to the fact that the reader should be able to finish the story before he finishes smoking a cigarette.
As a writer, I’ve found that working with flash fiction has helped me with my longer work. Because of its brevity, I’m learning to write tight, telling a coherent and… Continue reading
Book talks are part of marketing, and some authors love them while others hate them. I’m in the first group. It’s tough to come up with topics for talks, especially when you are speaking to both people who have read your book and those who have not. My two rules of thumb for speech topics are to fit my talk to my audience and also consider my purpose.
Three May Keep a Secret, my first Endurance Mystery, came out near the end of 2014. Before its launch, I did a number of book talks locally. I spoke about how… Continue reading
I‘ve seen lots of advice on contests. Some people won’t enter them. Some think they’re great. Others are in-between. That’s where I fall too. I think contests can be helpful but I also carefully consider what I think I get in return. For that, I have a few guidelines.
To pay or not to pay. Contests can be free or require a payment. My rule of thumb is never to spend money on a contest unless I receive some sort of value back. I’ve only entered a couple with payments… Continue reading
When I think of my writing resources, the first thing that pops into my mind is the Internet. I’m constantly online looking for the information I need, from names for my characters to the latest in dart guns.
Today, I’m following a suggestion that I write about non-digital resources that make my writing life easier. Well, that stopped me. Not digital? What else is there?
I can hear the groaning ghosts of writers past. “Somehow, we managed, and quite successfully.”
Of course they did. As did I not too many years ago. As a matter of fact… Continue reading