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Monday, July 28, 2014

KICK-STARTING A NEW NOVEL

For the past six months, I wavered on which direction to take for my next writing project. 

Then I signed up for a five-day writers’ seminar in Honolulu, which took place on July 19-23, 2014 at The Makiki Community Library. The seminar guru/sensei, William Bernhardt, is the bestselling author of numerous books, including the Ben Kincaid legal-thriller series. His Red Sneakers Writers Book Series, five compact books in print and ebook format, go hand-in-hand with his seminars. 

Once I committed to attending a seminar for five days, I had to write a novel to present to the group for feedback and critique. I made the decision to continue my Pepper Bibeau mystery series with a fourth novel. I purchased Mr. Bernhardt’s Red Sneaker ebook series for kindle, and read each of the five books. Then I used the information from the first one, Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction, to outline my manuscript. 
See book link
to Amazon below
The five weeks preceding the seminar included writing, researching, writing, eating, writing, and sleeping. It was my very own, intense NaNoWriMo - all day - every day! My finished first draft contained 68K words, and was ready for critique. During the five-day seminar, I received suggestions, ideas, and direction from Mr. Bernhardt and the other seminar-ians (not theologists!) on ways to improve the content. 

Moving forward, I will use the information from the other books in the series as a road map to complete and edit the novel. 

Are you planning to start/continue/finish your novel this year? What is your process?
 
 
Link to William Bernhardt's Amazon Author Page:
 
Link to Story Structure by William Bernhardt
 

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wishy-Washy or What?



It's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group blog posting. IWSG was created by the awesome ninja captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can find a list of all the other members of the group here. 

The Insecure Writers Support Group (IWSG), started by ninja captain Alex J. Cavenaugh, is a monthly opportunity to share our writing fears or solutions and to offer encouragement to the other participants. (Co-hosts this month are: Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson.) ...just picked this up from 's site!

Decision-making isn’t a problem for me, but sticking to a decision sometimes is. 

Last November, for NaNoWriMo, I decided to switch horses and write about a new protagonist. The fifty thousand words required to be “A Winner” flowed onto the page at regular intervals. Then I had second thoughts about abandoning my original protagonist and her storyline. 

It took several months to work through my indecision (okay, decision-making sometimes is an issue for me!) I finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to continue the story line of my original protagonist. I set up my own nanowrimo for thirty days between June and July. I am now over thirty thousand words into this novel. I’ve had to make at least a hundred decisions already concerning plot, characters, and setting. 

Each day more decisions are required, but I have my fingers crossed that the major decision to write the novel I’m working on now is my final decision. 

Are most of your decisions flat-out carved in stone, or are you often swayed to change your mind?
 
 
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

DIALOGUE FOR A DUSTY DETECTIVE

Dialogue can be fun to write, like putting words into your characters mouth. I try to have my characters lay out the scene through dialogue whenever possible. It doesn’t always work in the first draft but when done right, it brings life to the scene.

Another purpose of dialogue is to give insight into a character without committing the dreaded act of “telling.” In the following excerpt from my novel, FOR EVERY ACTION, no words describe the detective’s effectiveness, yet certain of the character’s attributes stand out. As a reader, would you have confidence in the detective’s ability to handle his job?

The man wore a sports jacket of navy-flecked tweed, slightly frayed around the cuffs. Fine dust coated the tops of his shoes and he wore no hat. He removed a small notepad from an inner pocket of his jacket before glancing around the room.

“How may I help you?” Mr. Jaedelle asked.

“Sergeant Robertson, detective with the Homicide Division,” the man said, offering a business card. “I’m looking for a . . .” He stopped to consult his notepad. “I’m looking for Miss Bibeau. I understand she works here.”

“I’m Pepper Bibeau.” I stepped toward him with my hand outstretched.

After a slight hesitation, the detective reached over and gave me a firm handshake. But before he could say anything further, Gloria walked out of her office.

“Why are you here, detective?” she asked. “This law office doesn’t handle homicides.”

“I understand your concern, ma’am.” The detective removed a wallet from his inside breast pocket and displayed his Chicago police star.

Gloria made a show of examining the badge, then gave him a disapproving frown. He waited for her to step back before continuing.

“Unfortunately, it’s necessary for me to discuss details of a case with Miss Bibeau.”
 

Here are some links to other articles/book that deal with the use of dialogue to illustrate character traits:

How to show character through dialogue
http://www.plottopunctuation.com/blog/show/44

Write Good Dialogue
http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/wrobel/2241/2241online/Funtimeweblectures/write_good_dialogue.htm

Dynamic Dialogue: Letting Your Story Speak by William Bernhardt
http://www.amazon.com/Dynamic-Dialogue-Letting-Sneaker-Writers-ebook/dp/B00I8RGPF6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402908216&sr=1-1&keywords=William+Bernhardt+dialogue

 
If you have a moment, please check out my Pepper Bibeau mysteries on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/ACTION-Consequences-Pepper-Mystery-ebook/dp/B004VT3QRU/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360640584&sr=8-1