One of the biggest challenges for newer writers is to develop characters that would do all the things the writer would never do. It may be as simple as mountain climbing or sky diving. And it may be as heinous as rape, murder and pillaging. How do you write about a character who commits actsContinue reading “Sociopath Characters”
Once you’ve finished writing a first draft of your book–or maybe a second if you’re really self-conscious–it’s important to get some people to read your book, see what you missed, see how it flows, see if it makes sense. Their impression is more important than whether you used their, there and they’re correctly. That’s whatContinue reading “Choosing Beta Readers for Your Book”
Independent authors are a lot like baby sea turtles. I’m not saying they move slowly or that they carry a burden on their backs. But they must cross the exposed sand. They are yummy to seagulls and other predators. There are tons of them, but only a few will survive. Yet somehow, they just knowContinue reading “Indie Author Services”
I would love to hear from women on this, but men are welcome to chime in. Do you get tired of damsels in distress? Do you read a book or watch a movie and wonder why the women have to be the victims before a story can wrap up? If the villain has cornered theContinue reading “Damsels”
Once that you’ve decided on a killing, first you make a stone of your heart. And if you find that your hands are still willing, then you can turn a murder into art. – The Police It’s good to blog about things in real life that are important elements in your books. My wife andContinue reading “Serial Killers”
I spent an hour or so last night cutting blog posts from years ago. They weren’t consistent with my branding preferences for this site. Politics. Weather. Personal stuff. I just want this blog to be about writing. Specifically: my writing. But also about the act or strategy of writing. Last night I finished the penultimateContinue reading “Rewriting History”
I’m two chapters shy of completing my fifth novel, called Wrapt–a thriller about a serial killer. I worried that it would be too dark, considering that most of my books, though they’re about paranormal subjects, tend to be romances, too. This one is barely a romance. It’s definitely a murder story. Tonight I’m writing theContinue reading “Thriller”
I typically work on several books at the same time. Always getting ideas. Jotting them down. The more interesting ones get outlines. And then I store them in a sequence of most interesting to least interesting, so that when it’s time to start another book, I have the best ideas at the top. This requiresContinue reading “Slashers”
The past is not a good neighborhood. The schools and restaurants are all closed. The power is out everywhere. And all the windows are shuttered. Live in the now, plan for the best future you can manage. Forget the bullshit behind you. You’re better than all of that.
There is a part of the human brain that allows us to watch TV, movies, stage plays, read books, and understand simultaneously that what we are experiencing is not real, but is potentially full of truth, or at least entertainment value. I’m talking about the suspension of disbelief. We know Harrison Ford isn’t really an archaeologist,Continue reading “Your Amoral Online Soul”
Let me know what you think. That’s an enhanced image of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon. It’s where I recharge my batteries. Figuratively.
I do believe in thorough background checks for all types of firearm purchases, but I do not believe this will deter certain people from committing heinous acts. I believe we need better mental health care facilities, and a significant change in our national attitude toward mental illness. But I do not believe that will curtailContinue reading “Guns, Mental Health and Compassion”
Teach Love, and hate will be homeless. Teach Peace, and war will starve. Teach Community, and crime will be unemployed. Our priorities are what’s wrong.
My next novel, Some Survive Death, has a completed first draft. It’s both exciting and disappointing to finish something like this. There’s more work to be done, but most importantly, everything is written down. It worked out to 73,000 words. I like my novels to be around 100,000. That’s unlikely to happen with this one,Continue reading “First Draft Completed”
Thank you, Jerry Baker, for making the new book covers for Virtual Silence and Fugue in C Minor. I think they look great! Fugue will be live again later today. I’ll pimp him as soon as he decides how he wants people to contact him. He does the covers for his wife’s books, and theyContinue reading “New Book Covers”
I don’t believe in the practice of religion, although it does not matter to me if others do. I don’t care about converting anyone to my way of thinking or believing. I do believe that there is a power of goodness. I don’t judge you if you call that power God. We can get intoContinue reading “Your Life is Probably Pretty Good”
My wife was telling me about a friend going through some rough times. Personal stuff. Emotional stuff. And she said it was sad. But I disagreed. What this friend is experiencing is certainly challenging, but hardly sad. She’s in a negative situation and needs to get out of it. She needs to find her ownContinue reading “It Has Been”
I encourage authors to map out their stories before they compose. A story is like a river, with twists and turns, surprise waterfalls and white water rapids in between placid, flowing stretches. A straight-forward story is not like a river. It is like a canal. No one wants to read a canal. No one putsContinue reading “Ebb and Flow in Creative Writing”
A motif is a re-occurring image, theme or element that appears throughout your novel. A dove symbolizes peace, or a snake represents evil, or a spider represents death. Motifs add color and intrigue to your novel, but you have to be tricky, subtle, underhanded in your use of them. After a first draft is aContinue reading “Motifs and Emotions”
When you tell a story, it’s easy to slip into a mode of communication I call overview. This is when you say what happened, but without most of the story element. Jack liked going to bars to meet women, and sometimes they’d talk to him, but mostly he would go home empty handed. That isContinue reading “Modes of Prose”