Sociopath Characters

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”

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Choosing Beta Readers for Your Book

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”

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Indie Author Services

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”

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Your Amoral Online Soul

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”

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Guns, Mental Health and Compassion

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”

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First Draft Completed

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”

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Your Life is Probably Pretty Good

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”

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Ebb and Flow in Creative Writing

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”

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Motifs and Emotions

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”

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