Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Writing Process’ Category

hands on laptopTo all the writers out there… whether you write fiction or non-fiction, regardless of your genre…  have you been more productive during our self-isolation?

I know I have!  With outside activities pared down to a bare minimum, the page numbers in my WIP swell on a daily basis.

Chapters have been flying back and forth with my writers group via email. Critiques are returned much faster. Because I plan to publish this summer, Riverhaven Books has placed me in the queue for mid-June. A looming deadline provides incentive.

So forge ahead, writers! Follow your characters from your self-isolation into the world you’ve created for them!

 

Read Full Post »

A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskWhile snow-birding in Florida, I’ve scheduled my Author Talk at local retirement communities. Those planned events came to a screaming halt earlier this week when the governor issued suggested restrictions to tamp down the spread of this nasty little virus.

Because our elderly citizens are the most susceptible to this years flu bug, the local administrators are following the safety guidelines and cancelling outside vendors, such as authors like myself.

All we can do is stay clear of each other and avoid crowds at indoor venues. Not to mention wash our hands, wash our hands, and WASH OUR HANDS!

The silver lining of this outbreak is that I can devote the hours of self-isolation to work on my latest WIP… the 4th story in my Gwen Andrews mystery series titled ‘Wedding Interrupted’. If the plotting and writing moves along at a good clip, I have a chance at publishing this summer.

Stay well, everyone!

 

Read Full Post »

cartoon lady with pencil and notepadEvery fiction writer knows the frustration of plotting their story. Especially with a mystery, such as I create, the plot not only needs to proceed logically toward the climax, but the characters, dialogue, and actions within each scene need to be believable to the reader as the clues are subtly inserted into the story.

Such is the case with ‘Wedding Interrupted’, the 4th story in my Gwen Andrews series. My writers group commented that one of my secondary characters was leaving the story too early and suggested expanding his role to heighten the tension, releasing him only after he’d served his purpose in the plot.

And so for the past few days, I’ve been wrestling with Fred. He has finally surrendered to my vision of his role in the conflict and I have sent him on his way.

 

Read Full Post »

book club at tableAs I settle into my third year of snow-birding in Florida, I continue to work with my writing group back in Massachusetts by emailing chapters back and forth, soliciting comments and suggestions. Our system seems to work very well, and in fact, I think we’re more productive!

The comedic light bulb above my head blinked on that I shouldn’t sacrifice face to face critiquing sessions simply because I’m 1500 miles from home, and so I googled writing groups in Pinellas County. I was pleasantly surprised to learn several exist within a few miles of me:

Pinellas Writers, Largo … Saturday mornings

Gulf Beaches Library Writers Group, Madeira Beach … Monday mornings

Clearwater Writers Meet-up Group, Clearwater … Monday evenings

Now that I’m penning the 4th story in my mystery series, other pairs of eyes reading my words would ensure that this story can stand alone if a reader delves into the adventures of my amateur sleuth out of sequence.

And so, I need to choose one of these groups and make the commitment to close down my tablet, walk out my door, get into the SUV, and drive to a meeting!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

A_Woman_Reading_Papers_At_Her_DeskWhenever the members of our writers group are unavailable for a face-to-face meeting at alternating houses or libraries located between us, we have found that emailing our chapters for critique works very well.

Over the years, we’ve developed a system that provides suggestions to add, delete, or adjust wording.

Yellow Highlighted … suggests words or phrases that could be eliminated without losing the gist of the story.

Black Bolded … provides either alternate wording or phrasing for the yellow highlighted section or suggests additional words or phrases that will clarify the story.

Green Bolded … this indicates words or phrases that have been moved to another paragraph, scene, or chapter to re-sequence the timing for cause and effect.

RED BOLDED CAPS … questions to the author about the story.

If your writers group has developed a system of critiquing clues, I’d love to hear about it!

Writers groups are precious… treat them with care!

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The 3rd story in my 4-book series is approaching the final scenes. I expect to turn it over to Riverhaven Books for editing after the holidays and subsequent publication in 2019. This installment in the Gwen Andrews mystery series is titled ‘Bed, Breakfast, & Blackmail’.
Without giving away the plot, I’ll simply tell you that this third story occurs just before Christmas and is centered around the fictional Harbor Falls Bed & Breakfast. Of course, Gwen will again become entangled in a police investigation, but this time with a twist!
During the research phase, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was indeed a B&B type of establishment across from the Norton Common in my town. It was called ‘Wheaton Inn’ and served as a hotel for many years before being torn down in the 1960s.
Blackington Inn threeAs the author, I developed my B&B replacement based on a 3-floor center hall colonial design. I’m thrilled that the Colonel Blackinton Inn has given me permission to use a photo I snapped of their establishment to represent my B&B in the cover photo. My publisher will adjust the sign to read ‘Harbor Falls Bed & Breakfast.’
If you’ve never tried your hand at writing fiction, I’ll just share with you that it’s a wonderful way to keep your imagination active!

Read Full Post »

aus books - smallThere is nothing more satisfying than to walk into a bookstore and see both of my mysteries displayed on the shelf in the local author section.

I’m referring to An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Massachusetts. Children’s book author Jeff Kinney of Wimpy Kid story  fame, built his unique bookstore on the site of the historic Falk’s Market at the intersection of Rt.106 and Rt.1A. Some of the shelving and stairs to the second floor were built using the floor boards from the old market… truly a nod to the past.

When my debut mystery ‘The Uninvited Guest’ was published,  the Strong Women Book Group at An Unlikely Story chose it as their book of the month. I joined them at their follow-up discussion for an enjoyable question and answer session. I’ll be suggesting the second story titled ‘Where There’s Smoke, There’s Trouble’ and ask them to choose it as an upcoming monthly selection.

And it’s time to contact the venues located in the area around Largo, Florida. Last year, when I arrived in January as a first-time snow-birder, I was too late to be included in their calendars. Many suggested I touch base this fall as they’re preparing the calendar for 2019, promising they’d do their best to assign a date for my Author Talk.

About the daily writing efforts … re-sequencing is the word of every day as I continue to create story #3. ‘Bed, Breakfast, & Blackmail’ takes place during the days leading up to Christmas. After attending a 3-day forensics class at the Cape Cod Writers Conference last month, and then discussing the nitty-gritty details with my local police detective, I found I had to re-shuffle many activities one day earlier than I’d written them. Doing this is not as simple as it sounds. By moving a key piece of the investigation to the previous day, it impacts conversations between characters, where they go, and what they do. My opening chapters are now interspersed with green text to signify it’s been moved, and red text to signify re-writing is required. Chapter numbers are also changing as the quantity of pages in each ebbs and flows.

And so, I chug along each morning, knowing that one day, I will type ‘The End’ … and mean it!

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »