When a writer is getting started with their first book, keeping track of details like eye color and height can be difficult and cause lots of crazy issues in their book. A big issue is changing a character’s name half way through the manuscript. I know I have read a lot of books with that issue. Mary becomes Maria and Mark becomes Mike. When you sell that book and are asked to submit three more plots in the same universe, you can’t risk those perils. You need a Book Bible. Continue reading “Series and Book Bibles”
I’m so embarrassed. In the first few paragraphs of my work in progress, Crazy for Trying, I have a police officer doing something totally not done ever, and especially not in front of civilians. One officer tells another to go to the door and be ready to draw her weapon. Yikes! First of all, that’s something the other officer should already know to do. Second, the first office wouldn’t say that because there are people in the room and it implies he doesn’t trust the officer to know what to do. I am so grateful to my critique group for pointing that out. Continue reading “Jack Davidson At RWA-SD, Part 1”
When Geoff Symon spoke to my RWA group last month, I learned a new word: curtilage. No, it’s not a description of an impolite person or a part of the body. It’s the land that surrounds your home. All the way to the curb, which means the police can’t go on your driveway to look into your car. Farmland, if marked off, includes buildings, barns, silos, and garage. A homeless person has no curtilage but police can’t search their cart without permission. A tent on public property is also not private. Continue reading “More from the Crime Scene”
Plato wrote in The New Republic that Necessity is the Mother of Invention. I agree on a small scale, such as you are in a public restroom and the stall doesn’t have a working latch. You get a big enough wad of paper or the cardboard from the seat liners and wedge that between the door and frame. Or the well-known dad’s solution to ripping the tapes off a diaper: Duct tape the thing on. Continue reading “Invention”
Names go so far to add dimensions to your characters. I have known writers to get to a certain point in the story and realize the name of a main character doesn’t suit that character. This is when they shout out for help from the Scribophile groups. And we make suggestions like the title of this blog post. Yeah, we’re good like that. Continue reading “Signed: Princess Agatha Serefina “McSparklepants” Hightower”
Writing historical novels, romances or otherwise, it’s important to have a bit of research done so you don’t look like a total noob. In Romance, there’s a fine line between total accuracy and boring technicality. We can bend the facts a wee bit, but always explain in a note to your readers what you have done. Continue reading “A World Without Ice Makers”
How will your protagonist get around in your story? How far away are they from the place where the story will unfold? How do you measure the distance and time needed to travel?
Some stories take place all in one setting, and the characters can move around on foot, like my favorite werewolf stories by Molly Harper that take place in a little town in Alaska. Sure, they do travel at times in trucks and other hearty vehicles, but mostly they go from the saloon to home and back again. Easy peasy as long as the weather holds.