WRITING A NOVEL? PART 5

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 5

BLOOD, TOIL, TEARS, SWEAT . . . EDITING Editing, blech! You’ve finished your novel? If so, you know only too well the blood, toil, and tears needed to reach the finish line. That’s the time to put our feet up, pour a glass, sit back, and smile. That’s when the plot bunny on the shoulder whispers the dreaded word . . . “edit.” Editing . . . Blech! Editing is the sweaty part of fictioneering, be it short story or novel. I’m the first to admit to the perils of rushing to print, relying on MS word to correct my…

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WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 4

Ready, Fire, Aim: Getting it wrong When I asked someone in a writing group what her story was about, she said she didn’t know. Said, “I simply start writing. Eventually, I find out the direction the story is taking.” Huh? I think that’s wrong. What about you? Do you know what your story’s about? Have you ever started a road trip, route planned, map ready, car fueled, only to find a detour along the way? What if we never make it to the destination? I’ve had some happy memories visiting unplanned places. But to the best of my knowledge, I’ve…

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WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

WRITING A NOVEL? PART 2

Part Two in the series. In part one, I wrote about the million books that will be published in 2018, seven-hundred and fifty thousand of them self-published. The bad news? Competition, going up against the sheer volume of new novels. The good news? We can get a slim toe-hold in the marketplace. There are three things we can do: have a good story, have a worthy cover, and make sure the interior supports your work. This part of the series is about step one in getting the story right. We’re told to follow the rules. After all, writers spend years…

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TERROR, TREPIDATION, TURMOIL, TURBULENCE, TORONTO

Shameless alliteration, I know. Those aren’t words often associated with the setting for The CleanSweep Conspiracy I could never wish harm to the city, but my devious side led me to write a story where Toronto felt terror, trepidation, turmoil, and turbulence. Bombs explode. Rioting becomes commonplace, and something like martial law is implemented. It gets worse when a ruthless billionaire intends to shape a city to his viewpoint.   In my story, ordinary people try to make things right again. Matt Tremain is a blogger wondering if anyone even notices. Carling is a career cop who avoids headlines. A…

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The CleanSweep Conspiracy

How many civil rights are you willing to give up for safety? In the aftermath of devastating riots, investigative blogger Matt Tremain thinks his city may have surrendered too much.     Chapter 1 UNEXPECTED EVENTS   So far, it had been an ordinary day. It was a Thursday morning, his least favorite day of the week, when he walked into Le Rôti Français, a popular coffeehouse in Yorkville. A caffeinated menu filled an entire wall. He tried to ignore the TV mounted on the wall behind the service counter. Ever since the riots, there had been little news other…

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Writing a novel is easy, right?

A man walked up to my table at a book fair. “Writing a novel is easy, right? “I have this story I want to write. Tell me where to start?” I gave him the advice I heard from someone once.  “The beginning is easy. What comes next is hard,” I said. “Huh,” he said. “First, you need to get a license. Do you have one?” “I had no idea,” he said. “Where do I get one.” “The Department of Creative Writing,” I told him. “Each state capital has one, or province if you live in Canada. You have to pass…

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News

In the exciting news department, I’m pleased to be joined by a guest blogger soon. This one comes with jaw-dropping creds. From Taekwondo, University degree, the National Guard as an MP (with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan), a graduate degree, and now working inside the DC beltway. The full bio will be posted shortly. Oh yeah, she’s also a terrific writer. You will hear more about her soon. She has some fascinating stories and I suspect there’s a wild mind writing, waiting to tell her stories. That’s not the only tease. How about a new cover reveal? How many civil rights…

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A place of writing, a place for writers, and those people all writers have a special love for … readers.

I love being a writer, something that allows me the opportunity to spend time with imaginary friends, some good, some truly evil. I quit trying to figure out where they come from. Instead, simply have fun with them. In fact, I am meeting some new characters today. I wonder what their story will be. It began with my father. He introduced me to make-believe friends, a family of friendly ghosts. Coming out of the Great Depression, he needed to use his imagination when he didn’t have money for books. They may have been ghosts, but they weren’t scary to me.…

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Attack of the Plot Bunnies

Bitten by the plot bunny? When did I first admit to being a writer? For me, it was 1989 as best as I can recall. That was the year the Berlin Wall came down, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, and the 49ers beat the Bengals in the Super Bowl. People were listening to Madonna singing Like a Prayer and going to see Good Morning Vietnam at the movies. The Cosby Show ruled the airways. Alas, Robin Williams is now gone, and Cosby…well, that was 1989. On the literary scene, Anne Tyler won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lesson and Camilo Jose Cela won the Nobel Prize for…

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