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Showing posts from May, 2013

Follow Your Heart…When it Comes to Writing

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Should I have a prologue or epilogue? Is this chapter too long? Should I include accents in my dialogue? What about foreign language—should I use it or re-cap in English? Should I write it in first, third, or a combination of viewpoints? Does that first sentence really grab the reader or should I change it?
As a writer, all or some of these questions may have hit you at one point or another.  And I’m sure there’s a lot I’m missing.  After all, we work hard on our manuscripts and we want them as perfect as possible. 
You may have found yourself reaching out to a trusted friend in person or through an online community to try and find the answers you seek.  I’m here to tell you, with most of the above, the answer lies in you.
It’s your story, and only you know the best way to tell it.
Of course, there’s no harm in seeking opinions, but at the end of all of it, the decision lies with you.  My advice?  Follow your heart.
If your heart is saying “break the rules”, blend first and third point of …

Some Words that Should Die

As an author, it’s our job to make sure that our readers are fully engaged in our work.  To make this happen, various elements come into play.  The obvious ones are relatable and compelling characters and a well-paced plot line that holds interest, but these cannot be accomplished if we don’t have command of the language and keep our manuscript tight.
In my recent editing path, I came across some words that I think should die and made a note of them.  They don’t carry their weight and nine times out of ten can be eliminated without a tear.  I’ve provided examples for some.  Of course, there is no rule that says the words below shouldn’t be used in a manuscript, but we would want to use them sparingly if at all. 
Just
Simply
Only – has its place but use for special emphasis. Example:  This is only the beginning. Reason:  In this case it’s implied that a lot is going to take place.  It has an element of intrigue.
            Poor example:  The presentation was to commence at nine-thirty, leavi…

A Controlling Boss, a Murder to Solve, and a Cold Case - #SampleSunday

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The following excerpt is taken from TIES THAT BIND.  I hope you enjoy. The call came when they got back to the car.  “So what have you got for me Knight?”   She envisioned the Sergeant glancing impatiently at his watch.  Sometimes she regretted turning down promotions.  She could be a Sergeant herself had she been thinking straight.  But no, she claimed to be happy where she was positioned in life.   “We’re leaning towards Laura Saunders’ murder being an isolated incident.  We have a reason to feel the ex-boyfriend is involved.”   “So that’s your final answer to this?  In less than four hours you’re positive the rest of the city sleeps safe tonight?”   What did this man want from her—a caped crusader?  No one could guarantee that.  It was always black and white with him.  She needed to operate within the shades of gray.    “Evidence seems to be pointing us in that direction.”   “I want this wrapped up Knight, sooner than later.  Keep me informed.”   He never spoke the words but the implicatio…

Forensic Friday: Gun Play

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Do you think you know everything there is to know about guns and bullets?  I bet there are things you don’t know—unless it’s your job to know.  But as an author in the crime genre, it’s imperative to get the facts as straight as you can. 

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by an educated source who has offered to help me with detailed technical and forensic questions.  They are giving of their assistance free of charge.  I want to “pay it forward” and pass on what I learn.  I believe that’s fair. J
Here’s a few things I’ve learned already.
Clips and magazines are the NOT same. Unless you’re active with guns, I doubt you knew that.  It’s common for online resources to use the words interchangeably but they couldn’t be more wrong. 
So what is the difference? A clip holds bullets and goes into a magazine.
Here’s a video that may help you see this  clearly.

All bullets are NOT created equal Bullets are designed to suit a purpose.  While I’m still very new in my knowledge of this area, m…

FEEL What You Write--Readers Experience the Difference

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“When you feel it, your audience does.” --Nicki Minaj
The above-noted advice was given to a contestant on a popular singing competition, but it applies to writing as well.  Here’s how.
Have there ever been days that you made yourself write?  I’m sure you know the days...when you have a goal you want to reach, you’re consumed by a word count and are determined to attain it whether you’re feeling it or not.  How do you feel about those scenes when you’re writing them?
Don’t get me wrong.  There are times when you make yourself write that something truly magical happens—the characters take over, bringing you with them in an unexpected, yet pleasant direction.  But there are times such writing sessions can result in mechanical writing.
Now contrary to that are the moments you are writing a scene and your heart is racing, your breathing speeds up, you can stop laughing, or tears fall down your cheeks.  You are truly caught up in what is befalling your characters.  I LOVE it when this happens! …

Your Mother's Going to Love this: #SampleSunday Tap Into Her Dark Side...

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Assassination of a Dignitary by Carolyn Arnold Buy on Amazon
Raymond Hunter's dark past has returned and demands one final favor. Now fifteen years later, settled as an accountant and family man, he assumed life would be calm. He thought wrong. The Italian Mafia wants him back.
The directions were simple: Kill Governor Behler and be out for good.
In order to protect his family and guard them from the truth, he has no choice but to accept the job. He picks the date and location—Niagara Falls, New York—two hundred and forty miles away. But by the time he returns home, he finds out the assassination attempt failed, his family has been kidnapped, and he has twenty-four hours to set things right if he wants to see them again.
With time running out, Raymond discovers the real reason they wanted Behler dead and finds out he’s placed himself and his family right in the middle of a mafia power struggle. What he doesn’t realize is that law enforcement is also closing in.

Excerpt of Chapter 2
I sto…