Friday, February 22, 2013

Writing Tips from Obama before He Was President

Five tips from a future president (one who can read and write!)

 A friend sent Obama a manuscript for editing, and Obama wrote back with five tips:

 1) "Careful about too many adverbs, particularly describing how people speak (Paul asked disbelievingly, etc.).

It can be cumbersome and a bit intrusive on the reader."

 2) "Resist the temptation of easy satire. ... Good satire has to be a little muted. Should spill out from under a seemingly somber situation."

3) "Try to get the basic stats on the characters out of the way early {Paul was 24} so that you can spend the rest of the story revealing character."

4) "Think about the key moment(s) in the story, and build tension leading to those key moments."

5) "Write outside your own experience. ... I find that this works the fictive imagination harder."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Carl Hiaasen Interview Part Two

Carl Hiassen Florida writer

I've discovered the writer Carl Hiassen. He's so smart, cool, cute, responsible... He's written a ton of novels set in Florida with wacky characters, young people's books too. He also still works as a journalist on a newspaper in Florida, I forget where. The books are funny, and bad things happen to bad (mean and nasty) people (who are somehow likeable anyway, but stupid), like their hands get eaten off by sharks or crabs in the everglades.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Traits of a Successful Writer (of Romance or otherwise)

I was looking around to see how fiction writers make a living. And as you may suspect Romance writers sell the most books. I would like to write them, just to be writing something that makes people happy .. but it's just not a fantasy that I can get into..

Here is something from Anne Gracie:

..... What do I need to be a romance writer? Can anybody do it?

Let's take a look at a list of the top 10 attributes you should have in order to become a published, successful and happy romance writer. But don't worry if you don't already possess all 10 traits, most can be learned!

1. A Curious and Creative Mind
2. A Love of Storytelling
3. The Ability to Be Professional … When Necessary
4. A Little Self-Discipline
5. Persistence … No Matter What
6. Knowing How to Enjoy Writing Like a Hobby … But Run It Like a Business
7. Understanding That When You Write More, You Sell More
8. Being a People Watcher
9. Having Your Own Unique Voice
10. LOVING Romance

So we can have all of them, just edit the last one to LOVING TO READ.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

numbers of suicides and homicides solved

I've heard that -- there are twice as many suicide deaths as homicides.

One half of all homicides are not solved.

I don't know how the statistics for accidental deaths fit in, if you do, please comment.
But since I consider accidental deaths by car or by gun as violent... Is there a particular statistical category for violent deaths of different kinds - with the numbers?

The numbers of returning vets from the middle-east oil wars who commit suicide is astounding, and very sad. The numbers of their wives killed is also astounding.

Photo is from DeviantARt by saccharinesmile

Saturday, November 17, 2012

murder, criminal justice system, criminals

This summer, July, 2012 I was busy taking 3 criminology courses.
photo from This field is so interesting. Until I delved into it, I didn't realize how much and how many people are fascinated by criminals, especially violent ones. The perpetrators are interesting, the process of finding them, and finding them out, is the way I started, with the detective end of it. But the process of evidence gathering, arresting, the arrest and prison system and the courts, law and trial system adds layers upon layers. I tried to get the stories of three women in my classes, so I could tell you what happens to them, but they were hesitant to reveal their lives to me. I don't know if it was because I didn't have time to build a level of trust, or just that like most people, and more than most people (since they want to be involved in the Criminal Justice system..), I didn't get to follow through on that project. It would have been a good one. I read a book about female cops and it inspired me. Maybe some one else can write that story. How do women fare as prison guards, juvenile counselors, cops? In the end, I decided I didn't want to write about real criminals, why immerse myself in mean and cruel personalities? No thanks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Night Circus

They say to read lots and lots of your "genre" which would be "cozy" mysteries right now. I'm polishing Henry Loses Her Beau for publication on SMASHWORDS. But I tire of reading other people's stories/books that are too similar to mine. So, I just finished The Night Circus by a young woman named Erin Morgenstern. The book was started with the NaNoWri..whatever it's called (Write a Novel in a Month).
But this is a big fat book about a magical circus. I enjoyed it, and kept reading to find out what would happen. One thing I didn't get was why one of the twins was killed in the railroad station, and why was Marco there? I had trouble liking him as a good guy after that especially, any one else's thoughts on that? Please comment. PS I love circuses.