Showing posts from September, 2016

A Novel Approach to Writing Novels

No one can dictate to you how to write your book. The way the story presents itself to the author is all important. How-To authors will tell you what you must avoid, shouldn't do, how you have to approach something. The fact is, they don't know any more than anyone else, they just sat down and wrote a book about it. Don't let them bully you and dictate to you how you write. Chances are good that they have broken their own edicts at one time or another. The best advice I have ever heard came from actor, director, author, screenwriter and producer, Ken Farmer. “Just write the damn story.” I couldn't have said it better. There is no set in stone way to approach your story. Anyone who says differently is lying to you. I read an article many years ago, when I was a mere novice. I had one book, Indian Summer, under my belt. I was beginning my Lone Wolf sci-fi series. I came across this article by a famous sci-fi author, whose name I can't remember now. He said that an auth…

Red River Radio Presents What's Write for Me with Anna, Karen and Rachel!

What's Write for Me Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 4:00 - 6:00 PM EDT on Blog Talk Radio
After a brief hiatus, Dellani and Christina are back! Today, Dellani will chat not only with Karen Vaughan and Anna Celeste Burke, but Christina's alter ego - Rachel Rueben! Join us for this fun filled chat!

New to the show, Anna Celeste Burke, author of All Hallow's Eve Heist, Love Notes in the Key of Sea, Gnarly New Year and many more.

Also chatting with us, good friend and another Red River Radio host, KarenVaughan, author of Jamaica Dead, Daytona Dead, Left for Dead, Holmes in America and many more.

Karen and Anna are also featured in a cooperative book set called Mysteries Gone Mad.

RachelRueben is an old hand at the talk show, though she's usually the silent minority. Today, we're making her talk about her books Hag, Eternal Bond and her newest venture, Fedelta.

Tune in Live or Listen to the Podcast!

I Love Dialogue from Car Trouble

I've long wondered why men's restrooms are set up the way they are. Women have privacy, but we're expected to yank it out and take a whiz no matter who's around. It's always made me nervous. There's always this sick impulse to check the other guy's junk, but you look like a perv if you do that. Not that I'm embarrassed about what I'm packing, far from it. I just don't particularly like to be stared at, especially with my fly down. Then there's the problem of where to look. Do I look down at myself? That looks like I'm not sure I can take a piss without help. Do I stare at the wall? Then I look like I'm nervous or have something to hide. In a police station, I don't want to look furtive. I'm not gonna look at the piece of the guy next to me, so there aren't many choices left. I chose to gaze at the flush valve. That's not so low that I seem perverted and not high enough to appear furtive. Glad I was done, I flushed, nodd…

Motivation or Hurrah for Life's Little Choices

Motivation, it's not just for novels anymore. Actually, it never was just for novels, it was for any work of fiction. What we often forget is that Motivation is a part of life. We are all motivated (or not) to do certain things. It's integral to the human psyche and can't be ignored in our characterizations. We are all motivated to make certain decisions, beginning with the time we wake up. What to wear? Shower before or after breakfast? Toast or a bagel.... The small decisions we make from minute to minute get us through the day, and we probably don't even recognize we're making them. Characters must have this same clear cut Motivation. This doesn't mean that an author has to walk them through every small decision they make, or each action. It does mean that big decisions should have a clear Motive behind them, whether it's a snap judgment or something carefully thought out, a decision must be Motivated by something. A character won't leap int…

I Love Dialogue from Bet on Love

Zane smiled, shrugging as he picked at the last of his food. "Kinda outta the habit of asking a woman out. Before my six month forced vacation, I was—" He gulped down the last of his coffee, not completing the sentence. "Invisible." Gina supplied. Zane looked at her curiously. "Electrocuted. Bound and gagged? Pick one." He laughed, white even teeth flashing in the sunshine that filtered in through the blinds. "No, I was married." "Oh!" "But she divorced me minutes after I was arrested. Literally served me with the papers when I was being hauled off." "She took up with your partner right after, huh?" "How did you guess?" "Cause anyone who would dump a guy like you would have to be one crazy bitch. And only a crazy bitch would hook up with a total douchebag like your ex-partner." Zane laughed loudly. Putting his hand over his mouth, he quieted himself. "God, that's too funny. Where did that even com…

So, You Want to Name That Character by Dellani Oakes

Finally sitting down to write that novel? Let's assume you've chosen your genre, point of view, narrative style and all those other things that you have to decide before setting pen to paper. (Or fingers to keys). Now comes the fun part—maybe. Naming the characters. There are different methods of approach here, and excuse me if I leave some of them out. I use a variety of methods, but I know I haven't discovered them all. First, you can make the name tell something about the character. For example Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne gives us a fair description of the main character before we turn the first page. However, you might not want to get that concrete in your description. Another way to name is to pick names of people you know who sort of seem to fit. The only problem with this is, they may read the book and not like the character. You've just lost a fan. Probably not the best method. I've known people who randomly chose names from the phone book and…

I Love Dialogue from Love on a Catwalk

My phone ringing interrupted us. It was Brent. "Hallo, luv!" "Hallo, guv!" I replied. "Is what's his cheeks there?" "Yes, Jeff is here." "Excellent. May I bend his ear a wee bit?" "Have you been drinking?" Brent isn't usually this cheerful. "Not for the last half hour," he drawled. "Prior to, quite a bit. Had some good news." "Oh?" "Yes! Two bits, actually. First of all It's a girl Huzzah!" "Really? Shaine had the baby? Isn't it a little early?" "Brought on by weather, so they tell us. Colt, with the able assistance of the lads and his lovely bride, delivered her at the theatre, as we were snowed in." "That's so exciting! Congratulations! And what's bit number two?" "Full funding for the film, in the bank, luxuriating. Between me and a few filthy rich, though generous, friends we are completely funded and ready to rock this spring. One thing…

Beating the Writer's Block by Dellani Oakes

Writer's Block—these ominous words send shivers down the spine of any writer. Insidious, it strikes with no warning, clogging the brain, paralyzing fingers, bringing grown writers to their knees. There are many types of writer's block, each with its own pernicious characteristics. Below, I have listed those which plague me the most often. 1) Mid-Line Crisis: This is less destructive than its brothers, but still annoying. This is the unfinished sentence, incomplete thought or dialogue left hanging. The tortured. . . .of the soul. Though frustrating, it is not insurmountable. Usually a little brainstorming, trial and error and copious use of the delete button get me past this tiresome creature.
2) Ex Thesaurus: Also known as What Word? This usually runs with mid-line crisis and is fairly easy to circumvent. A visit to or a quick flip through the desk copy of Roget's can pull a writer past this hurdle.
3) Post Climactic Stress:Or Where Do I Go From Here? The hero h…