Showing posts from October, 2016

Editing - An Author's Nightmare Part 1

So, you’ve finished that four hundred and sixty page novel. You sit proudly and pat the cover page tenderly, smoothing the white surface when much to your horror, you see a mistake! Cold sweat breaks out on your brow, fingers tremble, mouth suddenly goes dry. As your eye wanders down the page, more and more errors jump out at you! Fear grips your heart as you stumble from the desk, desperate for a calming cool drink. It’s a nightmare, but you can’t wake up. It’s real. Your brainchild, the fruit of your creative efforts, is flawed and it’s up to you to fix it. This is a scenario each of us faces. Sometimes it’s as minor as a misplaced comma or a dangling modifier. Other times an entire scene, or even half the novel is so bad it has to be scrapped and retooled. I started an historical novel about ten years ago, set it aside since it wasn’t going anywhere, picked it up a few years later and realized the reason it hadn’t gone anywhere was that it was garbage! No other word for it. After ca…

Red River Radio Presents What's Write for Me with Deb, Elizabeth and Maggie!

TODAY on What's Write for Me!
We had a hiccup with Hurricane Matthew blustering through, but we're back on track and ready to rock. Dellani and Christina are delighted to welcome three of their favorite horror/ paranormal authors.

DeborahCihon, author of My Paranormal Diaries, always has some spine tingling, real life ghost stories to share. She's back to thrill us with a real life spooky tale or two! 

ElizabethBlack is the author of Don't Call Me Baby, Trouble in Thigh High Boots, Like a Myth and many others. She's been known to give us a chill, so we know she won't disappoint!

Joining us all the way from South Africa is Maggie Tideswell, author of Dark Moon, Silent Night, Runaway Couple and more. Maggie also has her fair share of creepy stories to relate!

So, put on your costumes, break out the candy and listen closely as these ghostly gals weave their tingly tales.

To Listen Live TODAY or later in podcast....

I Love Dialogue from Driving Blind

Zenobia Vlachos works as a computer repair person at a local chain store. On her way home, she gets pulled over by a handsome motorcycle cop named Ax (also Greek). He didn't write her a ticket, he was concerned that she was having car trouble. He also wanted an excuse to get her name and number. Once home, she gets a call she wasn't expecting.
It felt good on her tight shoulders and aching back. She relaxed under the power massage setting, sighing with relief. At tap on the door roused her from her reverie. “Zennie, it's your young man,” her mother said. “You answered?” “Of course. He called three times. I let it ring twice.” “One minute.” She grabbed a towel for her hair and wrapped another around her body. Her mother handed her the phone and she answered. “Hello?” Her voice sounded like a breathless little girl. “Hi, it's Ax. Sorry to drag you from the shower. I told your mom I'd call back.” “Not a problem. I lost track of time.” “Are you busy tonight?” “No, not re…

Creating Believable Aliens

Aliens don't have to be little green men from Mars. There's no need to make them freakish constructs with tentacles and brains on the outside. Aliens need not be evil, warlike beings intent upon conquering the Earth. They can be as like humans as we wish, or as different. My alien beings vary throughout my sci-fi series. For the most part, they are animals who took a different evolutionary path. The Fellicians, for example, are giant cats who pursued a warrior's life. At peace now, they are still warlike, so many of them became warriors for hire. Another alien species are called Vandarans. These people are descended from the moose. They've shed their antlers, but retain retractable hooves. A very religious people, they have built their society around their god Wthra and his many aspects. Probably the most diverse race are the Kindred. There are several groups, all serving different functions. First are the shapers. These people live on the desolate, dangerous surface of I…

I Love Dialogue from Spying on Love

Spying on Love was inspired when I was getting on a plane, heading to Kansas City a couple years ago. Brick's a unique character. Since he's an airline executive, most people expect him to be a useless “suit”. People underestimate Brick, to their peril. He's in town of his brother's funeral and finds out there is more to Stony than meets the eye—with dangerous consequences.
There was a knock at the door. Brick got up to answer. He checked through the window before opening up. It was Jeremy and he held a laptop. “Hi. Sorry to come by so late, but thought you might need this. We got what we needed off it.” He handed the laptop to Brick. “Thanks. I can sure use it. Mine died.” Jeremy nodded, backing quickly off the porch. Brick's phone rang as he closed the door. “Hello?” “Brick, it's Tovah.” “Yeah? Hi. Oh, thanks for sending Stony's laptop. I've got to buy a new one....” “What are you talking about? We didn't send it back.” “I'm holding it in my han…

Creating a Believable Setting

Creating a believable setting isn't as easy as you might think. Using a place you know as a backdrop, as I did in The Ninja Tattoo and Under the Western Sky is easier, but what if your action can't all be done at real locations? Time to get inventive. By inventive, I don't mean digging out road maps to some city that fits your needs, why not make something up? For Undercover Lover, among others, I wanted a big city, but didn't want to use NYC, Chicago or other metropolis. Why? Because I'm basically lazy and don't fancy the research. Also, if I get my facts wrong. Someone will call me on it. As I don't much like the idea of engaging internet trolls, I chose to make my own city. This city has no name. I couldn't come up with a name that sounded credible. I hate the hokey names they give cities in soap operas (and Sunnydale was taken) I didn't want more trolls crawling out of the woodwork telling me their city has that name and X was wrong with my tale. T…

I Love Dialogue from Ben Drexel

This story hasn't got a proper title yet, I merely call it by the name of the main character, Ben Drexel. Those of you who have read Lone Wolf, will recognize the name. This book explores the origin of this fascinating character.
Trying to find something out of place that he could harangue Drexel about, VanLipsig moved about slowly. Seeing nothing of note, he made his way back to where the young Sergeant stood at attention. The entire circuit had taken nearly ten minutes. To do the men credit, they hadn't even twitched. Returning their salute, he acted like he'd just walked in the room. "As you were." The men sat on their bunks, going back to what they'd been doing. Ben remained standing. He offered the Colonel a seat and a bottle of water. VanLipsig accepted both, but didn't open the bottle right away. "Not completely hopeless, I see." "They're good men, sir." "I meant you, Drexel. Them, I could give a shit about. At least they'…

I'm a Contraction Junky!

I'm a contraction junky. There, I've said it! It's in the open and I can deal with it. Inherently lazy, I like contractions. I know as an English teacher, contractions are supposed to be frowned upon. Avoiding contractions in formal writing is important. Avoiding them in informal writing makes the work sound forced and stilted.
What's the difference between informal and formal writing? Informal writing: novels, poems, friendly letters, texts to friends, blog posts. Formal writing: term papers, newspaper articles, speeches, textbooks. In short, anything that isn't a novel, poem, friendly letter, text or blog post.
What's the big deal with using contractions in formal writing? The big deal is IT'S FORMAL. Think of it like the difference between dressing for prom or dressing for a casual party. You're not going to wear ratty jeans and a T-shirt to prom. Nor are you going to wear a tux to a casual party. (At least I hope not!) In formal writing, the author does no…

First Meeting from The Ninja Tattoo

This isn't specifically their first meeting, but that was so short, I like to use this scene instead. Teague inadvertently ran into Vivica when opening the door at Dunkin' Donuts. To apologize, he bought her a cup of coffee, but had to rush to get to work. He did, however, make sure to drive slowly by the windows of the building so she could see the name of the business on the side of his truck.
Teague stopped at Taco Bell and picked himself up a late lunch. He ate in the restaurant, going over this plans for Scott so that the plan would be fresh in his mind when he went to the nursery. He was making a list of necessary items when his phone rang. "Wild Gardens. Teague speaking. How may I help you?" "So, it is you," said the cheerful female voice on the other end. "It's not every day a man buys a girl a cup of coffee and runs off without a word. I had to beg Jenny to tell me your name, but she wouldn't give me your number." "It's right…