Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - Bad endings - the vanishing character

Now for a bit about Endings that don't work and what happens. An ending that isn't satisfactory will leave the reader with a sour feeling and may lose this reader for future attempts. No writer wants to become a "one hit wonder" but there are many who do that. There are more reasons than a book with a bad ending. Some people have but one story to tell. Some people tell the same story again and again until the readers get tired of that story. Those aren't problems being looked at today. This is about bad endings.

There is the ending where the main character who has played a full role throughout the book only to have the writer put this character on the sidelines for the big moment. This will leave the reader with a number of questions and that sour feeling. "Why did I bother to read this story if the character I've identified with through the entire story has no role in the ending?" If this has happened to you while writing the story think of a way to get that main character into the ending of the story. If the hero or heroine is going to be rescued by someone else, make sure the hero or heroine goes down fighting and has a part in the defeat of the enemy, even if it's a small part. Small but significent is the rule. Otherwise find a way to have your main character be the center of the ending.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Courage and Creativity

When I was reading the latest segment in The Courage To Create by Rollo May, I came upon a bit about technology and creativity. "Poets are menaces on the assembly line." This brought me to think about the booming technological advances in the field of writing. We have advanced so far and I wonder what will be next. With the explosion of the ereaders and that they're coming down slowly in price are more people reading? I do know that more people are writing. Some of these writers are very creative people and some follow along in the same old same old mold. Sometimes I feel as though I belong in both categories. What about you?

Has the advent of new technology made you more creative or less? I read a great deal and sometimes I read for contests where the books are already published. What I've found is that about half of these books are creative and stir my imagination and the other half bore me. But it's been that way with my reading for years.

How does one deal with remaining creative when anything a person can write can be published and sold? Some days it means stepping back and writing what you want to express rather than what sells and is so much like everything else that sells. To remain creative in this booming technological society means taking the time to listen to the inner voice that whispers in your ear.

Monday, August 29, 2011

29 August Week behind and week ahead

Irene has come and gone. No power for 12 hours and that was frustrating to say the least. Was able to write using a high power battery operated lantern. At least I was able to do my usual post before the lights went out.
Was interviewed at romancebooksrus and gave a bit more of who I am. The Chosen of Horu is going well with the rough drft done and am not working on the next draft which makes sure the plot is going right. Had to rejoin Twitter and now have some of my books on Kindlegraphs which I have many more books to put up on the site.

This week I'll be interviewed by another site. Vampires are the feature but also the author does other books, Am working on a spotlight for a whole month on another site for September. Will work on The Chosen and this time give some secondary characters names that fit and also building in some of the setting. Then fortunately or unfortunately, two more ideas popped into my head for two more in the Seduction series. But they won't be done for a bit. Need to order some books Quests, Sweet Seduction and Dragons of Fyre. This never ends.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

3 Blog Visit Sunday A recently joined member of my blog blog member and interesting children's books Some reviews and some news

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday's Chapter - The Quest For the White Jewel

I'll begin the first three chapters of The Quest For The White Jewel. This was an amazing story. The rough draft of about 35,000 words was written in 72 hours of obsessed writing.

The Quest For The White Jewel

The black-robed mage slipped through the doorway leading to the Queen's chamber. He paused and studied the wan woman propped against the black silk pillows. As he approached the bed, his robes rustled.

The Queen grasped the Black Jewel, symbol of her reign. "Begone, I say. I have no need of you."

"Your time has passed. 'Tis time to cede the Jewel to your successor."

"Not yet." She raised the Black Jewel. Dark rays pulsed in its heart. "Begone and let me be."

He evaded the dark beams. "What of the White?"

She laughed. "Do you think I fear that thing? My sister failed to find the gem. For generations, there has been no sign of its existence. There have been but myths and rumors."

He smiled. "The White stirs. I sought and I found."

"Where?" Her eyes narrowed.

"'Tis where it has always been, waiting for the one who can hold it. But fear not. 'Tis not your battle. Soon you will be gone, and I will have the training of the one who is to follow you. This time there will be no mistakes. As Holder and Chosen, she and I will rule."

"Begone, dark mage." The Queen raised the Black and poured her anger into the gem. Thunder roiled the silent night and a great display of colored lightning brightened the sky above the palace.

Chapter One.

From The Lore of the Jewels
In days long past, just after the world was formed and the people rose from the dust, Mother Sun and the Sister Moons beheld what had been wrought and were troubled by what they saw. For as people moved across the lands, chaos rather than harmony ruled.

"We must bring peace and order." Mother Sun spoke to the pale reflections of herself.

From her depths, she drew molten elements and fashioned them into Jewels. The icy breath of the Sister Moons cooled the gems. To Earda, they were sent and for each Jewel, there was a purpose.

And from the hearts of the six Jewels, light radiated and coalesced to become the White.

Liara closed the Lore of the Jewels. Everyone knew the ruling Jewel was black. And the tale of how the gems were formed was naught but an interesting fable. Her foster mother had given her the book on her last name day. Tana's insistence that she learn the legends puzzled Liara. What use were these mystical tales to one who might never hold a Jewel?

She heard a disturbance in the courtyard and peered through the open window. Several men dismounted. Their steeds were magnificent beasts with burnished horns. Who were these visitors? They looked to be men of importance.

Tana's maid appeared in the doorway. "Milady Holder bids you remain in hiding until her guests leave."

Liara sighed. Twice this lunar, visitors had arrived to see the Yellow Holder. Both times, she had been bidden to keep her presence a secret. Not that she minded missing lessons, of course. The complicated exercises in visualizing had no practical purpose she could see. What bothered her was not being allowed to sit in company and hear about events beyond the keep and the village.

Curiosity gnawed at her thoughts. In hopes of learning more about these unexpected visitors to the High Sanctuary, she hurried down the back stairs and lingered in the shadows near the postern gate. But the men had gone inside before she could hear what they said.

Excitement fluttered like the jeweled wings of a flitter. She was free, at least for the afternoon. She slipped outside and climbed the path beyond the walls of the massive stone tower. Then she broke into a run, deftly avoiding the roots of the gnarled, wind-shaped balsa trees.

A branch caught her kerchief and her hair tumbled free. Inky black strands whipped around her face. Clutching the scarf in her hand, she reached the end of the path. Clusters of multi-hued silk-sheep browsed among the grass and wildflowers.

After breathing deeply of the scented air, she ran across the meadow to the tumble of rocks at the edge of the cliff. She stared at the distant gray tower and peered at the village where the houses resembled pieces from a child's toy. She turned and gazed at the sea and watched white froths of foam roll across the dark blue expanse to dash against the rocky slope.

Settling on the grass, she using a rock for a backrest. As she soaked in the sun, she braided a necklace of yellow fiolas, Tana's favorite. To the chain, she added blue hearts and red chyrsmas. For health, she thought.

Sadness rose. Her foster mother's health failed with each lunar. Though Tana denied what Liara saw, Liara knew the older woman was dying.

While Liara considered the future without Tana, a million questions arose. The sun moved toward afternoon. Liara sighed. There were no answers, only questions.


Her foster brother's shout set her heart pounding. She dropped the necklace in her skirt, quickly braided her hair and tied the kerchief over the crown of braids. Another puzzle to be solved, she thought. Her head had never been without a covering. Though she'd asked why, Tana had never answered.

"Liara, come!"

She lifted the necklace and hurried toward the path. "I'm on my way."

Brader emerged at the edge of the meadow. "Mother said you would be
here. She wants you."

A lock of amber hair fell across his forehead and brushed his lighter eyebrows. Amber eyes studied her intently. She felt his leashed anger. With her or with his mother? These days, she barely knew him.

Since she'd begun her intensive studies with Tana, she and Brader had grown apart. Her lessons, his time with the armsmen, and his excursions to the village tavern left them with little in common.

"Have the visitors left?" she asked.

"Didn't stay for the evening meal. They're on their way to Pala. I begged leave to join them but Mother refused to release me." He shoved his hair from his forehead. "I'm tired of being caged here. There's much of Earda I want to see."

"Did Tana say why she wanted me?" She watched the setting sun stain the ocean whitecaps with streaks of orange. "Not for lessons, I hope."

He shrugged shoulders that had grown broader the past year. "You are to sup in her room. Don't stay long. The visitors tired her."

"When has she listened to me?" Liara held up the floral necklace. "Perhaps this will refresh her."

"Maybe. She's worried about something and she won't tell me what."

Liara clasped his arm. "All will be well."

He laughed. "Have you become a Healer making vague and pretty predictions?" His muscles tensed beneath her hand. "All will be well for you. You'll have her Jewel. Why else has she kept you by her side? I'm so tired of the High Sanctuary and of being the Holder's son."

Liara frowned. When had he grown so resentful? Did Tana know about his discontent?

When they reached the postern gate, the armsman stepped aside so they could enter. Never in all her years had there been armsmen at the gates.

Once inside the massive stone tower, she hurried to her foster mother's rooms. At the door, she paused and tucked stray strands of hair beneath the kerchief. Then she opened the carved wooden door and stepped inside.

Tana was abed. Liara crossed the room and kissed the older woman's flushed cheek, then slipped the floral chain over her foster mother's head.

Tana inhaled the blended fragrances. "Ah, Child, you remembered a bit of the Healer's teachings. Sit and eat. There's much I must tell you."

Liara studied her foster mother. Though flushed, there was a translucent quality to Tana's skin. Sunken cheeks, glazed amber eyes. Liara knew Brader thought his mother was tired, but there was more. The scent of death floated above the aroma of the flowers.

She sat at the table and picked at the slices of roast banta, shredding more than she ate. The open window brought a breeze laden with moisture. Liara cut an appa, ate several crisp slices, then pushed the tray away.

"Come closer. The time grows short." Tana's voice held a whispery quality. Liara sat on the chair beside the bed and took her foster mother's hand. "Perhaps you should rest."

"There will be time for rest later." Tana sucked in a breath. "Just listen. Your mother was twin to the one who holds the Black. Through trickery and deceit, the Jewel was usurped by your aunt. Your mother found the book of lore I gave you. For many years, she searched for the White."

Liara shook her head. "The White is but a tale told by old wives and written in that ancient book. Tell me about my mother."

Tana grasped Liara's hand. "Child, myths are ever based on some truth."

"My mother didn't find this Jewel, did she?"

"Alas, the Queen hounded her. She was chased from every refuge she found. She brought you here and left. Her Chosen was captured by the Guards. His house was destroyed by the mages. One by one, your mother's friends were killed."

Liara studied the bedcoverings. "Why tell me now?"

"The Queen is dying. While she is weak and before her daughter...your cousin masters the Black, you must find the White. When you do, the lessons I've taught you will help you harness the Jewel's energies. You must succeed. The people of Earda have suffered long enough."

Liara shook her head. She had no desire to leave the High Sanctuary. She had believed one day she would follow Tana and hold the Yellow. Now all had changed. "Do not force me to leave you," she pleaded.

Tana sank against the pillows. "I've been summoned to Pala. Even now, Guards are on the way to act as my escort."

"Will you go?"

"Nay, they will come too late. You must be gone before they arrive lest someone questions who you are. Child, your life is in danger should your aunt discover you still live."

Tears welled in Liara's eyes. "I cannot leave you."

"You have no choice. Brader will go with you."

Liara held back her tears. She'd known no mother other than Tana. "But who will...?" She couldn't force herself to finish.

"There will be others who will do what is needed." Tana pulled her Jewel from her neck and wrapped the gem and the chain in amber silk. "I have no daughter to follow me and the Yellow is not for you. I've sent a call to my successor." She will meet you on the way."

A million questions arose but they couldn't push past Liara's rising grief. "Does Brader know how ill you are?" She forced the question past a massive lump. "He'll want to stay. So do I." Her voice broke. She pressed her face against the blankets and let the tears flow.

Tana stroked Liara's arm. "You must go, for you are needed. Take the book and seek the answers. Maps your mother brought are on the table. Memorize them. Once Brader has seen them, they will be destroyed so all traces of your journey will be gone. You must follow your mother's path and succeed where she failed."

Liara wiped her eyes and reached for the maps. She studied them until the images were engraved in her mind. Then she walked to the window and stared at first moon. "I cannot leave you."

"Evil spreads through the land. The Black Jewel. The Queen. The Brotherhood of Mages. Soon Earda will be too polluted by evil to survive. Send Brader to me."

Liara hugged her foster mother and fought another storm of tears. "Farewell, Mother of my heart." She bit her lip and hurried from the room.

In the hall, she pressed her forehead against the rough stone wall. Soon Tana would leave this plane and journey to another. The High Sanctuary would never be home again. Liara gathered her tears inside and went to find Brader.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip - Revision - Dialogue

How does one revise dialogue. Carefully, of course. Dialogue is more than the words characters say to each other. Dialogue involves action, emotions and all the other aspects of writing. Sometimes the characters sound as though they're jsut people talking. Maybe true and maybe not. When you listen to people speaking there are a lot of pauses uhs, ahs and other little sounds that aren't dialogue. In books, dialogue is artificial hopefully sounding natural. Confusing. There are some rules about dialogue that can help.

Think action -when the characters are together think about action and reaction. Character A says something and Character B responds. But are the responding words empty or charged with energy.

Trimming the dialogue - Often when people speak in real life there are a lot of empty words exchanged. In a story all those empty words bog down the story. Think of a recent conversation you've heard where people say words to each other but a lot of those words are just make time words. Characters need to say what's important and forget the added words.

Making the dialogue dramatic. There's nothing worse than when a character pontificates and goes on explaining something that sounds more like a lecture than a conversation. I often have to look at my dialogue between characters and break those long passages down. Sometimes a character will say too much at one time and the reader isn't sure what's important in the long dialogue passage.

There is nothing wrong with saying said. If two people are talking you don't have to keep identifying the speakers, but you might want to show what they're not saying by their actions and expressions.

Next week we'll finish looking at how to revise your dialogue so you don't get remarks like occasionally editors have said to me. "Your characters all sound alike." "What you have is talking heads." Those are two remarks that have made me go back and revise smy dialogue. In fact, I don't hear them as much these days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday's Interview -- Rosalie Lario

Today Rosalie Lario is telling us about her paranormal romances.

What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I write steamy paranormal romance featuring hot demons and lots of other fun paranormal creatures.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

My genre chose me. I’ve grown up reading and loving romance, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon paranormal romance (Karen Marie Moning’s early works) that I started to wonder what it would be like to write one. After many years of just thinking about it, I finally sat my butt down and did it. I’ve been hooked ever since.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I’ve got a few contemporary romances whispering in my brain, but right now my focus is on my favorite topic: the supernatural!

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

I’m a sucker for a happy ending, and so I’m a romance girl all the way. Paranormal, historical, contemporary, romantic suspense. You name it. If it’s romance, I’ll give it a try.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing.

I’m a real estate attorney and legal instructor. I’ve been writing with an eye toward publication since January 2009. There are a few unsold manuscripts hiding under my bed which will never see the light of day.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Whatever manuscript I’m currently working on determines the answer to that. That’s because I tend to fall in love with all of my heroes. Right now I’m working on Touch of the Angel, Book Three of the DEMONS OF INFERNUM series. It features half-demon Ronin, whose passion for his heroine makes me melt.

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

Yes, my books do have villains. My stories are all character-driven, so once I decide on my hero and heroine and what their back story is, I craft the villain to ensure my characters have to work hard for their HEA.

8. What are you working on now?

I’m about one-third of the way through Touch of the Angel. Once I’m done with that, I’ll be writing a novella for a side character in the series, an incubus named Cresso. I’m looking forward to the temporary change in pace that writing a novella will allow.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

Blood of the Demon, Book One of the DEMONS OF INFERNUM series, went through many revisions before it settled into what it is now. I knew I wanted to write a story featuring a half-demon hero named Keegan and a human heroine named Brynn who had psychometric abilities. Everything else evolved from there.

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.

Here’s the opening of Blood of the Demon:

She wasn’t what he’d expected.

Keegan crouched on a nearby roof, watching, waiting for her gallery to clear out. A stray gust of cold wind whipped through the night air, ruffling his jacket. It didn’t matter. Considering where he’d come from, the cold was a welcome relief.

The woman had looked fragile when he’d caught a glimpse of her through the store’s large window front. Undeniably beautiful, with her long, honey-brown hair falling in waves around her heart-shaped face—but fragile nonetheless.

It was the perfect cover. No one would ever believe what she truly was, what lived inside her. But the blood never lied. She wasn’t what she seemed.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Keegan had felt a stirring of lust rise within him at the sight of her, blindsiding him with its unexpected force. It had simply been too long since he’d gotten laid, something he’d have to remedy soon. Didn’t have anything to do with the woman. It couldn’t.

After all, she might very well be dead by the end of the day. Because if he received the order, he’d have to kill her.

He fished his cell phone out of his jacket pocket and called his brother. As expected, Taeg answered on the first ring. Skipping the useless chatter, he said, “I’ve got an eye on the target.”

“That’s perfect.” Even over the phone, the relief in Taeg’s voice was palpable. “What now?”

“As soon as she’s alone, I’ll grab her.”

“You don’t think Mammon has managed to find her yet, do you?”

Keegan gave a short laugh. “If he had, he would’ve taken her already. Waiting’s not his style.”

“Yeah, right,” Taeg muttered. “Don’t I know it?”

“I’ll keep you posted.” He hung up without waiting for a reply.

Even though he couldn’t see her from this vantage point, he wasn’t worried about losing her. Not after he’d tagged her scent. He closed his eyes and inhaled, giving himself over to his sense of smell. Sorting through the various odors he’d picked up—the rich aroma of coffee, the ashy smell of a discarded cigarette, the pungent stench of rotting food—he discarded them, one by one.

Yes. There she was. Her scent was unique. Like strawberries and cream. Something he’d tried only recently and discovered he loved.

Would she taste just as sweet?

Shit. What was he thinking? She wasn’t a potential lay, but a dangerous and powerful weapon. Maybe even the enemy. He’d do well to remember that.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday - More on Plot Endings - Linear

Linear endings are found in much of genre fiction. The plot is a jagged series of events leading up to the big finish. Suspense is built, there are some diversions but the build up continues. un til two opposing forces collide and one side triumphs. Anything written beyond this is anti-climax

With linera strategy, the writer must keep narrowing the parameters of the story. Subplots and diversions must be brought to an end before the climatic ending.

When the ending happens, the story ends. There is no after thought Trying to tie off forgotten loose ends during the climatic scene muddies the ending and lessens the impact. The moment the central question is answered, this is the end. Don't go into explanations. This may be why I dislike those tacked on afterwords showing the hero and heroine getting married, having a baby six months later. Some readers don't like to see the story end with that final kiss and the I love you. They want it spelled out and for other readers this makes the story fall flat.
Things not to do"
Add a new setting with paragraphs of new description. If you can't fit any descriptions into the action, you should bring it in before that climatic ending.
Add new characters and stop to let the reader know about them. This is going to dull the impact of the explosion you're aiming for.

Don't add a new plot. All this will do is bother the reader. When the story has been told it's over. Save the new plot for the next book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Courage and Creativity

When reading the Courage to Create by Rollo May I found some words I wrote in the margine. Also underlined a lot of things in the book but this was about keeping those creative moments from arriving by being so busy with outside things. This brought the amount of time I perhaps waste with the social media. But there's another side to that. It's really not time wasted because something I may read on one of the many groups I belong to will drop a seed in my unconscious and this seed may join other seeds and become an idea.

Another thing this brought home to me was the need for alone time. There are people who are so afraid to be alone with themselves they are constantly on the look for people. To be creative one has to be part of the social life and part of the alone life. What I wrote that triggered this post was this.

During the school strike when they kids were home for months day in and day out I prayed for some alone time. I like to be alone with my thoughts because sometimes I make sense.

And sometimes that marvelous creative idea arrives and voila one has the start of a new story or the tangled middle untangled or the dynamite ending they have been searching for. Being with people and being social can feed the times when one is alone. Being with others us usually easy. Being alone can be hard.

Monday, August 22, 2011

22 August - Week behind and week ahead

A bit slow getting to this this morning. Last week finished the rough draft of The Chosen of Horu. Now comes the fun. Turning the 25,000 words into a story that makes sense. The rough draft often has a multitude of holes. There are some with plot, some descriptions of places and people that have been left out. There is also the reaseach material needed to bring the story to reflect the alternate world Egypt begun in The Warrior of Bast. When will I finish. Who knows? Until it is nearly finished I won't send anything to the publisher. Unlike other people I don't write on spec and I don't announce anything until I am completely satisfied with a work. Just my obsessing, I guess. Also finished contest reading and it was an interesting time. Won't talk about that again.

This coming week I'll be working on the plot draft of The Chosen of Bast and getting all the plot lines orderly. While doing that there will also be some research done, especially to fill in settings that move the plot, giving names to people and places to fit the land and the time I've chosen. There will be scenes sketched in. Mostly these are the ones that say There's a fight here or they make love. Don't get involved in fleshing those our when doing a rough draft.

On the blog Tuesday will be Inspiration, Wednesday Plot, Thursday an interview with Rosalie Lario, Friday more on Revision and Saturday a new chapter to explore, Sunday I'll visit three blogs.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

3 Blog Visit Sunday

Found these blogs when seeing what blogs my members visit.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday's Chapter - The Henge Betrayed -- Quests



The question rang in Sydli’s thoughts and brought a gust of fear. Sydli. She answered before she decided whether the voice belonged to a friend of an enemy. Quickly she slammed the barrier her mother had taught her to muffle her mind.

Sydli sank on a chair and covered her face with her hands. Though she had given her name to a stranger she had kept her location secret. Cautiously she opened the bond to her twin. Emli be careful at dinner tonight. We don’t want Mandir to know one of us can hear his thoughts.

Emli grinned. He is fun to confuse but I don’t like or trust him. He makes me feel itchy.

You’re right to feel that way. I have listened to him when he sits at Father’s side. He constantly speaks of Wesren and how wealthy that princedom has become. He hints the reason is because no female or halfling can be the ruler. He also argues that as Father’s oldest child, though his mother was never a spouse, he should be named heir.

Emli frowned. Father was pleased when Mandir returned. What will we do if he is named heir?

Sydli grasped her twin’s hands. We will pray spouses for us are found in another princedom.

If he does we will be separated.

Sydli caught a hint of eagerness in her twin’s thoughts. Did Emli want to have a life apart? The possibility troubled Sydli. Before their mother’s death Sydli had been asked to protect her twin. The promise had been made. We could have twin spouses.

Emli laughed. How many high ranking sets of twins are there? I know of no others. She rose. “Let me be the friendly one tonight. Do you think Mandir knows which of us is the true heir?

Sydli shook her head. “Doubtful. Prepare to be charming. I will be nasty.” She finished braiding her hair. They had inherited their pale hair and green eyes from their mother. Their copper-hued skin was like their father’s. Being halflings had held them apart from the people of Soutren.

The summoning bell chimed. Emli went to the door. “We should hurry.”

They scurried along the corridor toward the throne room. Sydli paused at the door to catch her breath and to read who was inside. Emli reached fro the handle. Sydli’s forehead wrinkled. “Mandir is here. Father’s thoughts show he is pleased. What has Mandir told him.”

Emli made a face. “Who knows?”

“I could learn.” Sydli felt a brush across her thoughts. Beware. Shield. There’s a stranger in there who can read thoughts.

My blocks are tight. Could this man be our half-brother’s friend?

“Don’t know.”

Emli opened the door. “Father, we are here.”

When Sydli saw the tall man whose fair hair hung in a braid down his back her skin prickled. She pulled her barriers so tight she could barely hear the spoken words.

The stranger rose. His black leather clothes made his skin appear as pale as newly fallen snow. His coloring and manner meant he was from the highlands. Was he a relative of her mother? A miasma of evil surrounded him. Sydli knew he was no friend.
The man turned to her father. Pedron, your daughters are as lovely as I’ve heard.”

His intense glare made Sydli’s shoulders tense. She clasped Emli’s hand. They crossed the room and curtseyed to their father.

Prince Pedron smiled. “You may rise. Dom Senet, they are Sydli and Emli.”

Sydli kept her gaze lowered. As she rose she caught a glimpse of Mandir’s sly smile. In that instant she knew the dom was her half-brother’s ally. Take care. She sent the message on the twin bond.


The prince offered Emli his hand. “The evening meal awaits.”

The dom held his arm for Sydli. She touched the tips of her fingers to his sleeve. As they walked toward the great hall she felt his attempts to penetrate the barrier over her thoughts. Small needles stabbed. She wanted to push him away but she dare not show she knew of his intentions.

In the great hall Dom Senet held her chair. “I knew your mother. She was one of my students. Did she ever tell you how she was brought to your father’s attention?”

Sydli shook her head. “I know she came to heal him after Mandir’s mother tried to poison him.”

“I brought her,” Dom Senet said.

He lied but why? “I don’t understand. Mother said Doma Jandia sent her here.”

The quick freezing of his expression made her wish she could read his thoughts. She dare not lower her barriers for an instant while in her presence. Did he think her mother would have kept her romance a secret from her daughters? Once dinner ended she planned to use the hidden ways to spy on him. The dom could be one of the men her mother had warned her daughters not to trust?

All during the many courses of the meal Sydli felt subtle brushes against her barriers. When the last course arrived she managed to gain Emli’s attention. Has he tried to break through your barriers?

Once or twice. What does he want?

I don’t know but I will learn.

He frightens me.

Me, too.

When the courtiers and their ladies gathered in clusters Sydli and Emli slipped from the room. Though Sydli wished they could use the inner ways the presence of so many people in the halls prevented this escape. Once they reached their suite she bolted the door.

Emli slumped on a chair. “Mandir was smug. Told me he believes I will make a good spouse for his half-brother.”

Sydli pulled her dress over her head. “And me?”

“Actually he said which ever one of us the dom doesn’t claim will become Lodar’s spouse.”

“I’ll flee before either happens.” Sydli dressed in a tunic and divided skirt. “I caught several of Mandir’s thoughts. He believes the dom will help him become heir.”

Emli grimaced. “We have to know how they plan to achieve this. Should I come with you?”

“Not this time. Stay here in case someone comes to check on us.”

“What should I tell them.”

“That I went to the stillroom. You need a potion for a headache.”

“If the dom is allied with Mandir and helps him become heir what will happen to Father?”

“I don’t know.” She would worry about their father once she knew her twin was safe. “I won’t be long.”

“Be careful.”

“Always. We’re the only ones who know of the inner ways. Remember what our mother said. The passages were created when the highlanders helped build the palace.”

Emli nodded. “Do you think the dom knows about them? He is from the highlands.”

“I pray not.” Sydli stepped into the wardrobe and opened the door into a dark passage. Emli handed her a lit candle.”

As Sydli hurried along the narrow passage she hoped Dom Senet knew nothing about the hidden ways. She moved forward and listened for voices. Loud ones arose from Mandir’s suite. She peered through the small viewing hold and swallowed a gasp. The dom was there. Cautiously she extended her talent to hear both their spoken and their silent words.

“I should end your life,” Dom Senet said. “When you shattered the gem you and your brother killed Alizand. I had a use for him.” Though his voice remained calm his inner thoughts churned with rage. Death will be your lot when you complete the task I set.

“He got in our way,” Mandir said. “We just wanted to kill the war steed.” Does he think he scares me?

“And that gave you permission to attempt to kill Alizand?” Dom Senet raised his hand. A spurt of flame caressed Mandir’s cheek. “I can mark you or I can destroy you.” But not until your usefulness ends.

Mandir backed away. Fear scrambled his thoughts. “Wasn’t me. Lodar is to blame.”

“Was he?”

The question in the dom’s voice increased the fear Sydli read in Mandir’s thoughts.

“We didn’t know he would die. We wanted to kill the steed and own the red jewel.”

The flame died. “Fools. Did you not know the gem would become gray and dull if one of you touched it?”

Mandir laughed. “You’re wrong. Our mother had a necklace of red jewels.”

“That were nothing like the one Alizand wore. No matter. You will pay for that action by obedience. This time you will heed my instructions.”

Mandir nodded. “I promise.”

“Spend time with your half-sisters. One of them has an affinity for one of the elements. I want to know which one.”

“Why?” Mandir’s thoughts raced with ways to turn the order to his advantage.

“Not for you to know.”

“How do I learn what you want to know?”

“By skillful questions. By observation. When you have the answer report to me.”

“What are these affinities?”

Dom Senet laughed. “You have seen me and Alizand use Fire. Air pulls thoughts from a person’s head. Water senses emotions. Earth makes plants grow.”

“How do I report to you? You’re leaving in the morning.”

With a sudden movement the dom placed his hands on Mandir’s heads. Commands came too fast for Sydli to hear them all. She feared if she probed deeper Dom Senet would discover her. As she closed her mind, she heard a voice.

Seek the Rovers. They will help.

Dom Senet spoke again. “Not the Rovers, you fool. There are two doms living in town. Seek them.”

Sydli stepped back and managed to avoid hitting the wall. The voice giving the command hadn’t sounded like Dom Sener’s but she had no idea if the speaker was friend or foe. She and Emli were in danger. Plans for escape were essential. Where could they go? She knew nothing about any place except Norla and little about the town except the palace and the market. Could she and Emli find safety with the Rovers?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Frday's Writer's tip -- Revision - Finishing Characters

Wheb doing revisions and looking at characters, there are several questions to ask yourself. One - Is this character necessary? I've done this and sometimes there are characters in my stories and thsoe of other writers I read who are not necessary to the story. This is particularly true of minor characters and those walk-one who may have one line or none. All characters in a story should affect the outcome of the story. If they don't why have them there taking space and words to be used to more advantate?

The second question - Are any of your characters stereotypes? Sometimes this is hard to determine. What distinguishes a stereotypical character from a real one is giving them distinctive traits. Make yoru teenager, nurse, policeman have something that distinguishes them from the character everyone knows.

Detail is a way of doing this. Details bring people and scenes to life. Too much detail stalls the story. Finding a balance takes careful revision. I just finished reading several books. One had so much detail about the characters and events that I found myself drifting away from the story. The material was well researched but did the writer have to put every detail into the scene. Another book sprinkled the details with the touch of a chef. I finished the book and realized I had learned quite a bit about a particular era that I did in the first book with it's plethora of information.

So look at those descriptive passages and see what can be trimmed. Will make for a stronger book and keep the reader from yawning.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday's Interview - Patricia Eimer


1.) I'm currently writing Paranormal Romantic Comedy

2.) Romantic Comedy chose me -- I incapable of writing "high art" style drama. It's just not in me. I chose paranormals because right now that's what I love reading the most.

3.) I'm actually taking a crack at writing YA now but I'd love to try Contemporary Romantic Comedy or even Historical Romantic Comedy. Personally I have no desire to try writing one of those great big bloody brick sized romance novels. They're great if you can do them but I just don't think I have the patience or the skill for a 1,000 page whopper.

4.) I'll honestly read anything but in the past month I've read Gail Carriger's Heartless, the entire Jane True series by Nicole Peeler, MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Undermined, Stacey Kade's Queen of the Dead, and Nina Croft's Break Out. I was also lucky enough to get a peak at Boone Brux's Resurrection before its August 2nd release.

5.) About me? Wow, I'm not really all that interesting when I'm not writing. In the real world I'm a mathematical modeler for a large international firm here in Pittsburgh who wears glasses and always has my nose in a book. When I announced I had a book being published most of the people I knew thought I'd written a textbook because no one knew I was a writer.

Luck of the Devil is actually my first attempt at writing an original piece of fiction and I started it in August 2010 while I was on vacation. When I'm not typing away at something though I can be found either fencing or chasing around the various small creatures (kids and dogs) who have taken over my home.

6.) My favorite character is a tie between Malachi and Harold just because the two of them always made me laugh. Half of the jokes that played inside my head in their "voices" never made it into the book but I've got them all in a separate file folder in case either character ever gets their own spin off.

7.) There are two villains in my book but they have a bit of a late reveal so I don't want to give too much information on them. I will admit though that I based one of them on a mixture of one of my old bosses and my husband's PhD advisor. Neither guy was bad but they both had enough interesting quirks to fill their own books if they wanted to.

8.) Right now I'm finishing up the edits on the second book of the Speak of the Devil Series: Devil May Care and I'm starting the rough draft on a YA paranormal/urban fantasy called Fated. It's a bit of a dystopic fairytale where the dragon and the witch are the princesses best friend and the wizard is the guy you should be afraid of.

9/10.) My newest release is called Luck of the Devil and it's the first book in a series entitled Speak of the Devil. The basic idea came about during a family reunion and it sat percolating in the back of my head for a few months before I finally decided to take a shot at writing a novel. I mean who doesn't have a family reunion from Hell story? My thought was, what is a family reunion in Hell like?


Chapter One

“You just couldn’t help yourself, could you?” Lisa and I stared in revulsion at the freshly dead body of my former boss lying on the carpet in his office, wearing nothing but plaid boxer shorts, a striped tie, and his white lab coat.

“Faith, I’m sorry. I was hungry.” She winced and shuffled her feet like a guilty child caught sneaking into the cookie jar. She waved her hand at me, like I should know how it is.

I did. That didn’t make the consequences any nicer if we were caught. In a hospital. With the dead body of the head of pediatric surgery.

“You were hungry?” I pushed a lock of curly blonde hair behind my left ear.

“I see a man, I eat his soul. That’s what I do. It’s not like I enjoyed it or anything. I mean, have you seen Harold?”

“That changes everything, obviously. People will understand. Not. What are we going to do with him?” Some days I wondered why I bothered keeping a human job. Oh, right. I was an adult who didn’t want any involvement in Dad’s evil schemes. I was capable of being a productive member of society, rather than leeching off the human race like some overgrown demonic tick. And I had bills to pay. Crap.

“Could we shove him in the closet?”

“No, the stench would give him away.” I’d done a twelve-hour shift as charge nurse on the pediatric ICU and I was too tired for this shit tonight. All I really wanted was a cold beer and some mindless television. But no, apparently I got to deal with a dead surgeon instead.

Hello, I’m Faith Bettincourt, and this is my life.

Lisa fidgeted with the hem of her skirt, her glossy, caramel waves held neatly in place with a black patent headband. Her wide eyes latched onto mine. Great. She was doing the big, baby animal eyes. Everyone knew I couldn’t resist baby animal eyes.

She was tall, she was tan, and she was completely stacked. I wasn’t into women, and even I found myself giving her what she wanted to keep her happy. It hadn’t been too bad before she’d been turned into a succubus, but now she had enough mojo to turn a convent into a cauldron of simmering sexual tension.

“Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks, though?”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday - On Plot - Endings

Have you reached the end of your current work in progress. Last week we talked about the different kind of endings. Time to become specific.

Circular endings - The end of a story is rather like the beginning. While the beginning sets the problem the ending brings it to a satisfactory conclusion. In the circular ending the final scene mirrors the beginning but with some differenes. The story is wrapped up. The setting may be the same. Even some the dialogue can be the same. The characters in the story end up in the same place as they did when they began the journey. They re-connect with the start but they have changed and the problem is solved. The characters have grown and changed and they return bringing these changes with them. This is often the way of a quest story.

The contrast with the beginning is the key to a circular ending. No slam-bang action ends the story though it may occur right before the ending. The ending has a calm center. If there is no strong tie between the beginning and the end, the circular story will fall flat.

Circular endings can go wrong. One way is being lost in exposition. The writer continues to explain and explain making the reader impatient to see the words The End. The circular ending should show the homecoming, show the new direction for the characters, show how the crisis has changed the characters and bring the characters home.

A second problem is the absence of a real homecoming. The writer stops the story before the final confrontation and leaves the character in a sort of limbo.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration -- Courage and Creativity

When the unconscious speaks I believe the writer enters what people say is the "zone." The story becomes the reality for a few minutes, an hour or even days. How does this happen?

There is a break through in something the writer has been clinging to, an idea that is holding back the act of creating. An insight is born that must be explored. At first this may seem illogical but suddenly the thought makes sense. Questions arrive. Should I take this path? What does this really mean? If I take the new direction how does it fit with what I've already written?

There is guilt and fear during this moment but there is also a joy of discovery and the feeling of fulfillment. Suddenly words fly and the writer has found the "zone." At least for this moment. Then it's back to slogging again until the zone reaches out to grab again.

Often this moment occurs in that split second between work and relaxation.

This is not an experience to be struggled for but one that appears and when it does the writer must jump into the stream and ride the rapids.

Monday, August 15, 2011

15 August - Week behind and week ahead

Last week saw me finishing blocking out The Pharaoh of Horu. Thirty-three chapters. Probably when finished the book will be between 70 to 80 thousand words. Hopefully it will be a fun filled adventure for my characters. Last week I also began reading several books. Of the three so far only one has captured my attention. Hopefully the others will be better. Have also been thinking about the beginning writers I've been mentoring and want to make sure they are finishing the book. Starting too many projects can dilute the impact of what one wants to say. Immersing in a story and living with the characters is the way to go. Heard two new writers read from their pages on Saturday and the ideas are good and the writing also good. We talked a bit about show don't tell and about where to begin a story.

Coming this week are the usual posts on the blog and an interview with Patricia Esmer. Will be working on the second draft of Pharaoh and hope to finish seven chapters of the filling in the holes in the plot, looking at the settings and developing the characters. This draft hopefully will put all the words in the right direction and subsequent drafts will be more of the filling ones. In the rough draft, there are many of those "fight goes here. love scene here" sort of thing that will be filled in as the mood strikes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

3 Blog Visit Sunday

Visiting three blogs with interesting information.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday's Chapter from The Henge Betrayed -- Quests

Here is the second chapter of The Henge Betrayed - Quests


Ash helped carry the long granite slab the three with Earth affinities had carved from the cliff behind the keep. Dragen held the door into the large kitchen open. The nine placed the slab on the square stone pillars fashioned into legs for the table. Though the original table had shattered the stone benches and chairs had remained. She stepped back and scanned the massive room.

She and Kiron had cleaned the large fireplace and used currents of air to clear the chimney. The braziers on either side had been scoured and repaired by Ky and Zand. Val and Bran had scrubbed the floors, the stone worktables along the walls and the shelves of the cupboard.

“What else is there to do?” she asked.

“Dragen is using wood from one of the wagons to make storage places in the pantry,” Jay said.

Dyna rubbed the surface of the table with a cloth. As she worked the stone began to gleam. “We can use the mounds of straw in the entry hall to stuff sleeping mats and pillows. A sevenday of sleeping on the stone floor is enough.”

Ash smiled. During the days since they’d arrived at the keep they had worked hard. She thought of the other things they needed to do. Before long, autumn would arrive. Besides having a safe place there were quests they must complete before they returned to master their affinities. Only then could they train to face Dom Senet and his cronies.

She wondered how much time remained before they could confront the evil man. What was he doing? Could she learn? Was she brave enough to search the winds for him? A chill rolled over her arms and she gasped.

Kiron turned. “What has frightened you?”

Ash drew a deep breath. “Dom Senet.” She walked to the door and stepped into the courtyard.

Kiron clasped her hand. “Though I’ve never had a meeting with him, he scares me. I wonder if he was responsible for the disappearance of my father and my uncle. When they left for the highlands they promised to return. They didn’t. Then illness struck the village and Dyna and I became orphans.”

“He or his friends could have killed them. We were sent to Cedris to meet teachers. They never arrived. Just before we left the town we learned the dom had them killed.” She sighed. “I believe we must discover where he is and what he plans before we leave on our quests.”

He nodded. “I know there are talismans we need as well as others with affinities. I think we should seek the talented first. The Rovers told me how those with talents for the elements are often feared by people and must flee the way Dyna and I did.” He stepped away. “Could we seek Dom Senet on the winds?”

“We can, but not alone.”

“Then you and I will do this. What about now?”

Though his offer pleased her now wasn’t the time. She refused to seek the dom unless her siblings were present to draw her back. “Not now. After the evening meal we can meet in the inner room. Bring Dyna. Though you are cousins and not siblings you have a bond.”

He frowned. “Why must she be there?”

“I’d like you to read the winds with me and taste Dom Senet’s thoughts but I don’t want you to be trapped.” She told him of the time the dom had sensed her and how he had tried to gain control of her mind. “My siblings broke me free but an echo remained. Doma Jandia had to teach me how to break free.”

“What do you mean by trapped?”

She shuddered. “I was sick and fevered. He was in my head laughing and making threats.”

“I don’t want that. I’ll tell Dyna.”

Ash returned to the kitchen. She put plates on the table. Kiron brought the cutting boards for bread and cheese. Jay and Geni arrived with greens and scallions. Ash wished for tomatls like they’d had in Cedris. Perhaps after repairing the growing house their larder would improve. The doma poured heated water into pots for tea and kaf. Dragen produced a smoked ham. The eleven gathered at the table and ate.

While she and her siblings cleaned the kitchen she told them of her plan. “I have to do this.”

“Why?” Jay asked.

“We need to know where he is and what he’s planning. Soon we have to leave the keep to search for others with affinities to complete the quartets.”

Ky nodded. “She’s right.”

Bran clasped Ash’s hand. “I hate to agree but we need to know if he has any idea of where we are.”

“Kiron and Dyna will join us. Kiron needs to learn how to search the winds for a specific person. Their bond can pull him back if the dom senses him.” Ash washed the last of the dishes.

Bran and Jay carried the pails of dirty water to the door and emptied them. At the pump he washed and refilled the buckets. “Can’t wait until the pipes into the house are repaired.”

Ash chuckled. “In time, the doma said.”

Ky dashed to the door into the entry hall. “I’m off for some pillows. I’ll meet you.”

Ash walked with her brothers to the inner room the doma had designated as a training place. Located behind the tower stairs there were no windows and only a single door. Ky returned with straw stuffed cushions. She lit the candles set in sconces along the walls. Kiron and Dyna arrived with more pillows.

Ash positioned one beside hers. The others formed a circle around them. Ash clasped Kiron’s hand. “Follow me.”

“How do I do that?”

She reached with her mind to touch his in the way Doma Jandia had taught her. “Come.” She felt his thoughts join hers. She searched the winds for traces of the peculiar aroma of Dom Senet’s thoughts. He wasn’t in Cedris. Nor was he in the highlands. She continued to scent the winds until she smelled his essence. Cautiously she slipped into his head.

He spoke to a pair of doms. Malera, Lodar and Mandir are in place and ready to do my bidding. They will seek the heirs of Easren, Soutren and Nortren. His laughter filled the wind. Ash felt cold.

They believe I will help them become rulers of those princedoms. They will do all I ask until the day they learn there can be but one ruler. I am that one. You will remain hidden here. Two of my faithful will be sent to each of the other princedoms. I will tell you when and how to act. Though time will pass you must remain alert.

Just as she was about to leave his thoughts she caught a tendril leading to his plan for the four young men Zand and her brothers had met. She wanted to know more about them so she delved a bit deeper. As she had suspected the four were being trained to face her siblings and her. A sliver of fear sliced through her thoughts.


Dom Senet’s voice. A surge of fear that wasn’t hers startled Ash. She broke the connection to the dom the way Doma Jandia had taught her. Come, she called to Kiron. She felt him flee on her trail. Yet someone remained.

Who? Ash asked.


Where are you?

Instead of an answer the other voice vanished. Ash heard her siblings call her name. Dyna called Kiron. Ash opened her eyes. “I’m all right. This is what I learned.” She told them of the plans the princedoms and for how he planned to replace the heirs.

Bran nodded. “We’ve already seen the start of that.”

“How so?” Dyna asked.

“Larin is the heir of Soutren and he’s with the rovers,” Ky said.

Kiron nodded. “I remember him. What about the four young men we saw in the dom’s thoughts?”

Ash drew a deep breath. “He plans to use them against us and he has no idea we have allies.”

Kiron nodded. “Who is this Sydli? Is she friend or foe?”

“I’m not sure. She does have an affinity for Air.”

Jay looked up. “I’d say friend. Dom Senet has no use for girls. At least that’s what those four said.”

“She was frightened of the dom.”

“Kiron grimaced. “I don’t blame her. One scent of his mind and I felt sick. He smelled like rotten meat.”

Ash nodded. “You are so right.” She turned to Dyna and her siblings. “Someone needs to find the doma.”

“I’ll go,” Dyna said.

“Find Zand, Val and Geni, too,” Ash said. “We’re not trained to fight the dom yet but we need to plan.”

Bran rose and followed Dyna. “I’ll make a calming tea.” Ky and Jay went with him.

Ash closed her eyes. The encounter with Dom Senet made her want to burrow into a cave. A thought arose. Had he really sensed her or had Sydli or Kiron triggered his response? There had been a question in his voice. Maybe he hadn’t been sure who had searched his thoughts.

She had to warn others like herself. She sent a call on the winds. To those with affinities for the elements, seek the Rovers. If you are in danger, they will help.

Moments later the doma and the rest of the group arrived. Ash told them what she had done and what she had learned.

Doma Jandia frowned. “I pray the message you sent reaches only those you need and not Senet and his ilk.”

Ash released a sigh. “We need them. Visiting every village and town in every princedom would take too long.”

“There is that,” the doma said. “I know you wish to start your search but the time isn’t yet.”

Ash bowed her head. While the others talked and made plans she prayed they would be granted the time they needed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip -- Revision

Back to how to make your characters live. When revising, you should be looking to make sure your characters are believable, distinctive and consistent. What does this mean for the writer?

For a character to be believable, there are two steps. First the writer needs to walk in the character's shoes. Becoming the character can make people look at you strangely and wonder if you belong in a padded cell but this does work. Sit down and close your eyes and become this person you want to show the world. Imagine how they would react to any given situations. The second part of this is after you've written the things you as the character have done or said to look at this from the outside. Does what you've written made sense. If so the character will be thought as a real person by the readers.

The second thing to consider is distinctive. What makes your hero, heroine, or minor character stand out from the thousands of other characters. Do they have a particular kind of speech. Is something very important to them that puts them apart from other characters? Is this an essential character. What tastes in food, dress, speech, action do they have. One of my characters has a liking for mint tea and grows her own mint and makes tea blends. This love of mint tea has carried through four books. She even packed teas when she traveled across the country. When the reader picks up one of her stories they recognize her as unique.

Consistency is another thing to consider when you're revising for character. Does he or she lose their temper when certain actions are seen or words are heard? Does this always happen or is it hit or miss? If the character acts in a different manner the writer needs to be sure the change is explained and made to look believable or the reader will put the book aside and not read more.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday's Interview -- Meg Mims

Now here's a writer I really admire. She does children's puzzle as well as writing stories. Puzzles puzzle me.

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

I write historicals - mystery and romantic suspense. I also write non-fiction articles for a real estate agency and for a West Coast of Michigan on-line tourism website. I've also published children's puzzles, a rebus, poems and illustrations in the children's market.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you? I think so, because I tried hard to write straight romance, both historical and contemporary. All my attempts ended up with dead bodies in them, and far too much plot! LOL So I switched to mystery and suspense with a touch (or more) of romance.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't? I might try horror, although I hate being scared. But fear is as essential as love. I would love to write a comedic contemporary, whether mystery or suspense. I would not write erotica - I'm too much of a prude! ;-D

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure? Guilty pleasure - comic books, like Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Zits, Luann, LOL. But I love mysteries - traditional, PI, cozies, you name it. And I do like a great suspense or thriller. I enjoy comedy romances, but with more story and less heat. Plus straight historicals if they're chock full of details and description!

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing, I started writing a novel in 1989, when my daughter was three. Off and on, I worked on several manuscripts until I joined RWA and learned "the craft" - which helped! But in '97, after a year's consideration, a romance publisher rejected a manuscript because it had "too much plot." By that time, I'd become interested in the children's market and published in magazines until 2004. I spent several years involved in volunteering at my daughter's high school, and once she was settled in college, I resumed writing. From 2008 until January of 2010, I earned an M.A. from Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program - and spent all of last year revising my thesis manuscript, a mystery--which won RWA's Heart of the West contest in the Mystery/Suspense category, and Double Crossing, which finaled in several contests as well. I submitted DC to Astraea Press and less than a week later, I was thrilled when they offered me a contract!

6. Which of your characters is your favorite? That's a tough one! Hmm. I love Lily and Ace in Double Crossing, they both have such interesting backgrounds. In my Lighthouse Mystery series (still with an editor), I enjoyed fleshing out the lighthouse inspector, Captain Dean. But my favorite is Sydney Sinclair--because she's an artist, with a fascinating background and flaws, mistakes and triumphs. She's a bit narcissistic too--and rich. LOL

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created? Every story *must* have a villain equal to the hero/heroine! Not necessarily a Snidely Whiplash, of course, or the incredible super-villains--but someone worthy to make the hero/heroine grow and change over the story's journey. I enjoyed writing the villain for Double Crossing. One key thing I learned at SHU was knowing and understanding the villain's motives. Without that, they are flat and a mere caricature.

8. What are you working on now? I'm working on DOUBLE OR NOTHING, which picks up after Double Crossing ends. Lily's "story" isn't finished by a long shot! ;-D And I'm also working on a collaboration for a mystery with a close friend.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive? Double Crossing will be released from Astraea Press in August of this year, first as an e-book, with print copies coming out in September or October. The movie True Grit influenced me when I was a teen, of course, and I read Charles Portis' novel several times--but Double Crossing is a "twist" on that story, because the only similarity is Lily's father getting murdered. I "ran with" the idea in a whole new direction, and loved researching the transcontinental railroad!

10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words. First, thank you so much for this interview opportunity! As for Double Crossing, see the question above for how it "arrived," LOL. Here's the opening:

Chapter One

Evanston, Illinois: 1869

I burst into the house. Keeping the flimsy telegram envelope, I dumped half a dozen packages into the maid’s waiting arms. “Where’s Father? I need to speak to him.”

“He’s in the library, Miss Lily. With Mr. Todaro.”

Oh, bother. I didn’t have time to deal with Emil Todaro, my father’s lawyer. He was the last person I wanted to see—but that couldn’t be helped. Thanking Etta, I raced down the hall. Father turned from his roll-top desk, spectacles perched on his thin nose and hands full of rustling papers. Todaro rose from an armchair with a courteous bow. His silver waistcoat buttons strained over his belly and his balding head shone in the sunlight. I forced myself to nod in his direction and then planted a quick kiss on Father’s leathery cheek. The familiar scents of pipe tobacco and bay rum soothed my nervous energy.

“I didn’t expect you back so early, Lily. What is it?”

With an uneasy glance at Todaro, I slipped him the envelope. “The telegraph messenger boy caught me on my way home.” My voice dropped. “It’s from Uncle Harrison.”

Father poked up his wire rims while he pored over the brief message. His shoulders slumped. “I’ll speak plainly, Lily, because Mr. Todaro and I were discussing this earlier. My brother sent word that George Hearst intends to claim the Early Bird mine in a Sacramento court. Harrison believes his partner never filed the deed. He needs to prove our ownership.”

“Hearst holds an interest in the Comstock Lode, Colonel.” Todaro had perked up, his long knobby fingers forming a steeple. The lawyer resembled an amphibian, along with his deep croak of a voice. “His lawyers are just as ambitious and ruthless in court.”

Father peered over his spectacles. “Yes, but I have the original deed. I didn’t plan to visit California until next month, but we’ll have to move up our trip.”

“Oh!” I clasped my hands, a thrill racing through me. “I’m dying to visit all the shops out there, especially in San Francisco. When do we leave?”

“We? I meant myself and Mr. Todaro.”

I stared at the lawyer, who didn’t conceal a sly smirk. “You cannot leave me behind, Father. I promised to visit Uncle Harrison, and what if I decide to go to China?”

“Lily, I refuse to discuss the matter. This trip is anything but a lark.”


Thank you so much for this interview! Let me know if you have any other questions.


Meg Mims
DOUBLE CROSSING, Astraea Press, August 2011
~Intriguing Mystery, Vivid History~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday -- More on Plot - Reaching for the end

Now comes the hard part. How do you know when the end is reached? Is the ending what you really thought it would be? Th hardest part of ending may be saying goodbye to those characters who have become a great part of your imaginary life.

Endings can be circular or linear. They can be happy, sad or a mix of the two. Often the kind of ending written for a story is chosen by the genre and by the nature of the writer. If you're writing a romance the ending is usually happy. That's what readers expect. Hopefully the writer can reach this ending without having to tack on a short piece showing six months later the couple gets married or nine months later they welcome their first child. Think of the other genres and think of the usual endings. The bad guy is captured. The good wizard defeats the bad.

Another thing about endings is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. A satisfactory ending whether happy, sad or a mix leaves a reader feeling that the writer had accomplished what they set out to do. One that is unsatisfactory may not necessarily be so. If one reader hates the ending that is a matter of their taste. If many readers feel this way the writer has failed to accomplish what he set out to do.

The next few weeks endings and their pitfalls will be discussed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - Courage and Creativity

Sometimes when you're writing suddenly there's a flash that solves the problem you';re been having with the story. This has happened to me many times. Some people find inspiration in dreams. Why do these occur. This is the unconscious working. This is part of you that usually remains silent but this is the place where creativity is born.

Often this spurt from the unconscious goes against what is the usual and ordinary. As a writer, you can ignore this. While writing a mystery story I once hit a block since the weapon was something the heroine's near and dear all owned. She was very protective. I woke up one morning and I knew what she was going to do. Throw the knife in the Hudson River. A heroic act, not really but one that was true to her nature but not to what people expect of the heroine of a mystery novel. 99 rejections later (Maybe not that many) the book was published and is one of those that continues to sell nearly 14 years after first published. To quote from Rollo May -- The insight is born with anxiety, guilt and the joy and gratification that is inseparable from the actualizing of a new idea or vision. --

So don't be afraid of those "bolts from the blue." Explore them and see where they lead.

Monday, August 8, 2011

8th August - Week Behind and Week ahead

The week behind - Sometimes there are more snags than one can navigate. Last week found one such thing. Decided to do the hardwood floors and wax them. Missed doing it this spring. No wax meant an unexpected trip to the grocery store. Then there was the testing my husband and I do for a research project. Used to take about two and a half hours. This year four hours and a bit. They added several sections that made no sense. Husband said they'd been written by a psychologist. Had been. Company over the weekend complete with dinner out and a lot of visiting, plus the spread sheet came for a contest I'm coordinating a section of. Took two days to get everything out. Now I must keep track of all these people to make sure they're reading the books.

I do have blocked 26 chapters of the Pharaoh of Horu and hope to finish blocking this week. Seems that wants to extend me a bot. Thought there would be 26 to 30 chapters. Might be 32 or 33. Guess that's what it will be.

This week the goal is to finish the rough draft of the book, Should come in at 30,000 to 40,000 meaning I should make the word length I've set for the book. Love it when that happens.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blog jog Sunday

Welcome to Blog Jog Day! Please enjoy my site then click over to to see what the next Blog has to offer! Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday's Chapter - 1st of The Henge Betrayed - Quests

This is the most recently released of my books and is the third in The Henge Betrayed series.



The midday sun of the late summer day beamed on the caravan consisting of three Rover wagons, several extra coursers and eight riders. Val tugged off his neck cloth and wiped his sweaty brow. Today he rode as rear guard and used his affinity for Water to search for emotions that spoke of strangers. As yet the group seemed to be the only travelers for miles.

He scanned the horizon. The grassy plains stretched to the east and the west of the old rutted road leading toward a distant grove of trees. The forest could hide attackers but as yet, he sensed no unknown emotions.

The heavy loads stored in the wagons caused the slow progress. Val had to admit Doma Jandia was the best trader he had ever encountered. Not only did they have extra mounts there was enough food and grain to last a month or more along with the tools they would need to repair the abandoned keep. He grinned. They still had credits with the Rovers.

An outburst of angry emotions impinged on his peace. Val’s hands clenched. Four days of travel beneath a hot sun had brought tempers to the fore, especially from those whose affinity for Fire guided their actions.

Ky and her courser tore toward him. He held a raised sword that blazed. Behind her Zand galloped. “Take that back,” he cried.

Val rode toward the pair. “Enough,” he shouted. “Dampen those flames. Do you want to set the grass aflame and endanger us all?”

“She called me a baby,” Zand said.

Val sucked in a breath. “What did you say to her?”

“That I was better with a sword.”

Val nodded. “Since you have been practicing with one since you could hold a blade how else could you be? I say you’re both acting like children.” In some ways they both were, not only in age but in experience. “Why don’t the pair of you spar after the evening meal when Dragen can watch and comment.”

The flames on Ky’s sword died. She turned to Zand. “A good idea.”

“Just blades. No flames,” Zand said.

The pair wheeled and rode off. Val watched them go. Sometimes he wished he could use his affinity for Water to empty a cloud on his friends. Would they reach the trees in time to make camp for the night? A longing for shade and coolness arose.

Why were there no farms or villages in this area? Was this part of the highlands? He knew the Rovers’ camp was in the neutral ground between the lowlands and the highlands. How much further must they travel to reach this deserted keep of Dragen’s? The abandoned dwelling was to be a refuge where they could learn to use their affinities. This meant another change in his life.

His thoughts slid to the many times his life had undergone an upheaval. He had no recollection of his mother’s death and few from the years he and his father had lived off the land before joining the Rovers for several seasons. Those days had been ones of learning and of belonging.

Then his father had been drawn to Cedris. Flashes of the day his father had died at the hands of Dom Senet made Val’s hands shake. He pushed his grief away and tried to smooth the raw places.

One area remained abraded. He knew the children who had lived with him in Cedris were safe with the Rovers. They had been his family until his affinity had formed a chasm separating them.

A shudder rolled through his body. A member of his adopted family had envied his talent. Had that been the reason for Larkea’s betrayal or had her dislike of Geni spurred the angry reaction? Larkea’s actions had resulted in his and Genis capture by Dom Senet and placed all their friends in danger. When he recalled the coldness of the dom’s green eyes he felt ill.


He had been so deep in thought he hadn’t noticed Bran’s arrival. Val smiled at his friend. With their pale blond hair, green eyes and the deep copper hue of their skin they could have been siblings except their features were different. Even Bran and his twin had little facial resemblance. Val halted his courser. “Is there a problem?”

“Sort of. Your emotions are so loud I can’t block them. Ash and Kiron said your bitterness scents the air. We’re worried about you.”

“Sorry.” Val stroked his steed’s neck. “I was thinking of all the changes in my life and lost control. I also miss the children.” How could he explain his losses to anyone?

Bran nodded. “About the children. You haven’t deserted them. Leaving them with the Rovers gives them chances they didn’t have in Cedris. It’s also better than them being with us.”

“I know.” Val smiled. “Larkea thrives and enjoys her new knowledge. The boys are gaining skills. Even Svana has found a place. I miss them.”

A covey of grass hens erupted from the brush. Val used a slingshot to bring down a number. Bran dismounted and gathered the birds. By the time the last one had been flushed they had eight.

“I wonder if any of our companions have been successful hunters, too.” Though sacks of dried foods were stored in the wagons Val was glad to add to the larder.

“We’ll soon now.” Bran tied the gutted birds to his saddle, mounted and rode away.

Val followed at a slower pace. He remained alert and searched for stray emotions. The only ones he sensed belonged to his companions. By the time the sun sank toward the horizon the wagons had reached the edge of the forest. Val tended to his steed, then joined Ash at the fire to pluck the birds.

As they worked he heard the clang of swords and heard Dragen calling patterns. Val chuckled. “That will help lessen the anger.”

“Being settled will help more.”

The three with Earth affinities arrived. Jay and Dyna carried greens and mushrooms. Geni appeared with huge ground nuts and a basket of summa berries.

“We have cuttings and roots for a kitchen garden,” Dyna said.

“Maybe there’s a growing house.” Jay put the greens in a bowl.

Val popped one of the berries into his mouth. “I wonder why this area is so deserted.”

Dragen joined them. “In answer to your question this area is part of the neutral land. To the west there are several villages where people of the highlands and lowlands have settled.” He nodded to Ash. “You and your siblings stayed near one of the villages when you lived with my sister.”

“And the keep?” Val asked.

“Is on the edge of the highlands. The place was once the home of distant relatives. When the refugees fled some disaster in their homeland and arrived on our shore the family of Rangers and farmers decided to move higher into the mountains. Occasionally Jandia visits them. A member of the family was her student and is a talented healer. Ilvan is his name.”

Val spitted the birds and set them over the fire. If the doma visited these people he hoped they would remain friends. With Dom Senet and his cronies there were enough enemies in the land.

“How long before we reach this keep?” Val asked.

The older man looked up. “Two or three days if we all rode. Five days should see us to what was the home farm and then several hours to the keep.”

Val wondered if any of the crops had gone wild and could be harvested. Living in the Cedris garden had spoiled him. Having fresh fruit and vegetables had been wonderful. For a moment he thought about Cook and her family. Were they safe?

When he finished the meal he grabbed his sleep saque and retreated to a spot beneath the trees. As he drifted to sleep he wished the days until they reached their new home would fly past. An impatience to be settled and to learn more about his affinity filled him.

Five days later they emerged from the forest into a field of stunted grain. Their travel had been marked by halts to clear fallen trees and brush from the old road.

Val examined the seed heads on several varieties and grinned. Though not prime grain they could harvest enough for the coursers and themselves. He stared at the distant walls of the keep. Tomorrow, he thought.

Peals of laughter startled him. Geni and Dyna gathered dark blue berries from the tangle surrounding the fields. Ky and Jay pulled crispins and pesches from trees.

“Would you stop?” Ash called. “I can’t catch what both of you throw and there’s nothing to put them in.”

Val grabbed a basket and ran to help. “Don’t be so greedy,” he called to the twins.

The pair jumped to the ground. “There are olla trees, too.”

He made a face. “We’ll have to pick and render them. Outside, I hope.”

Ash grimace matched his. “Agreed. I hope we find a growing house. With those who have an affinity for Earth tending the plants we can have fresh food all year. I can’t wait to reach the keep.”

Val lifted the basket of fruit. “We need to approach the walls with caution. According to Dragen the place has been empty for generations. Who knows what pests have taken refuge there. Bran and I should go first and see what creatures we can lure into the open and send away.”

“Sending them away might not be a good idea. What if they return?”

Bran strolled toward them. “She’s right. Ash and Kiron can scent the air. You and I can call them. Zand and Ky can use fire to burn them. I imagine we’ll encounter ratis.”

Val considered both plans and realized Bran’s was more sensible. “Sounds like your idea is the best one. We need to discuss this with Dragen and Doma Jandia.”

“With everyone.” Ash walked toward the fire.

The next morning the six set out for the keep. Ash and Kiron led the group. As they neared the walls Val saw parts of the structure had gaps where stones had fallen. They entered where there had once been a wooden gate and halted. The tall central tower seemed intact as did the single story building that ran from the front to the sides of the tower.

Ash looked at them. “I smell ratis and several scents I don’t know. They are foul.”

“Spiders, snakes and other vermin,” Kiron said.

“Are they hostile to the ratis?” Bran asked.

“I don’t know. Their odor is unpleasant,” Ash said. “Maybe there are scorpons, lurking.”

A yowl started Val. He turned to see both pair of forstcats move toward the building. He drew a deep breath. “Are we ready?”

“Yes,” the others said.

Val sent a call message. He heard Bran’s urging join his. A swarm of black, brown and white mottled creatures poured from the building. How had so many survived when there were no people? Then he became too involved in destroying the pests to find an answer.

Lashes of flame shot from the swords Ky and Zand carried. Val, Kiron and Bran used slingshots to pelt the mass. The forstcats caught the stunned creatures and snapped their necks. The stench of burning fur made Val’s stomach lurch. Slowly the stench faded. He realized Ash stirred the air to drive the odors away.

Val continued to call ratis until only nestlings appeared. The forstcats shredded these with their claws and ran into the single story annex of the keep. Val and the others followed. The four felines flowed into narrow cracks in the walls. They drove vividly colored lizards and bronze striped snakes into the open.

Once the lower level was clear of vermin the six escorted by the forstcats moved from level to level of the tower making sure each of the four floors were vermin-free before moving to the next.

The tower stairs were on the right hand side of the building and had openings on each level into a hall. On the first two floors of the keep tower a large chamber and a bathing room provided sleeping space for groups. The young women chose the first level and the young men the second. On each of the other floors there were four chambers and a bathing room. Doma Jandia and Dragen would be comfortable here.

By mid-afternoon Val stepped through the door and stood on the walled space of the roof. He stared at the vista and saw fields, forest and the rising mountains.

Ash sent a message to Doma Jandia on the winds. Soon everyone was engaged in cleaning the keep for occupancy. Val smiled. They were here and safe. At least for now.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Writing Tip - on Revision -- Making the character real

Last week we looked at what areas one has to look at their characters when they're doing that important last revision. Now let's see what sort of things make the characters more than one dimensional.

Completeness - A number of things to look for such as names. I once read a published books where one character's name changed midway. Also looking at the names to make sure they really fit the character helps. Check to make sure if your character has red hair on page one that unless there's a reason for the blonde hair on page 100 that the hair and physical description remains the same.

As you're reading the dialogue listen to the characters. Read the lines aloud as if this was a play. Does Mary sound like Jane or like Paul. If a character is wordy or sparing with words mke sure they're the same the entire way through the story. If they have a particular background, does their language follow through?

Are their actions consistent throughout the story and if the way they respond to certain scenarios changes have you made the reason for the change in the action clear? Watch the character who reacts with physical actions and be sure this is consistent through the story. The same is true for the verbal reactor.

Characters' goals are important and so are character's fears. People always have something they worry that other people will discover. So should characters have a secret fear. This rounds the personality and makes the reader believe in this person you have created.

Read the confrontation scenes carefully. Is the reaction and reaction true to the character's nature. Confrontations are a good way to show the character as a round person rather than a cardboard cutout.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's interview -- Vijaya Schartz

Today's interview is with fellow bwlpp author Vijaya Schartz

1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?

Thanks for having me here. I write science-fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary romantic suspense, Shapeshifters, and I like to mix it up. My most recent foray is into romantic science fiction.

2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?

I always loved reading science fiction, but for some reason, without at least a hint of a relationship in the story, I felt unsatisfied. Although I didn't start writing romance at all, gradually I incorporated romantic elements in my stories. When a publisher offered me a contract to write sci-fi romance series, I did not hesitate. I love writing the stuff. It makes me happy.

3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?

I'm a closet history buff and love medieval times. I've been working on a medieval fantasy series with a romantic slant for years between other projects. It will finally get published, starting next year.

I could probably enjoy writing a mystery. Lots of mystery elements in my plots. But so many authors are doing it so well...

What I could never write, however, is erotic romance or erotica. Although I do have love scenes in my books, writing them doesn't come easy to me. It takes me twice as long to write a love scene as opposed to an action scene.

4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?

I love my genre, so I read a lot of romantic science Fiction. My favorite author is Linnea Sinclair. Great lady, great plots, great characters, great romance, great science fiction. Love her.

I also read paranormal, historicals, a few mysteries, and some romantic suspense. But I am partial to satisfying endings and at least a romantic thread in my fiction. And if the author dares end the book tragically, I may never read him or her again. I read to be uplifted, not to get depressed. There is enough sadness in the real world. To me, reading fiction is an escape from the harsh reality.

5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,

I started writing poetry at age six, in France, where I was born and raised. Then I traveled the world, lived in India and Hawaii. It's only when I finally settled down in Arizona that I started writing for publication. My first book, Ashes for the Elephant God, was first published in 2000, and recently reissued in eBook by BWLPP with a new cover.

6. Which of your characters is your favorite?

Tricky question, but somehow, it always seems to be the character I'm writing at the time. I'm in love with all my heroes. And all my heroines are close to my heart, mostly kick-butt girls, many say just like me. After all I am a martial arts black belt.

My current character is a gorgeous Space Marine, butting heads with a lovely ship captain in Noah's Ark. See the pictures that inspired the characters at:

7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?

I love a good villain, and yes, I have a number of notable bad guys in my stories. A reviewer said about the Ancient Enemy series: "the evil Captain Kavak certainly ranks as one of the worst (meaning best) villains ever encountered!" Debbie Ck2Kwips&Kritiques.

What makes my villains interesting is that they are organic to the story, multi-dimensional, and well developed. I often get into their twisted minds, so even when they act outrageously evil, they remain totally believable to the reader.

8. What are you working on now?

The book on my computer now is NOAH'S ARK, the prequel to the Chronicles of Kassouk series, slated for publication in April 2012 from Desert Breeze Publishing. After writing four books in that series, I felt compelled to tell the story of how that world happened to be populated by humans. It's a great plot and a lot of fun to write. And, of course, my current crush is the hero, the Space Marine mentioned above.

9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?

This latest book follows the pattern of the previous ones in the series. In the medieval world of Kassouk, great cats are kept as pets and used in warfare, and human warriors like to borrow cat names and traits. Advanced aliens keep the human population from evolving, conflicts are many, and I like it when the underdog wins the day.

BLUE LIONESS, Book Four in the Chronicles of Kassouk, just came out on August 1, 2011. Find out all about it at:
In the face of Human slavery, Back Sword Captain Ariela of Kassouk must do the unthinkable. Rebel against the Mutant regime. But she cannot do it alone.

Ariela suspects the king’s death is no accident. And the tyrant who usurped the throne looks guilty as hell. As leader of the Human rebellion against the Mutant rulers, Ariela is desperate for help, and Lord Starro, the handsome Crown Prince of the Star Children, offers the technology the Human faction lacks. But can Ariela trust a spoiled, arrogant foreign prince who never fought a battle, and thinks he is destined to rule the universe? Is she trading one tyrant for another? No matter how kind, handsome, or fascinating, Starro has frightening mental abilities. And this alliance is not safe, especially for Ariela’s heart.

10. Excerpt - the opening paragraphs of Blue Lioness
Ariela’s throat tightened and she choked on unshed tears. Her high boots hammered the cobblestone of the narrow street of the Citadel, and her scabbard clicked against the metal hooks of her black leather uniform as she strode resolutely toward the Palace of Princes. She glanced right and left for signs of trouble among the bewildered mourners flocking to the last viewing. Even on a glorious spring day, anything could happen in such volatile circumstances.

Hellion, who loped silently at her side, bumped a thick, furry head against Ariela’s hip. The lioness always picked up on her mood.

Ariela indulged the feline and caressed the silvery fur. "I can’t believe the King is dead."

Hellion grunted in response, and Ariela wondered how much the smart cat understood. Probably more than anyone suspected.

Force of habit, she scanned the three-story buildings ensconcing the narrow street on both sides. From an open window, a little girl gawked at her black uniform. Quickly, the father behind her grabbed the child and bowed in apology. Ariela nodded back.

She’d recognized the man, a member of the rebellion against the Mutants. He’d attended last night’s secret meeting. But she didn’t let the recognition show on her face. With the Citadel full of Grays for the event, the Human population must appear to be friendly.

Great Engineer, please don’t let anything bad happen today. Crowds could be so unpredictable.

When she neared the cobbled square in front of the Palace of Princes, the street widened and adjacent fares came together into a spacious half circle. The crowd thickened as the population of the Citadel converged toward the palace to pay their last respects.

Many only came for the free food, of course, and the usual pickpockets wouldn’t miss an opportunity to snatch a fat purse. Ariela grabbed Hellion’s collar and let the lioness clear their path.

The great cat sniffed the air and pulled Ariela, following the aroma of roasting meat. Hellion never missed the scent of food.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog.
Readers can find more at:

Vijaya Schartz

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesday - Plot - flashbacks, prologues and epilogues

A bit aboug flashbacks. A look into the past can be just a line of memory, a passage of exposition, a conversation or a genuine flashback that is a scene that has taken place in the past. The first kinds of looking at the past seldom cause problem, but the long scenic flashback can pull the reader out of the story. One of my favorite writers used this in one of her books where perhaps a chapter or two were in the present and then one in the past. I'm sure she was just trying a technique but for me the story was so disjointed I began to skip the past scenes and focused on the current story. When the information is vital, try to find another way of presenting the information. Used judiciously a memory of the past can hold clues to the present problems in the story.

Prologues and epilogues are generally better left off. For the prologue if there is information that is vital to the story use a prologue but remember to make it vital and short. If the material in the prologue goes on for pages and pages, this may mean the story has started in the wrong place.

Epilogues tell something that happens in the character's futures. I've never been partial to them. This is my own view but often they're found in romance novels and make me feel the writer is trying to convince me that this romance really works. Something to think about. If a writer is planning a sequel to the book, an epilogue can act as a teaser for what is to come.

Remember to use these three additions to the plot judiciously. Keeping the reader turning the pages is a good thing. Having something that causes them to stop reading isn't good.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Inspiration - More on creativity and courage

When reading this segment of the book The Courage To Create by Rollo May I came across these words. "Creativity is the encounter of the intensively conscious human being with his or her world."

As a writer of fiction sometimes contemporary and sometimes fantasy or other genres I must always be aware of the time in which I live. My fictional encounters need to reflect my visions of what is surrounding me in life as well as to intensify what I am writing about.

There is the encounter which could be the theme underlying the work. There is the intensity of this meaning the emotional effect on the writer and also on the surrounding peopled world. Each writer has their underlying encounters with reality and non-reality. The encounter and the intensity of this must be outwardly be shown and hopefully the readers will understand.

Look at what your underlying encounters and what emotions are triggered. Filter them through the intensity and bring them to life.

Monday, August 1, 2011

1 August - Week behind and week ahead

Last week saw the end of July and for me a new computer I'm just getting used to. Lost all my favorite places but am slowly regaining them. Good thing was that my documents managed to be downloaded. Now I have to see what else needs to be gathered and put onto this new thing.

Writing went well. I've now blocked in 18 chapters of The Pharaoh of Horu and hope to finish blocking in the rest this week. If not I'll finish it next week, Then the fun begins since there will be about 28000 to 30000 words of what should come in at 75000 words. I'll head into the draft section of the writing process and that's where the idea really becomes a story.

Next week's goals. A minimum of blocking in 7 chapters of the book. The maximum to get to the end of the rough draft or the blocking stage. Next will be filling in what I left out which is mostly everything.

Had few bites on the last two contests I've done and I have a lot of books I'd like to give away. I think I left too little lead time and didn't advertise them enough. Guess I'll wait until December and do another one like last December.