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Same Place, Same Time

My tip for this week is to write in the same place, same time, and for same duration every day.




Sometimes we get so focused on what is in front of us that we forget to appreciate what is around us. And don't forget to stop and look upward. You might be inspired by the beauty you discover.



I was ten years old when I felt like I was a writer. It was my passion. I needed to write, perhaps more than I wanted to write. I asked myself why I had this calling, and it was only recently that I discovered that it might all have been for my mother, who passed away 19 years ago today. She was a compulsive reader, and as "the lost child" in the family, I probably felt like it was the only way to stand out. Ironically, she never read anything I wrote. But it never stopped my ambition to create original stories and interesting characters. It makes me happy to write, and sad at the same time. As minor as they may appear, by contrast, I am proud of my accomplishments, and my will to never give up. I answered the call and must see the adventure through to the end.



The question always arises between authors. Are you a plotter or a pantser, or more simply, do you plan out your story or do you wing it. 

I am a plotter. My advice is to make a chart for all 33 chapters (or whatever you plan to make it) and jot down the major plot points, including the ending, which I hope you know before your start. And then I allow myself wiggle room to add subplots and adjust things as needed. 

The funny thing is, I realize, that most people--regardless if they are writers or not--live their daily lives by this decision. As a plotter, I like to know what is going to happen throughout the day. Pantsers are content to find out as they go. 

So, this is a decision each writer must make. And whatever works for you is the right decision of course. 

Magnifying Glass


As I celebrate my faithful companion's second birthday, I am reminded of how larger-than-life he is! There is a little bit of Kensington in several of my characters so far. He is goofy, playful, sassy, starving for attention, sweet, adorable, energetic, and dopey. But he is hard not to love. 

The next time you create a character for your book, don't shy away from the animal kingdom for inspiration. Every pet has its own unique personality. 

Kensington author.jpg


Talk about the Weather

Remember that when you describe the setting, that also includes the weather. Describe the weather when you write. For instance, its not just raining out. It makes a sound, and it produces a smell that could be nostalgic or foul.

And don’t just have random weather patterns. Have the weather symbolic of the events that are occurring at that moment. Rain could symbolize sadness or be foreboding, playful and romantic, or even rebirth. Snow can suggest isolation or innocence or stillness.

Your tone and dialogue will determine which one you are intending.

That’s my tip this week on for what its worth.



For What it’s Worth: Read Aloud for editing.
My advice this week is to use the Read Aloud function in your Word document. For it was a game-changer I discovered while editing a previous book.
Read Aloud is found by pressing the Review tab at the top. Set your cursor where you want the speaker to begin and click on Read Aloud.
For me, it helps to hear someone else reading what I had written to see if it sounded right or even made sense.



Whether you have writer's block or want something random to happen in your story, this is the tip for you.
In my Mr. REE series, I decided to make decisions about my murderer, victim, motive, and weapon based on the roll of a die. If I had 8 suspects, I would use an 8-sided die to help me make my story original and unexpected. Whatever the results, I was going to make it work; it forced me to be creative.
For instance, I would give the suspects (and victims), weapons of choice, and motives a number value of 1-8. Then roll the die. It might come out like this: Mr. Johnson killed Mrs. Henderson with a metal pipe for revenge. Obviously, you can have a different number for the various categories, in which case you use a die with more or fewer sides.
This can work in any novel where you want one of your characters to die or get injured, lost, etc., but you want it to be random. Or you want your adventure to take a different an unexpected turn, try rolling the dice. You might just like where your story forces you to go. 
Try it, and you may like it.

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