Character Sketch

The only thing I enjoy as much as writing is painting, and I love doing little watercolor sketches of characters in my books. Here is one I did today. This is Trudy. She is the MC in a book I am working on now called Rage. Trudy is a little girl with a big secret.


Book Review

"Elements of Fiction Writing - Conflict and Suspense" by James Scott Bell

There are literally thousands of books on the craft of writing, and I've read my share of them. Some of them are good and they've helped me, but none as much as this one.

The problem with most writing books is that they are short and incomplete, but Mr. Bell's book is thorough in sharing tools and techniques for adding conflict and suspense to every element of your story, including characters, dialogue, and theme. So thorough, in fact, that as I was reading it, I kept thinking I was near the end because I had already read so much good stuff - surely there could not be more? But the author left nothing out. Mr. Bell goes over all the areas in a story and shows you how to inject suspense and tension into every scene. POV, Subplots, Openings, and Cliff-Hangers are also covered in the book.

When I am doing revisions, I keep this book at my side. I go through my work and use Mr. Bell's techniques on every page. And I can see the results. My dialogue, especially, has excelled. And that's why I recommend this book. As they say, the proof is in the pudding, right?

If you are going to buy one book on the subject of writing, this should be it. Mr. Bell's book is available at Amazon and also on iBooks.


Free Course: Introduction to Forensic Science

Thought I would pass this along to my readers. A free course in Forensic Science - great information for those who write crime fiction, or any genre, for that matter. Never know when you might need to know! The course started today, but better late than never, right? Go here to sign up!


Neat Feature in Scrivener

I am a huge fan of Scrivener, the biggest thing for writers since...well, since ever! I am always discovering things I didn't know, and I was so excited to find that Scrivener has a Scratch Pad that is available across the board. Meaning, if you are in one project and you think of something for another project (which I do often), you can simply pull up the Scratch Pad and type in your note, and then later, when you switch to the other project, open up Scratch Pad and there it is! Meaning, you don't have to go out of one project to put in a note or an idea for another. Pretty cool, huh? To try it out, while in a Scrivener file, just go up to the top menu bar where you see the word "Window" - click on that and go down to "Show Scratch Pad".
If you haven't tried Scrivener, you can go here and download a free trial. You'll love it!