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Visualizing Characters

1 December 2021

Whether reading or writing about them, we all tend to conjure up an image of the characters in a story. What does he or she (or they) look like? We take cues from the text. Hair color, eye color, complexion, stature, and build all give us a sense of a character’s appearance. I’m sure we’ve… Read More ›

A Tale of Two Covers

Judging a book by its cover is inevitable, n’est pas?  We all do it in spite of our best efforts not to.  After all, an eye-catching cover will draw our attention to pick up that book from the shelf and read the blurb to find out what it’s about.  For an author, that’s half the… Read More ›


Over time, writers inevitably create innumerable pieces of writing, some of which end up as mere fragments that needed to be written at the time of conception.  Some of these fragments go on to be part of a larger whole, a story or novel, while others languish. Recently, I’ve decided to review my own such fragments. … Read More ›

Branding for Writers

We, as writers/authors, are our own brands. In most cases, our brand is our name (or the name we chose to write under). In the past, the chances of your name (or chosen pseudonym) being the same as another author’s were slim. However, with today’s internet, chances are you’re competing with others who share your… Read More ›

Miss Marple: a Life and Times

Another entry from the file of “Things Kept!” Here’s another college term paper of interest to mystery readers. This one was for an introductory course, Anthropology 101.  You know, one of those courses where you attend the large lecture hall with the ant-like professor lecturing at the front of the auditorium and then further discussion… Read More ›

An Unrealistic Genre

Unearthed from my archives of things kept, I present a college midterm paper of interest to kick of Blog Week V.  For those who wonder what shapes a writer’s ideas and craft, the answers lie in our experiences past and present.  Those books, movies, and plays we’ve seen or read and the environment in which we… Read More ›

Two Books & The Beginning

First lines are vital for attracting readers.  Drawing in your audience and involving them in the story you’re spinning is of the utmost importance and even more so in the first five pages.  There’s even a book for that!  Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. … Read More ›

First Post…Elsewhere

I first attempted blogging in 2009 at Crimespace.  I’d discovered this social network “ning” site as a place for readers and writers of crime fiction and thought it a perfect place to have a presence.  So I joined in February and posted the following on 23 February 2009: It’s Oscar night! I have to wonder…. Read More ›

A Year of Reading

52 weeks, 52 books. No writer can live in a vacuum.  The things we see, hear, smell, taste, touch … all these experiences add to who we are and what we might create.  Watching a movie, reading a book … they can inspire our own writing, and we can learn from them. Each year I try… Read More ›

A Year of Writing

1000 words a day. It seems simple enough.  Write a minimun of a 1000 words each day.  Say you type 30 words per minute.  In one hour, you could type 1800 words.  That means the average writer could easily achieve over 1000 words each day in just one hour. But what should one write about? Writing, of course, isn’t… Read More ›

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