Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Week's Writing Prompt

Believing his sincerity. . .

Okay, this one should be easy to grab that reader's attention. Good luck!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend Writing Prompt Response

You've had the weekend to come up with something. Anything grab your attention? Were you able to hook your reader?

Remember, the prompt was:

As she applied pressure to the brakes. . .

My hook:

As she applied pressure to the brakes, the airplane pulled to the right, and another explosion ripped the air.

Hm. Does it leave you in suspense? Make you ask questions? Make you wanna read more? Who applied brakes? ANOTHER explosion? Did the plane stop? Did it explode into pieces? Did the person applying the brakes survive? Was the person flying the plane the pilot?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hackers and Your Writing

The idea for this blog came from Charlotte Phillips blog

Charlotte recently had an experience with a virus attack. About two weeks ago I went through the same thing.

Luckily, I have everything backed up, but that day+ wasted was pure torture. It got so bad that at one point I couldn't see anything on my screen. I actually contemplated throwing my trusty laptop away and getting a new one. HORROR! - love the little thing. When the red fuzz of anger cleared from my brain, I took a deep breath, and went to task. I defragged, did a chkdsk, and was finally able to see my screen. Then I was able to run an antivirus software...actually several. After all that (hours and hours) I was finally able to use my computer again.

What is with these people? Do they think it's fun and games to destroy people's work?

How do you prevent these things from happening? Do you constantly run an antivirus application? It slows your other applications down (painfully so at times) and that's only part of the issue. Don't forget about spyware. So now you have to run a spyware killer application too? Oh, and if you run on a wireless network...that's another can of worms. You have to make certain it's secure so no one else can use it or get on and see what you're doing. BEEN THERE!

Does anyone have some great suggestions on how to prevent these things from happening? Any great articles or tools to recommend?

For all you writers out there...if we can't beat the hackers and prevent their damage...we can make sure our writing gets saved. I recommend the Microsoft Home Server. It's a small, headless machine that you hook up to your network, then all your computers can use the Home Server to get backed up on a regular basis.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Widgets and Marketing

Thought I'd share with you some recent cool findings. With IT HAPPENS IN THREES being my first book to be published (January 2009), I've been spending a great amount of time researching marketing. Recently I came across "WIDGETS".

So here I am, this computer geek, but a cute one, and I'm doing research on the internet and I just happen to run into these neat things called "WIDGETS". What exactly is a widget?

A widget is a third party tool that takes information you give it (like your blog or RSS feed) and makes it accessible to other places/people by creating this usually customizable look and feel. Then you take this widget and put it on your website or blog or wherever you can. From there anyone who sees it can do the same. It's like social networking with a tool.

Anyone who downloads my BLOG widget can put it on their desktop and see my latest BLOG headings. WAY COOL! In case you haven't noticed them...there are 2 different ones in my BLOGS now. I really like the purple one from Very easy to create and put where I want.

Now, if you're PUBLISHED author try They'll create a widget for your books that will link back to Amazon or B&N which will of course help with your marketing and sales.

Check out widgets! And if you recommend one, let me know.

Weekend Writing Prompt

Take the weekend and play with this prompt. See if you can come up with more than a great starting sentence. Try for a paragraph. Don't worry, I'll do the same.

Here's the prompt:

As she applied pressure to the brakes. . .

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Writing prompt Hook Sentence

So the last prompt was

The maze stopped being fun . . .

I completed the sentence this way.

The maze stopped being fun when Sari turned the corner, her hand sliding against the mirrored wall coming up wet and sticky with blood.

Thoughts? Thought provoking? Make you want to read more?

Share what you came up with.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Next Writing Prompt

Hopefully the last writing prompt got you motivated, jazzed, or at least inspired enough to write one sentence, paragraph, start a new story. Either way, let's keep those creative juices flowing. Here's your next writing prompt.

The maze stopped being fun . . .

Good luck and let me know what you come up with. Remember, hook that reader.

Friday, August 15, 2008

New SpringWidget


Writing Prompt and a Hook

Remember the Writing Prompt I put in the previous blog.

The moment the limousine took off . . .

My take on the writing prompt.

The moment the limousine took off, tires squealing, locks engaging, a dark voice whispered her name, and Charley, heart thumping in her chest, went completely still, willing him to go away, willing this to be a dream. A bad dream.

So I sent this opener to my author friend Nora LeDuc ( for her opinion. Nora thought the sentence met the criteria of a good hook because it introduced forshadowing, danger or action, and asked a question.

What did you come up with? Did you hook the reader in that very first sentence?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Writer's Block - Writing Prompt

It's been suggested that one way of dealing with writer's block is to take a step back from what you're currently working on. Take a step back, but write something that stimulates your creative writing. I've been looking into this and what I've found is something called a "writing prompt".

The idea behind a writing prompt is to be given a small amount of information and you start with that and let your writing take you wherever. One type of writing prompt gives you a character, a setting, and a plot, and the goal is to write a short story or paragraph that uses those. Or sometimes it's just three words, not even complete sentences to base your story on, such as red, wagon, courtyard.

Yet another version to a writing prompt is to start with a "hook" sentence. The key here is that the hook isn't complete. It's your job as the writer to finish it. I like this idea because it gets you thinking of how to writing a sentence that's a hook as well as boosting your writing creativity and sweeping away that nasty writer's block. Think of this as the sentence that will hook your reader, an editor, and the start of your next short story or novel. You want to grab the audience's attention from the very beginning.

In honor of the Hook Writing Prompt, I thought I would post one and see if it helps inspire you. . .or me. I'll give one today and then again next week. Feel free to share whatever you come up with. I'll share mine too.

Here's your Writing Prompt: Good luck!

The moment the limousine took off . . .

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book Signing

Ok, so here I am, months away from having my first book published and I'm contemplating how and where to do a book signing. What I just read suggested to do a "book signing event". What exactly does that mean? Am I supposed to have clowns and balloons? Or maybe stand on my head? (not that I could)

I know the owner of a local breakfast and ice cream shop called Sammy J's. We had a quick chat this morning about the idea of having a signing at her place. What do ya think?

Personally, I love the idea. But how do I make this an event? And of course the real test is how to get people to attend the event and then buy a book.

I need suggestions. Help!

Remember, the title of my new book is IT HAPPENS IN THREES. I'd like to come up with an idea that encompasses the title or events from the book. On a side note, I will probably be giving away chocolate-shaped books. Whew...that's one idea.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

How do you write?

In my previous post I mentioned something about being a "seat of the pants" writer. What exactly does that mean? It means I can't outline for the life of me.

With my first book, IT HAPPENS IN THREES, I never even considered outlining the story. It was more of a spewing of thoughts and ideas that came out into a romantic suspense. And when I say, "spew", I mean whatever popped into my head is pretty much what came out on paper.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Most writers would probably agree that writing anything is better than writing nothing. Maybe.

With my second novel, I wrote the first chapter while on a plane flight from New Hampshire to Seattle, Washington. Again, I had nothing written down for the story idea. I simply was inspired and started typing on my little laptop. Seven pages into it I was cracking myself up and the guy sitting next to me thought I was a little whacked. [SHRUG] I probably was. When you're in the zone you can't help yourself. Anyway...

After I started this book I decided to take a stab at writing an outline. And I even saved it on my computer. I outlined about 10 chapters. I thought cool, good for me.

BUT when I got into writing more of the story my characters decided to go their own way so my writing diverged from the original outline.

How do you write? Are there any concepts (like outlines or chapter synopsis) or tools you use to help? Share them with us.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Writer's Block?!

Is there really such a thing as writer's block? Or is it lack of time and dedication to the craft that causes this phenomena?

Most importantly, how do you break it???

My experience has been that sometimes life runs amuck and we have to deal with those things rather than what our hearts passion allows. Other times, maybe it is lack of dedicated time, especially if you write like me, "by the seat of my pants". (Another topic for another day)

So how do I break writer's block?

Hm...various ways. Sometimes it just breaks naturally. Like I said in a previous post, a lot of my story ideas come to me when I'm driving. And that includes ideas on shoving the writer's block aside and moving forward.

Other times I get together with other writers and we brainstorm. This is my preferred method. It's kind of like reading your work aloud. When you verbalize it, you hear things that are good and bad and then you go back and write.

This happened to me this past month. It was torture because I wanted to get my second book "Killer Bunny Hill" moving and haven't been able to figure out how to do it. Thanks to my critique group that I met with yesterday, I was able to figure out the next part of the story, came home and wrote 4 pages. Yeehaw!! Big weight lifted off my shoulders.

What do you suggest?

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