Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It’s all in the details

Today's guest post is by Erika Talbot. Erika will be our guest in the chatroom Sunday, July 3.)

As writers, our job is to paint a portrait for our audience. The brush strokes of world-building, characterization, and action are what entertain the reader. Yet, many times we pass up the chances to really show the story as strong as we see it in our brains. And we must share the story, or the characters will come after us.

Characters talk. That’s a no-brainer, but does the dialogue put the reader next to the characters? Does it make them feel like the third person in the conversation? Or does the reader only feel like a reader? Add some spice, pizzazz, neon excitement to your characters. Does Sally “say,” or does she “grumble?” How about Don? If he is arguing with his boss, how does he argue? Is he loud and harsh, or is Don more timid and conservative, merely murmuring? These kinds of details can really propel the reader into the scene. Now, don’t get me wrong, Sally can “say” from time to time, but in the more emotional/epic scenes, painting broader strokes will make it come to life and keep the intensity.

To bring Sally out more so the reader sees her, what does she look like? Sally is a middle-aged woman with blonde hair and freckles…boring. It feels sterile, written without the pizzazz (can you guess my favorite word yet?). How about Sally’s face is covered with lines of wisdom, potato chip blonde and spots only a day at the beach can give. Keep in mind, this is straight off the top of my head…but you get the idea, right?

Bringing more to your writing can only make it stronger, and let’s face it; it’s a blast to add some craziness into your world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How does a book start?

How does a novel get its start? That's probably different for every writer. Chatroom favorite and Bram Stoker winner John Everson tells where his latest book, Siren, came from. Interesting story!

Read it here:

Where will you find YOUR next book?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Research Tip Website

Joe Moore is a former marketing executive with 25 years experience in the television postproduction industry. As a senior audio engineer, he received two regional Emmy® awards for individual achievement in audio mixing for ABC and PBS television specials. He has written dozens of articles for national and international trade magazines covering the field of professional sound recording and video. In addition, as a freelance writer, he has reviewed fiction for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Florida Times Union, and the Tampa Tribune. Now he writes best-selling novels with Lynn Sholes.

This is a guy who knows how to find the facts he needs. And he's willing to share his research tips with all of you.

Go to for a wealth of research tips and links. Remember, even if you write fiction, you HAVE to get the facts straight!