Saturday, February 20, 2010

To Write or Not to Write

I am having a hard time making a decision.  Part of me wants to stay in and work on my manuscript and part of me wants to go outside and soak up the sunshine!....decisions, decisions!! 
I know what you writers out there would say....write outside :)  What a great idea...I can take my laptop to the deck and have the best of both worlds.  Now why didn't I think of that....oh yeah ....I did!

Whether you choose to stay indoors or out today, just make the most of it. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are You Making a Scene?

The past couple of days I have been reviewing my first three chapters. I have learned if I read them aloud to myself I can better determine if the story flows or not. I wrote an outline of how I want my scenes to evolve, but I am having a hard time picturing the scene. I need to put details in so that the reader feels as though he is in the scene himself. Those little touches that make it "real."
When I write a scene I try to picture it, like a scene in a movie. I play the scene in my mind like a movie reel moving forward. What is happening, where are the characters and what do they see, smell, feel, taste.
If you are having trouble with scenes in your story, I would like to recommend the book Make A Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld. His book is very clear and precise and easy to understand. I love the way he breaks down the elements that make up a scene. Instead of looking like a scene as being a single thing, think of it as many elements working together.
Here are the basic elements that make up a scene:
Interesting and layered characters that have undergone some type of change since the beginning of the story.
Pov for each scene. (from whose eyes will you view the scene).
Action that takes place in real time.
Dialogue that is memorable and necessary for the scene.
New plot information that moves the story forward.
Testing of your characters through conflict and drama, revealing their personalities.
Using many senses to describe the physical setting, causing your reader to be drawn into the scene.
Exposition and summary in small amounts only.
I realize that what makes a scene a scene is action but well-balanced scenes include a little bit of everything above.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Forensics & Faith: Five Reasons Why the Unpublished Can Stop Writing

A great post from Brandilyn Collins blog....It really spoke to me. Enjoy.

Forensics & Faith: Five Reasons Why the Unpublished Can Stop Writing

What about the "P" word?

This morning I was reading the book Fiction Writer's Brainstormer by James V. Smith on Plagiarism.  I never knew before reading this, exactly what constituted Plagiarism. 

Plagiarism is presenting another's writings as one's own.

So how can you borrow from these great writers without adding footnotes to your novel?  Well James V. Smith says to read. Take notes and lots of notes.  I about fell out of my chair when he wrote that he reads with a pen in his hand.  That is EXACTLY what I do!! 

I thought to myself ....well Pam you even act like a writer and you didn't even know you must BE a writer..ha.

Since I have been on this Novel Journey I can't read a book now without a pen...I mean you never know when you will need to underline some great line or write some notes in the book.  (Make sure the book you are writing in is yours and NOT someone elses).

You should never copy a large section without giving credit.  You can however, take something out of a sentence and tweak it to serve your purpose.

Hugs ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cool 360 degree photography

360 deg. photography

This is amazing! What technology is now available......

Look all the way up and all the way down.

Use your mouse to move around. Click the mouse and move it in any direction.

A very dear friend sent this to me and I thought I would share it with you....enjoy!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Learning from the experts

One of the best ways to learn how to write a great novel is to study the books that other authors have written.  I love suspense/mysteries and naturally that is what I want to write.  All the books say to write what you like to read, which makes a lot of sense. 
     Brandilyn Collins is a very talented Christian writer.  I love reading her books.  They are suspenseful and keep you on the edge of your seat...that is why her books are called "seat belt suspense." She is also very good with character development.  I decided to critique her book Violet Dawn, to see how the book was structured.
     The first thing I did was read the book from cover to cover, and write the POV (Point of View) at the top of each chapter.  I was reading this book at the same time that I was learning about "Story Threads."  Story Threads are different stories that are taking place in addition to the main story plot....this is what will help to keep your story interesting as well as give depth to your story.
      So on the computer I would type chapter one and titled it Main Story Thread (because this was the main theme of the book).  Then the second chapter switched scenes to another character and what was happening during the same time as chapter this was Story Thread Two....then in Chapter Three the scene switches back to Story Thread One.  Chapter Four adds a new character and what is happening with her so that becomes Story Thread Three.  I did this at every chapter until I reached the end. 
     Then I color coded each story thread a different color and printed it out.  I was able to see the weave of the different story threads all through the book ....since I am a visual person this really helped me see how this is done.  In this book Brandilyn has Six Story Threads!  If you are a visual person this might help you too.
     This also showed me that at every chapter she would switch scenes and some of those chapter would end in cliff hangers and you would just HAVE to keep reading.  Each character that she introduced was dealing with their own issues which really gave her characters depth.
     She also uses background in a very cleaver way, but that is for another post.  By keeping her chapters short, she is able to switch scenes smoothly. 
     If you like a good Christian Suspense please check out Brandily Collins. You can visit her blog at check out her books they are very, very, good.  I pray that someday I will be that good.  Lord willing. 
     Well better get back to my own writing.
 Blessings and hugs!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wanna write a novel?

I started my writing journey about a year ago.  I decided to teach myself the art of writing fiction.  I love to read a good suspense know, the kind that keeps you turning the page at all hours of the night.  My desire is to write clean mystery/suspense novels that are hard to put down.  I thought that as much as I read, it would be a piece of cake to write a novel.  I was totally wrong.  The last year has taught me that there is a lot to learn.  But, I believe that if you have the passion and desire to write, you have already won half the battle. 
     Here is a list of my favorite books on how to write fiction. 1. Don't Murder Your Mystery by Chris Roerden  2. Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins  3. Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell  4. First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner  5. Stein on Writing by Sol Stein  6. Self Editing for Fiction Writers   7. Dialogue by Gloria Kempton  8. Description by Monica Wood  9. Beginnings, Middles and Ends by Nancy Kress  10. Conflict, Action and Suspense by William Noble  11. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.   Study these books and you will be on your way to writing your bestseller.

This is a picture of me working on my manuscript at a friends mountain cabin in North Carolina.  It was very peaceful and relaxing.  Here I am learning about using description in a story.

God Bless!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This is my new blog where I will share my novel writing journey. I love to read suspense/mysteries, and it is my desire to be a published writer.  Only the Lord knows if this will ever come to pass but I believe if he puts the desire in you, and you write to please him then you can't go wrong. 
     I get so discouraged at the bookstores, trying to find a good book minus all the profanity...etc.  My goal is for anyone to be able to pick up one of my books and not have to worry about the language or content.  To be able to read a great story with incredible characters that you consider part of your family.  I will be sharing many things that I have learned along the way.
     Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.  He has carried me the past two years due to great sadness in my family.  I truly felt his presence every step of the way and will share that as well.  Digging into scripture and having daily devotionals is a relaxing time for me
     Treasure Hunting is what I do.  If I find something that really speaks to my heart, or something new that I have learned, I call them "Treasures."  I will post them on here as well. 
     Thanks for visiting my blog.