Tag Archive | writing fiction

Doggone Dead is Now Available in Papeback

My latest mystery, Doggone Dead is now out in paperback.   If you don’t have an ereader, check out this version of the third Pecan Bayou mystery.DoggoneDeadCreateSpaceCover

Click here to purchase the paperback.

Also, I’m working away on my fourth novel.  Actually, I’ve been writing and then tearing it up and then rewriting.  I have a new character who is giving me trouble just like she does to Betsy.  What am I trying to create?  A villain with a good heart.  I suppose it is a classic lesson in character creation, and I have all bad parts down, but bringing out her vulnerability is going to take some thinking.

Who are some well-known villains in fiction with a good side?

25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Free on Kindle Today

25charactersHere’s a great book just released by my friend Diane Krause from The Writing Range. IT IS FREE ON KINDLE TODAY so pick it up! Here is a description of the book:

Who are some of your favorite fictional characters? Which characters stand out in your memory long after you’ve read the book, seen the movie, or the TV series has ended?

Many elements of fiction writing are essential to creating a good story, but it’s the characters who truly make a story come alive.

Plenty of books have been published on the mechanical or technical aspects of creating fictional characters, so this book is not about the science of creating characters. Instead, 25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love is designed to inspire.

In this book, you’ll find 25 ideas for creating believable characters that are as unique and complex as the cast of characters in real life. In addition to the 25 helpful tips, you’ll find the author’s list of favorite fictional characters, and an extensive character interview section to help you get intimately acquainted with your characters.

Use 25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love to give you a jump start on creating the characters that will fuel your stories and win the hearts of your readers.

Get this ebook free today!–25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love

Write Who You Are-My Guest Post at A Book Lover’s Library Today

Are you the next Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, or Kathryn Stockett?  You should answer-no!  You are the next you!  Come visit me today at A Book Lover’s Library for my guest post, Your Unique Style-Write Who You Are.  Here is an excerpt:

My college had prepared me with small presentations and tutoring and in those experiences I found success. After teaching only one day, I began to wonder if maybe I should have chosen another profession. I was not organized, I didn’t speak loud enough and I got confused using a grade book for the first time. What had happened to me? All the confidence of four years of teacher’s college was literally shot to hell in one day.
Don’t forget my Cupcake Giveaway is still going on.  3 Ebooks, a $5 Amazon Gift Card, a $25 Gift Card to Crumbs.  You can enter through A Book Lover’s Library and thank you to everyone who has entered!  Good Luck!

Giveaway and Book Tour For Overdue For Murder

I’m hitting the road again in the next few weeks to promote my second book, Overdue For Murder.  In this book, Betsy appears at a book talk at the library and when one of the other authors is found dead, she is the prime suspect.  Betsy must solve the murder and question each of the authors before she is arrested for the crime.

Overdue For Murder Review

I’ve read both books in this series so far, and I am seeing a real improvement in this author. The characters are compelling and I find myself invested in how they are doing. Even better, this crime is a little more complex and fun than the first. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Trent.–Gayle Carline-Author of the Peri Minneopa Mystery Series

Even though this is a murder mystery it’s still full of the wacky characters who inhabit Pecan Bayou, Texas.  Betsy is forced into participating in a Creative Cooks Contest for the paper and her baking skills are not just bad, but a little scary!  In celebration of that I am offering a giveaway of a $25 gift card from Crumbs for scrumptious cupcakes, an Amazon gift card and three ebooks to read while you snack.  Sounds like a perfect December day to me!

Book Tour Schedule-I will be interviewed and will guest blog along the way, so come on along!  We can sing Christmas carols in the car!

November 19 – Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe’ Blog
November 21 – Guest Blogging at Marketing Cafe’
November 24 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
November 27 – Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover’s Library
November 29 – Interviewed at BK Walker’s Blog
December 3 – Guest Blogging at The Stuff of Success
December 5 – Reviewed at Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
December 5 – Review & Interview at Author Christie Palmer’s Blog
December 7 – Review & Interviewed at Melina’s Book Blog
December 10 – Interviewed at FromThe Mind Of Omegia
December 12 – Review & Guest Blogging at Bookalicious Travel Addict
December 14 – Reviewed at The Self Taught Cook

Creating Characters: The Good and The Bad

Every story needs to have two strong characters-the protagonist (the good guy) and the antagonist (the bad guy).  Without them there is no conflict and no motivation for the characters to do what they do.  If everybody gets along, your story is nothing more than those sappy Christmas letters we all get every year. 

Take a look at these two gentlemen.  Choose one to be your protagonist and one to be your antagonist.

Answer these questions about your protagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views.

4.  Does he realize that the other guy is out to get him?

5.  What must he do to overcome the bad guy?

Answer these questions about your antagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views. Is there a back story that will tell us why he is the way he is?

4.  What is his evil plan?  Write a short monologue in which the character outlines how he will defeat the protagonist.

5.  What is his motivation?   Why must he hurt or trick another person?

Do this exercise again and switch the characters.

Photo found on MorgueFile

All NaNo’s Eve

It’s NaNoWriMo Eve!  Am I ready for a month of writing abandon (as in my family and work obligations?)

Let’s see-

I voted early

I bought my husband’s November birthday gifts

I dressed my dog in a humiliating bee costume

Martin the Mystery Dog
“Do these stripes make me look fat?”

…and for my work in progress?

Characters have been sketched out-inner and outer conflicts, pictures, mannerisms

Killer/Victim Profiles completed

Settings sketched out

Plots and subplots mostly ready and broken into scenes to write
…and yet I’m not sure if I’m ready.

Writing and Old Friends

I’m over visiting at Book Review by Dee today.  I guest-posted about one of my favorite writers-Stephen King who just turned 65.  You can also enter your name for a giveaway of my book, A Dash of Murder.  Here is an excerpt from the article.

Every writer is haunted.  Every writer started out as that kid in the library clutching books against  his or her chest walking up to the checkout desk, ready to go on an adventure with a new found “friend” who has one heck of a tale to share with them.  They’ve drooled over the cover, read the blurb and are ready to share a few hours digging up archaeological relics, solving a mystery in an oh-so-haunted mansion, or confronting a beast that has evolved from unknown chemicals left in the lagoon.  I was that kid, and one of the first writers who really scared me so much  I was keeping the light on in my room into my  teen years, was Stephen King.

Go to Reviews by Dee to read more

Portraying Mood With Your Setting

Can you portray a mood in your setting?  You bet!  Take a look at this picture.  It is intriguing to me because it is built in a rough, old fashioned way.  The structure is very small and the little walkway and handmade bench are made with such care.  What is this little house used for?  Is it someone’s home or is it a workshop of some sort?  Is it the world’s worst mother-in-law suite?  This will be a short visit.

To set up a scene with this picture follow these steps:

1.  Decide what this house is used for-be creative.  Storing lawn equipment is not creative.

2.  Define a mood that surrounds this structure.  Is it a happy place?  Is it an ominous place?  Does it raise curiosity in your story?

3.  Use the elements around the house to create your story.  Who sits on that bench?  Why is the little house right next to the woods?  What’s up with the dirt yard?  Who put in the walkway?

4.  Finally create the character that uses this little house and let your mood established in #2 reflect in this person.

5.  Do this exercise one more time and switch your mood and character to something opposite of what you wrote about the first time.

Photo used with permission from MorgueFile

Crazy Days With NaNoWriMo

I’m over at Cindy Vine’s Blog today talking about my Crazy Days With NaNoWriMo.  Are you thinking about writing a novel in a month this year?  It is truly crazy, but a wonderful way to get in writing shape (I see those flabby adverbs).  Here is an excerpt or you can read the entire article at Cindy Vine’s Blog.

Don’t Give Up:  So there I was, on the last night of NaNoWriMo with 47,000 words and an important choir rehearsal to go to at my church.  Did I mention the end of November also coincides with the beginning of all the Christmas crazy scheduling?  It does.  I was ready to give up.  I could cling to the fact that I had done so much in one month, and I just felt like I was out of story to tell.  Other writers write books that are hundreds of thousands words long and someday I hope to be one, but for right now I am what I am.  I was trying to write but ~BLOCK~.  Then it hit me, probably as I drove  to choir.  Let’s hit somebody in the head with a frying pan!….

Read entire article

Creative Writing Prompt-Find the Mystery

I loved this picture!  Why? There are so many elements to work with in this scene.  At first glance you see an empty wheelchair but take a moment to think about this picture and the story it could be telling you to write.

1.  The wheelchair is empty.  Where is the occupant?  Did he or she fall out into the water?  Does this person need to be rescued?  Is this person rescuing someone else?

2.  What is that shiny thing near the edge of the pier?  Is it a light?  Is it an ipad?

3.  Who is the person who is casting the shadow.  What are they holding?  A gun?  A cell phone?  Could it be the person in the chair?  Could it be someone who would cause harm to the person in the chair?

Take this picture and turn it into a mystery. 

Be sure to reveal where this is taking place, a protagonist, an antagonist and a motivation.  For instance, this story is taking place on a hot day in Florida.

The protagonist is a really nice nurse who is pushing this person around in a wheelchair.

The antagonist is the person in the wheelchair who can really walk but is filing for an insurance settlement.

The nice nurse finds out and the antagonist must get rid of her so dumps her in the sea after she says she’s not much of a swimmer.

The shadow?  That’s the antagonist calling for another nurse, of course.

The twist?  The nice nurse is a competitive swimmer who is trying to start over after losing at the Olympics and is now secretly swimming to shore to get the police.

So fun!  Now write your own story.

Picture found on Morgue File

Only a few more days until…