Friday, August 14, 2009

Writing Links

One of the things I LOVE about Twitter and connecting with other writers is checking out the links they share. Naturally, it's sorta like separating the chaff from the wheat but quite often, there's a very cool treasure.

For example, StoryFix. This is an excellent place to hang out. There is so much info, you'll just have to pull up a chair and settle in. There's a series on structure along with all sorts of tips and techniques.

And...Men with Pens. Here's another website FULL of tips, techniques and just plain good advice.

Give these sites a visit, let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

THR3E by Ted Dekker

Back Cover Blurb:

Kevin Parson is alone in his car when his cell phone rings. A man calling himself Slater offers a deadly ultimatum: You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you're driving will blow sky high. The the phone goes dead.

Kevin panics. Who could make such a demand? What sin? Yet not sure what else to do, Kevin swerves into a parking lot and runs from his car. Just in case.

Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets his world on a collision course with madness. And that's only the first move in this deadly game.

Publishers Weekly says "An almost perfect blend of suspense, mystery and horror."

And I totally, 150% agree. I found Thr3e mostly by accident yesterday and then sat up until almost 1 a.m. and finished reading. There are so many things I love about this book,the thing that sealed the deal and made me a fan is that I never saw the end coming. Not many books surprise me and but Thr3e kept me in my seat and held me until the very end. And even after I'd put it aside, my thoughts still returned to the characters, the plot and the great twist. (My daughter will be reading it soon - I can hardly wait to have someone to talk about this book with.)

I love the characters and how "real" they are. The plot never became predictable and the twist...AWESOME!!!

My one concern when I considered purchasing Thr3e was how much or how preachy did he get. Afterall, I found Thr3e at a Christian book store. No worries though...the religious message blended into the story, was never preachy or condemning and didn't over power the story either. A perfect balance, in my opinion.

If you enjoy Stephen King or Dean Koontz, then give Ted Dekker a try. You won't be sorry.

You can read an excerpt here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Midnight Snack

Since I'm not aware of a market for dialogue only pieces and this was only done for fun anyway, I've decided to share my dialogue contest entry with y'all.
Hope you enjoy.

“Finally, it‘s about time you got here. What’d you tell Bill?”

“Just that you and Dave had a fight, that you were upset and needed someone to talk to. I told him not to wait up for me, that I might stay over. Of course, he was practically asleep on the couch before I left so that’s where he’ll probably be in the morning. He’s such a bore lately. Where’d Dave go?”

“He didn’t go anywhere. Come on. I’ll show you. “

“Oh god! Is he dead?”

“Yeah, he’s dead. But I warned him. I told him what would happen if he ever cheated on me. He asked for it. You know, he didn’t even lie about it. Said she made him feel like a real man. Well, she won’t be making him feel anything ever again, I can tell you that.”

“Did he tell you who she is? I mean, do you know who he was seeing?”

“I didn’t even ask. Right now though, we got to get rid of him. I saw a couple gators when I jogged over Possum Creek yesterday. We can dump him there. It’ll be days before they find him, if they ever do. Wrap the shower curtain around him. I’ve got the truck backed up to the deck. We can just slide him right in.”

“What are you going to tell everyone? Sooner or later someone will come looking for him.”

“Yeah, all his buddies down at Joe’s. I’ll just say we had a fight, he left and didn‘t come home. It’s almost the truth. The Johnson‘s will confirm the fight and that he left.”

“But he did come home. What about that?”

“They were asleep by then. A 747 could land in their yard and not wake them. Besides, he parked in the back when he came home. Thanks to the privacy fence Dave insisted on building, they can’t see back there. Now, let’s take out the trash.”

“God, he’s heavy. How are we going ever going to get him over the bridge?”

“I’ve got a plan. Don’t worry. Follow me in your car.”

“Alright, I’ll meet you there.”

“Don’t wimp out on me. I need you. You don’t want me going to jail do you?”

“Of course not. You’re my best friend. I won’t let you down.”


“Hold onto the shower curtain. I’ll ease the truck away and he’ll slide right out. Ready?”

“Go real slow. Oh god, oh god, oh god. He’s out.”

“Now to get him over the bridge. Here gator, gator. Time for a midnight snack. Grab his feet, pull him up and over the rail. Leave the shower curtain, I’ll get rid of that later. There’s a construction site not far from here. They won’t notice it in the dumpster. Good, now help me shove him over.”

“I’m going to have nightmares for weeks.”

“No, you won’t. I mean, you only helped a friend. It’s not like it’s your fault. Oh wait, it is partly your fault.”

“What do you mean?”

“Did you really think you’d get away with it? That I wouldn’t figure it out? You’ve been wearing that same cheap perfume since sixth grade. When Dave came home from his business trip last month, his clothes reeked of it.”

“Come on, I’m not the only person who wears Temptation.”

“True, but you were gone the same weekend. I called. Thought a girl’s night out would be fun. Bill told me about your business trip.”

“I was in meetings all weekend. Honest. It really was a business trip.”

“Maybe. I couldn’t prove it one way or the other so I started following Dave. The Blue Moon hotel on Tuesday and Thursdays at lunch. Then there was the day y’all didn’t even make it to the hotel. Last Wednesday wasn’t it? I always hated doing it in the front seat but you seemed to be enjoying it.”

“I didn’t mean to… I couldn’t help it. And he said it was over, that he was filing for divorce.”

“It doesn’t matter. You were my best friend. There’s no excuse. No matter what he said.”

“What are you going to tell Bill? He knows I went to your place. He’ll expect me back in the morning.”

“You never made it to my place. Just cause you said I called, doesn’t mean I did. Besides, once he finds out about you and Dave, he’ll be more angry than concerned.”

“Please… You don’t have to do this.”

“Yeah I do. You were a good friend but it‘s too late. Now, you’re dessert for the gators. Bye Pam.”
“I’m sor…”

“Look out below. Open up boys, this one will make you feel like a real gator.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy weekend...

This week started out on a very good note. The winner of the Reading Writer's Dynamic Dialogue Contest was announced and while I didn't win, I did get another Honorable Mention. I'm calling it a "tie for second" since she only picks one winner. The winning piece is excellent so check it out. For tips on what an editor is looking for in a piece, read the judge's opinion. You can check out the archives for back issues of their ezine, THE VERB, and read other winners and her comments.

And, check out the current contest prompt. These are fun to do and a great way to practice your craft.

In the novel writing news department, I've added almost 6k this week. Wednesday I had to be away from home and the puter all day so I only wrote four days this week but still did well. I'm excited about the way things are going. I hope others will be also.

Here's a cool link to check. On Sunday's they post the "Best of Twitter" links.

Want to track your word count? You can add a progress meter like mine to your website too. These are fairly easy to work with and it's really nice to see the words add up. You can find yours at StoryToolz.

Now, go write something!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coming up for air...

Seems I've been missing around here lately but today, I'm coming up for air and reporting in.

As you know, or maybe you don't, I've put myself on an internet diet. Meaning,no internet until I get my "First 500" words written each day. This is working so well. It's reminded me there are more important things than reading the latest Twitter or Facebook update. And you know what, the world hasn't come to an end just because I've neglected the internet a bit.

I still read several agent and author blogs though not on as a regular basis as before but I've made my writing a priority and that's what I needed to do.

One thing I've noticed in the years I've been learning my craft is the more I write, the better I get. The more I write, the less I struggle with my inner editor. And the more I write, the easier the words flow.

I once heard that we need to write a million words of dreck before the good stuff comes along. And while I'm not sure I'd agree with a million, I do know the more I write, the more I make writing something important, the better the writing is.

One thing that helps me it to have a general idea of what I need to write for the day. I'm betting it'll help you too. So, have a couple scene ideas in mind. Maybe ponder them the night before or set aside a day to plan your writing week.

I saw a quote about writing inspiration a while back that really struck home. We can't wait around and hope for inspiration to find us. We need to be busy and working and serious about our craft. The inspiration will be there we just have to tap into it.

So, my challenge for you is to make writing a priority. Carve out a niche of time where you can write without being interrupted. Take whatever measures you need, even if you have to get up a few minutes earlier or stay up later than normal. Sure, the first couple days will be rough, but it'll be well worth it. Make an appointment with your writing instrument of choice and keep it. Don't wait to be inspired.

Now, what are you still doing here? Go write!!!