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Help! Theirs a Typoo in My Book!

It never fails. You go through your manuscript. You catch the big problems (the six-foot tall bad guy becomes five-foot-one three chapters later), fix the continuity problem (She got married two books ago. What’s a fiancé doing here?), have eagle-eyed copy-editors track down the lingering hints of older sentences and verbs that had switched tenses mid-paragraph.

Your formatted text is perfect. You upload the book. All is well. You download the book. You open to the first chapter. . .

Arrrrrgh! Read more

Writing A Cozy – What is this thing?

I’m sure I covered “what is a cozy mystery” in a lot of other … slants, before.

But you see, I was trying to find a good book on how to write cozies, and thought I had found one.  When it got into how to design the ecology for your cozy, I thought “What the actual?” and decided to do this series.

So, welcome to “Writing a Cozy” — and we’ll start by defining what a cozy is, because every time I mention cozies people think it means something like “Books that make me feel cozy.”  Um… no. It’s a subgenre of mystery. Read more

A Temporary Reprieve

The chaos and madness in Hong Kong is interfering with writing. Shocking, I know. Anyway, Mrs. Dave is home, and we’re all adjusting. I’ve been sleeping poorly, but everything else is better, which is nice. Wee Dave and Wee-er Dave are ecstatic to have Mommy home. And we’re charging breakneck into the busiest period of increasingly full years. I’m not ready. I’m getting awfully tired of being the guy in nominal charge, too. The word mines are pretty dark, right now, too. I’m getting some choice nuggets out, but I’d rather expand my operations, so to speak. It’s just not happening.

But you aren’t here to listen to me whine. I have fiction, though not as much as I want. I’m still hitting some snags with the current thing. I knew exactly where I was going up to a certain point. Now I’ve hit that, and I keep getting ideas. As any writer knows, ideas are a two edged sharp thingy, which can cut you instead of what you want to cut. I also may have written myself into a bit of a corner. I’m still evaluating. I’ll be honest: I’m kicking that can down the road a bit. I’ll be back next week with more. I appreciate your forbearance.

What happens when you are avoiding NaNoWriMo

Okay, I’ll admit it. I started November off with the best of intentions. I wasn’t going to officially do NaNoWriMo. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to write. I needed to finish the next book in the Honor & Duty series. Then there was the next Eerie Side of the Tracks series to work on. And the next fantasy novel. Well, you get the idea. Lots to work on and not time to start a new project. However, I wanted to hold myself accountable and pledged to do the 50k words, just not on a single project. Then came the end of last week and Myrtle the Evil Muse infected me with a new story, one she demanded needed my attention NOW! For once, however, she let me off with only 5k words (mainly plot notes) and a cover mock-up. Read more

Greeny-yallery

“A greeny-yallery,/Grosvenor Gallery, /foot-in-the-grave young man” Read more

The name’s the thing

I know there are authors who come up with a character name, then fill out a character sheet like they’re doing a D&D game, and proceed from there unto the plot and story. I am not one of those people.

I know there are authors who put tons of research into their names, and crafting them carefully to match the world.

I know there are authors who have multiple baby-naming books or sites, and cruise through them until they get something that matches the character already in their heads.

Me? I often end up using placeholder names, of something that caught my eye, until I finally figure out (you know, about 25,000 words in) what the character’s actual name is. And then comes the find & replace joy. (Fun fact. Find and replace treats Seth, Seth’s, Seths & Seth’ as 4 separate words, and will only replace one at a time. So make sure you look for potential misspellings and possessive cases. And plurals. Or your (hopefully beta) readers will go “Who’s this?”)

How do you handle names? What resources do you use?

Getting the Science Right

I’m tired. How tired am I? Well, I had a moment yesterday where I didn’t look closely enough as I wrote and scheduled a post and I have put my planned MGC post up on my blog. In my defense, the backend of wordpress sites looks remarkably similar. However! I will extrapolate out of my post there, on science giving us a window into the past and how that can spark a story, into something that has come up a few times recently. Namely: refreshing knowledge of math and science for those who have been out of school for a while, or have developed a new interest in it. As writers of science fiction, I would hope that this would be of interest to you, although it’s hard to say where to start, precisely. That you will have to determine! Read more