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Posts by accordingtohoyt

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

How to Achieve

Every writer has an idea in their head of what it is to be successful, whether it is buying a supervillain level lair, with its own helicopter pad, or to write books like Xs who inspired me and helped me survive adolescence.

The one thing I will tell you is that you have to aim for something.  I’m not the first one to compare a writing career to a voyage in various ways. All careers, in fact, are voyages, I think. And as with any travel, you can take the scenic route, but if you don’t have an aim, you’ll never get anywhere.

So, what’s with the seven principles of highly confused writers?  I’ll tell you. Read more

Art and Artifact

I often say that writing isn’t an art, but a craft.  That might be a matter of opinion, and frankly also a matter of how my brain classifies the two.

Crafts are things you learn how to do, with known techniques, and which are repeatable. Art… is when in the middle of all that a muse comes down and gets her hand in, and the whole thing is transformed and magical.

I’m actually not being metaphorical. Or not precisely. The problem you see is telling when you’ve  practiced and trained to such an extent that what’s happening is just the result of that; and when you actually got that extra oomph added in.

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The Path Through The Dark Woods

First the good news: I’m almost done with Deep Pink.  I need to do a last thorough read, since I think I sound amnesiac through some of it.  As in “Why are you telling me this again? You already said it.”  This is the result of many, many interruptions in the editing.

Anyway, as the time to release it (and the books almost done shuffling impatiently behind it) out the door, Dan and I were discussing how to promote.

We have a lot of indie friends, so a lot of the ideas they used came up.  Only to have me break into a rousing (off key) rendition of “my way.” Read more

On Killing Your Darlings

A few days ago someone on facebook posted a thing asking how to write shorter.  What he actually meant, it turned out, was how to write short stories, which is not precisely the same.  And yes, there is a “normal way” people’s writing goes, length wise. More on that later.

Anyway, among the pieces of advice given were a lot of things that “everybody knows.”  Like “read over the story. If there’s anything you particularly like, cut it.” And “you must cut out every adjective and adverb.”

Like all standard pieces of advice like “write what you know”, and yes, perhaps because of a deffect in my character, I immediately go “Really?  Are you sure? But what if…”

The truth is, none of these are, or should be, right in every occasion. Read more

What Could Never Be

Last night I dreamed that I had two dogs, a corgi and a Dachshund.  And before you go “And” let me explain my TASTE runs to boxers and bulldogs, though I also like Labs. While I like Dachshunds if I had one, I’d also have a “larger, can walk and run with me even in winter in Colorado” dog. Also what we’re likely to have, if we do, is a hypoallergenic dog, because younger son is deathly allergic to dogs. And even if he doesn’t ever again live with us, we’d like him to visit.

This is of a piece with the dream the night before, when I dreamed I had two daughters, and was a little puzzled I’d never managed even one son. I mean, I loved my daughters, but it felt somehow wrong. As it should since in real life I have two sons and no daughters.

So, you’ll ask, what does this have to do with writing (and reading)?  I’ll tell you. Read more

It’s Way Too Early

It’s way too early. I’m way too tired. We had to do something late last night and I’ve slept all of five hours.  I not only couldn’t cue the post, I’ve been trying not to fall asleep again, while sitting here trying to think what to do.

And it occurs to me I have duties.  I’m in this bundle at Story Bundle, you see. And it’s a pretty good buy.

It ends tomorrow, so now is the time to check it out.  More below.
And I’m going back to bed.

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