Category character development

Rise of the Machines – The Call Center

Our world revolves around the customer. The customer is our greatest asset. The customer is always right. We go the extra mile for our customer. We provide legendary customer service. Seeing a theme here yet? Based on this week’s experience, these customer service promises were nothing but cave paintings scribbled on a rock wall by a […]

Why I Don’t Post About Politics

There are a few topics I try to avoid on social media. Religion, Sex and Politics–the holy trifecta of hot button issues. They are intertwined so deeply that you can’t tug on one, without pulling a thread on the other. But recent events in the political arena (arena as in circus) left me scratching my […]

Killing Time (At Airports)

I’ve been in a couple airports over the last few weeks, LAX, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Sacramento. Airports, as it turns out, are great places for people watching to pass the time. And there always seems to be time… I do the whole people watching thing and scoop up character details for new stories. You […]

You Want Me To Pin What?

Old Guys and Social Media are like sauerkraut and vanilla wafers. An unholy pairing at best and the thought of the two, together, is enough to give you the willies. Let me back up a moment. People of a certain age (there now, that’s a bit softer than slapping the geezer label on my forehead) […]

A Voice On The Perfect Character

A perfect character? Have you ever read a story and something just seems, a bit off?  There is a decent story line, snappy dialogue and perfect characters.  Ah, there’s the rub – perfection. No one is perfect.  Ever.  Not even a Disney character. I mean think about it.  Prince What’s-His-Face, is riding around in the forest […]

As Common as a Tramp Stamp in a Trailer Park

Working in and around prisons for years tends to change your outlook on things – and people.  And, usually for good reason. Couple that little tidbit of learned behavior with the sick and twisted brain wave patterns of a mystery writer and all bets are off.  Any snippet of a conversation overheard in a coffee shop, […]

It’s All About The Backstory

The Backstory Everything has its own unique story, a history, that “what made you who you are” element.  When you sit in a coffee shop and listen to the chatter, the unspoken backstory is the thing that makes you want to know more about the people.  It influences the way we see them, the way […]

Readers Know Best

You release your hand-fed, carefully crafted book out into the wilds and you’re bound to get feedback.  Reviews, critiques and comments from readers come in different flavors – Loved it, Hated it, or the worst feedback of all, the sound of crickets. By the time your book hits the streets, at least a dozen sets […]

The Stuff That Binds

You need something to bind your story together. No I’m not talking about adding more fiber to your literary diet.  What I’m talking about is the thing that makes your story stand out in a field of similar work.  There are a finite number of story lines and when you filter down to stories within […]

Location, Location, Location

Location, location, location – that’s what the old real estate sales slogan proclaims.  The advice applies to more than selling your spinster aunt’s crumbling brownstone.  Location in writing matters too. When you’re really into a book and the words paint a vibrant image of where the story is happening, the location becomes a character.  The […]