Category character in writing

SHU Basics for the Crime Writer

Recently, I attended ThrillerFest in New York and the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas. Both great venues for talking the craft of writing and picking up a few tips on making your crime fiction true to life. During conversations at both of these very different gatherings, the topic of solitary confinement and […]

Power Your Rewrite

To Rewrite, Rewire or Rip Out… In the process of making a stab at rewriting my latest work in progress, I had an epiphany, of sorts. Well, not a lightning bolt to the temple kind of moment, but more of the rub your socks on the carpet kind of jolt. Enough to get my attention, […]

Character Interventions

Addictions and Interventions They come in different packages. In a dream, I find myself entering a uncomfortable, but familar room, a windowless basement. In this dank space, ten other slack-jawed, baggy-eyed people sit in a circle and stare at one another, each waiting for the other to break the silence. Their faces turn as I take […]

Do You Suffer From Revision Brain Syndrome?

Revision Brain Syndrome (RBS) RBS is destined to be added to the list of serious psychological maladies in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition (DSM V) as a condition plaguing millions of writers. (cue Sarah McLachlan sad puppy music here) Self-diagnosis is difficult and I’ll warn you now to stay […]

Writers and Serial Killers

Writers and Serial Killers have more in common than you think. I binge watched (yes, I should have been writing – consider me scolded) the first season of Hannibal this week, something that I’d put off for a while. The Thomas Harris novels, Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal were gripping and the movie […]

All The Voices in My Head

The voices are telling me to do things… From time to time, I’ve mentioned the voices that spawn from the murky creative mist to bestow their wisdom upon me. Whether I need this paranormal assistance isn’t really the question. I’ll take any inspiration a Muse wants to toss my way. The voices come through when […]

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, […]

A Voice on Outline Driven Writing

Outlining versus Free Form writing is a hotly contested debate in author circles.  I know, I know, the subject doesn’t carry the weight of  discussing a solution to violence in Afghanistan, or searching for a missing jetliner in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  But the fact that writers seem willing to spill blood over […]

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 […]