How Do You Like Your Beginnings?

  Every story has a beginning, middle and end.

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Every writer has a strong point that they want to bring out each of the spots.

Beginnings can give you a back story or give you a prelude to what’s going to happen. This is where the tone of the story is set. Happy or sad, scary or romantic, educational or humorous; the first few pages will let the read know what they are in for.
The middle of the book has a purpose that is fundamental to bringing the beginning and the end to a close that will please the reader. This section of the book is going to fill you with details to help you find your way through the story. Questions will be asked here and backgrounds will be filled with details.
And the ending is going to bring it all together: be it happy or sad there will be a conclusion. Here the reader will find answers to questions the author has raised in earlier chapters. This can also be the spot where the author hints at details that will need to be resolved in a sequel book.

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As a reader there certain types of books that you are going to gravitate to more than others.

My question is do you like a hard sell our soft sell?
Is the book that you’re anxious to start reading going to start softly and gently, working its way into the story? Or is it a type of book is going to start out with something drastic and keep you hooked all the way to the end? In other words is your book going to start “Once upon a time” or it’s a type of book that’s going to start with the words “Suddenly it happened”.

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No matter how your story begins it’s what the writer does once you’re into the story that matters.

So, sit back and enjoy the book you just picked up and happy reading.

Rituals of Writing

Every job has a set of tasks that need to be done to complete the job to your satisfaction. You have a goal to accomplish, often with a time frame in mind. You need to have your work tools ready at hand to be used, you need to be at the right location, and you might have to have some help lined up in case you run into any problems. Once you have all this lined up, you are ready to start. Hopefully all will go as you planned and your results will be everything you hoped for.
 thQA9LL7NIFor an author, writing is a job just like any other job. Our tools are just a little different, that’s all. We need our writing medium, be it paper or computer. Pens are always on hand for jotting notes as we compose. Some of us may use more technical items like a voice recorder or even a voice computer program where we can speak our words out loud and they “magically” appear on the screen.
But the most important tool that we need is our imagination. Somehow our thought have to be reigned in and put into some kind of logical order so that we can express them to others. There are some authors out there who can just sit down and start composing coherent thoughts and get their story easily down.
Then there are others, like me, who need to go through a warm up processes.
Some may do a quick bit of exercise to get the juices flowing. Or maybe a spot of peaceful meditation before they pick up their pen. For me, I need to make sure that all of my other day-to-day tasks are either done or out of sight to insure that I am not distracted.

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I think that if you asked most authors, you would find that there are certain items that they need to have within easy reach to help them with their work. It might be a cup  of hot coffee, or a glass of wine. A plate of healthy snacks might need to be on desk next to them. After all writing can be hard work, and we need to keep up our strength. My must have for writing time is a cup of coffee or a large ice tea (depending on the weather) and a dish of M&Ms (preferably dark chocolate).
Then there is the atmosphere. For some there needs to be quite, no outside distractions.  There are those who write only in a strict office setting in front of a desk, in a comfortable office chair.   Other’s thrive in chaos, and get their best work done amongst the sounds of TV & kids. Most seem to need some kind of background music. My taste run towards new age or instrumentals with nature sounds in the background. I actually do my best writing in my car, parked along the river, or on a towel by the beach.

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But not matter what the tools, what the setting, what necessary fortifications, or even what the atmosphere; the author has a job to do.  That job is to create a story that will keep the reader’s attention and give enjoyment for as long as they read along.

Big Words, Little Words

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Writers have a job to do, and words are our tools.  Words that can create a world away from our day-to-day life, words that can teach us, words that will make us laugh or cry, words that will make us wonder.

As a writer it is not just about stringing random words together.  We have a story to tell and we need to understand our reader to insure that they enjoy what we are creating with our pen (or keyboard).  Personally, when I am reading a cozy mystery (like the ones I write), a romantic comedy or “Chick Lit” I do not want to be bombarded with scientific mumbo-jumbo while I’m trying to enjoy the author’s words.  I want the words of the story to match the mood of the book, and so do most readers.

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On the other had, there are times when details and technical terms are a necessary part of the story.  Would you believe in a medical drama that used the words boo-boo?  Of course not.  The words need to not only tell the story, but build the suspense and the back story and these details make the difference.  Research or life experiences will give the author the confidence to weave a story that will keep you interested from the opening page to the ending page.

No matter what type of book you read, the type of words will set the mood for your enjoyment.  From the mother reading  her child’s favorite book, to the adult catching some private time out in the garden with the newest block buster; the words matter.6d563d64f75ad087e4fe43e1957876c2

So big words (medical suspense) to little words (children’s books) just read….

Remember Dr. Seuss has sold millions of books all based on rhyming little words! 

I’ve made the investment!

The last few days have been interesting & exciting, exasperating & time-consuming, fun and rewarding…
You see I decided to comment to this thing called writing. I took what money I have earned from the sales of my first book (Murder for Neptune’s Trident) and the little rainy day stash I had put aside and invested into a much-needed and updated laptop. So with my cats by my side (or on my lap or across the keyboard) I have spent hours getting my files uploaded and getting myself acquainted with windows 8.1. I have to admit there were a couple of times that I was ready to put the whole thing back in the box and go back to my desktop! But now that I am a little more familiar with getting around the new program, I really like it.
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So now that I feel properly equipped to tackle this new adventure I decided on, I need to set some goals and work towards meeting them.  It is so easy to just sit at the computer and get lost on the many social networks, vast amounts of interesting articles out there on the web, music to discover, crazy & silly videos to watch on YouTube; the list goes on and so do the distractions.  With goals, I hope to see results as I work on the next book in my series.

Some writers set goals of working so many hours per day, other set goals of writing some many words per day.  Some prefer to work a few days on just research for their book, other write and research at the same time.  I know of writers that work on more than one project at a time, keeping to a written outline that will take them step by step through their book.  I am not sure what direction I will settle on, but I think that I will be working on a combination of styles until I find what works the best for me.

My adventure continues, and I hope you will follow along with me as I learn more about myself, my writing and my laptop.  You’ve heard the expression “boys and their toys”-for me it will be “writer’s and their tools”!