This week, we've stepped away from our normal format because we're on a massive road trip from Maine to Georgia to Florida and back again.
So much time in the car is making our brains a bit - a bit - a bit - broken?
Have a listen. There's a special guest. She's eleven. She's got opinions just like her dad.
Apologies for the car noises. That's because we're in the car. Come join us.
I just published a super cool adult novel. Gasp! I know! Adult! That’s so …. grown-up?
Rosie Jones, small town reporter and single mom, is looking forward to her first quiet Maine winter with her young daughter, Lily. After a disastrous first marriage, she’s made a whole new life and new identities for her and her little girl. Rosie is more than ready for a winter of cookies, sledding, stories about planning board meetings, and trying not to fall in like with the local police sergeant, Seamus Kelley.
But after her car is tampered with and crashes into Sgt. Kelley’s cruiser during a blizzard, her quiet new world spirals out of control and back into the danger she thought she’d left behind. One of her new friends is murdered. She herself has been poisoned and she finds a list of anagrams on her dead friend’s floor.
As the killer strikes again, it’s obvious that the women of Bar Harbor aren’t safe. Despite the blizzard and her struggle to keep her new identity a secret, Rosie sets out to make sure no more women die. With the help of the handsome but injured Sgt. Kelley and the town’s firefighters, it’s up to Rosie to stop the murderer before he strikes again.
You can order it here.
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
This week we're revisiting the idea of bad guys in our lives and in our writing because lots of us actually have bad people in our writing and our lives. These antagonists run the gamut from people who make us scream at their Facebook posts of Fakeness to actually physically hurting us and our community. Politics is full of making the other party the bad guy. People at work tend to make other employees or bosses the bad guys. We make bad guys everywhere. Sometimes we make entire groups of people the bad guy like this week on Facebook a guy who manages an inn had a post that said, The Facebook Post That Started It All I have a couple staying with us, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The woman came to tell me how she loves the Inn, but has been treated horribly by so many locals. Being told "go home" and have had obscenities shouted at her and her husband. I've seen posts in this group and others from people discouraging tourism. My question is.. .Do we want our town to be known as openly hostile towards visitors? Is this how the level of discourse is supposed to be?Facebook person And the responses were all over the locals. People saying locals were the bad guys. People accepting and expecting that those tourists' side of the story was right and the locals were the bad guys. This might be true. It might not. It's like everyone just took one story, without verifying it, accepted it ...
So, last month Carrie was on an airplane, where she was trapped on a Philadelphia runway for awhile. Okay, hours. And someone kept expelling gas out the rectum. In Shaun language that means fart. Anyways, they were all trapped there, smelling this smell, and it was bad. Not bad enough for them to cancel the flight, which has allegedly happened in the past, but it was bad. We're not talking about the nice kind of dutch ovens from Le Creuset where you make phenomenal meals. We're talking about the kind where you're in bed with someone and you make a bad smell and then yank up the covers and trap your loved one in there so they must smell the smell and they can't escape. What does this have to do with writing? Dutch ovens are all about being trapped in a situation you'd rather not be in, right? That tension and need to escape is a big part of writing, especially writing thrillers. Writing Tension Tip #1 Writers need tension in their story, but you don't want to kill your reader with that tension. Your tension has a goal and a purpose. It's not just thrown in there for no reason. It's like when you're in a fight. You don't throw a punch without a purpose. You want to knock someone down. Tension is like that. But if you let it all loose at once (think bad gas) and then trap someone in there with it? ...
There are lots of fancy and complicated ways to figure out story structure. There’s Save the Cat, the Snowflake Method, the Five-Act, the Four-Act, the Six-Act. But sometimes all of those complicated methods bog some of our writer brains down. So today we’re going to give you a super quick guide to story structure for your novel. You ready? Step One: Name it. This does not have to be its forever name, just a way for you to find the computer file. It can be THE EVIL NOVEL THAT HAS NO NAME RIGHT NOW. That’s fine. Step Two: Find a hero. Name them. Put them in a jam or a bad place. Maybe they suck at making commitments? Maybe they need a promotion. Maybe they live under the stairs. Give them a problem. Step Three: Think about what has to occur in order for them to ovary up enough to try to deal with that problem. Step Four: Now decide what is going to change once that hero gets proactive and tries to deal with that problem or once they take action. Step Five: Are things different for our little hero now? How? Step Six Okay. Something else needs to happen so that the story takes a turn or a veer to the right or left. What makes it go in another direction? Step Seven Make things worse for our poor hero. How are they worse? Step Eight Okay. If this is a positive change arc where the hero ends up in a better place, what is it that inspires them to make a big effort and go for that win? Step Nine What is the big win (positive change arc) or the big loss (negative change arc) There you go, how to figure out your novel’s basic structure in ...