Writers Plot's Blog (214)

Here’s the Truth: Staying Published is like Spending Twenty Years on Survivor

or I'm Getting Tired of Swimming Back to the Island

(Warning: Content May Be Harmful to Unpublished Writers)*

Posted by Kate Flora

I appreciated Elizabeth Becka’s honest post last week because, for most us, there are too many reasons not to tell the truth. Most of those reasons are obvious: we don’t tell the truth because this publishing world we inhabit is a very small one, and we don’t want to say or do anything which might have a negative impact on our… Continue

Added by Writers Plot on February 20, 2008 at 10:30pm — No Comments

Who Am I?

Posted by Sheila Connolly

When you're trying to get your name out there in cyberspace, as we struggling writers are told we must do, you learn very quickly that you are not unique. Picking web domain names, for example, brings that home quickly. I was lucky to snag my own name for my primary site, but my alter ego Sarah Atwell was already taken (by a real estate agent in California) so I had to tweak it.

For those of you who haven't discovered the joys of Google…


Added by Writers Plot on February 11, 2008 at 9:09pm — No Comments

Coming Attractions

Please join us on Saturday, February 16, when author Elizabeth Becka joins Writers Plot to discuss what happens when the second book in your mystery series is rejected by your publisher--and the snowball effect that can have on a writer's career.

Don't miss this intriguing--and rather frightening--post.

Cover_unknown_means Elizabeth Becka is the author of TRACE…


Added by Writers Plot on February 10, 2008 at 1:30am — No Comments

The Always-Asked Question

By Guest Blogger Karen Harper

Escape the winter blahs! A $7 getaway to romance and thrills in sunny south Florida!

OK, I didn’t mean to get carried away with hype. I really do have something a bit deeper to say about my new book and the craft/art of writing in general.

Readers (and my own 86-year-old mother!) often ask me where I get ideas for my novels. I guess they think, with a 25-year writing career and 46 novels to my name, I’ll run out of plots…


Added by Writers Plot on February 9, 2008 at 1:30am — No Comments

ALAN JACKSON (not the country star) AND NICK SANTORA (not the alleged mob boss) YOU ARE MY ROCK STARS. (call me)

posted by Leann Sweeney

Ever have one of those moments when you're all alone, you're watching the tube and a couple things come together that just make you grin like a donkey with a mouth full of prickers? That's what happened to me as I watched this week's episode of Murder by the Book on TruTV. Formerly Court TV. Those of you who've been to Wrtiers Plot before might remember how much I love Court TV, might recall a post I did on the Phil Spector trial. I think that…


Added by Writers Plot on February 8, 2008 at 10:36pm — No Comments

"911. What is your emergency?"

posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken

Reading Kate's blog about riding around on police patrols, I have been struck by the difference between a small city like Portland and a much smaller town like Littleton.Littleton_map

Every state probably has a Littleton, but if you're keeping track, I'm talking Massachusetts here.

We have a weekly newspaper called…


Added by Writers Plot on February 8, 2008 at 6:14am — 1 Comment

Please, Ms. Medical Examiner, It's Dark Here in the Morgue. Can You Turn on the Lights?

Posted by Kate Flora

When I was a much younger writer, I thought writers sat at their desks and made things up. I never realized how much research a writer—especially a mystery writer whose work is going fall under the coolly critical and educated eye of the passionate mystery fan—needed to do in order to get things right.

That was many years ago, back before I spent ten years in the unpublished writer's corner. Back before I made my first tentative phone call to set up…


Added by Writers Plot on February 7, 2008 at 1:15am — No Comments

What I did for love, er research

Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

Saturday I arrived at the Craft Antique Co-Op and Grammy G's cafe to do some down-and-dirty research. See, in my next book one of my characters wants to open a lunchtime cafe. My friend Gail owns Grammy G's--a lunchtime cafe. So on Saturday I turned up to "observe" what goes on in such an establishment.

I arrived with big round eyes and ready to take on…


Added by Writers Plot on February 6, 2008 at 12:26am — No Comments

Frank and Maud

Posted by Sheila Connolly

Lorraine's post last week started me thinking about how I choose what my characters look like. The thing is, I don't have a single answer. And for some of them, I have only a vague idea what they look like, even when I've written an entire book about them.

My first heroine was easy: she looked like Jodie Foster. In contrast, her love interest in that (shelved) book I never did quite visualize. I think he was Mister Average,…


Added by Writers Plot on February 4, 2008 at 10:39pm — No Comments

Of writers and librarian ....

By Guest Blogger Lesa Holstine

I love authors. I’ve always said they’re my rock stars. I’d cross the street to see an author any day before a movie star or celebrity, with the exception of George Clooney. (Then my husband and I are racing each other across the road.) I admire the way authors use words and develop ideas and plots. And, nowadays, I admire their skill in public speaking and self-promotion.

As a public librarian, I feel that authors and librarians have a…


Added by Writers Plot on February 3, 2008 at 12:08am — No Comments

Things that go bump

posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken

I need a break from winter. It's not even February yet and I've already had it with snow and ice and cold weather. And we're not even having all that bad a winter in New England, at least so far.

Snow means many things to many people--the weathercasters hereabouts positively gleam and gloat and bounce on their toesies when a storm is forecast. They whip everyone into a frenzy starting days ahead of time, plot their…


Added by Writers Plot on February 1, 2008 at 12:40am — No Comments


by Guest Blogger Kate Flora

When I was a much younger writer, I used to think that what we did was sit at our desks, in our rooms, and make things up. Fueled by a lifetime as a voracious reader, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that a writer could create an imaginary world and people it with imagined characters, and it would feel so real and compelling that I could get swept into that world and become lost in story. I never realized how much research a…


Added by Writers Plot on January 31, 2008 at 3:14am — No Comments

A Face In The Crowd

Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

I've been told that I don't give enough description of my characters. There're a couple of reasons for this. One, depending on the book's point of view, it's difficult to get that information out without resorting to the old, Tricia looked into the mirror, admiring her short-cropped, brown hair, her pert nose, and luscious lips. Too bad her blackened eyes ruined that pretty picture of herself.

Sometimes I really haven't got a…


Added by Writers Plot on January 29, 2008 at 11:36pm — 1 Comment


Posted by Sheila Connolly

I'm sitting here feeling guilty because I had planned/hoped/promised to go somewhere and do something this afternoon, and instead I'm sitting at my desk working. I'm doing research for my next book, which involves lovely things like poisons and symptoms of poisoning, and what these poisons are used for (when not to kill someone), and how quickly they act. Fun way to spend an afternoon, no?

The thing is, the event I'm not attending…


Added by Writers Plot on January 28, 2008 at 10:34pm — No Comments

A researching we will go!

by Guest Blogger Serita Stevens

“We’re going to meet at Gino’s East on Wabash and Dearborn,” one character says to another.

What is wrong with that statement? If someone knows what you are saying is blatantly false the reader will close the book and probably never read your work again. Everyone makes mistakes but most research is easily done and correctable.

Anyone living in Chicago or having been to the Windy City will know the famous Pizzeria Gino’s East; they…


Added by Writers Plot on January 27, 2008 at 5:55am — 2 Comments

What Does She Want? What's Stopping Her?

posted by Leann Sweeney

The title questions are important because they actually have to do with my writing process, but they seem particularly relevant this morning as I write this blog very late. What did I want? To write a blog for today. What was stopping me? THE PUKING VIRUS. I haven't had such a miserable stomachache since I worked with sick children. They were always passing along the latest and greatest puking virus. And I was always cleaning the puke up. But I digress.…


Added by Writers Plot on January 26, 2008 at 1:37am — No Comments

Is prose really deathless?

posted by Jeanne Munn Bracken

I have to present something to my critique group in two days. I've known for 12 days that this was coming up, and I'm still dithering. Am I writing? Well, sort of. I'm still researching updates for the childhood cancer book. I know perfectly well that I can research this puppy until the cows come home, whenever that is, and I will still find updates. At some point I just have to tweak the draft, weave in the updates, and get the monkey off…


Added by Writers Plot on January 24, 2008 at 10:50pm — No Comments

Gifts and surprises

by Guest Blogger Kate Flora

In one of my favorite children's books, Sir Kevin of Devon, a young boy takes up a sword and goes off to rid the kingdom of a dragon that is terrorizing the people. Some of the observers tut tut and shake their heads at the folly of a child imagining he might be effective, but in the end, it is the boy, and not some powerful knight, who destroys the dragon and saves the kingdom. The book is written in rhyme, and at the end, when the…


Added by Writers Plot on January 24, 2008 at 12:47am — No Comments

Running out of time...

Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett

Tree Today is January 22nd and my Christmas tree is still up.

There, I've confessed. They say confession is supposed to be good for the soul, but this confession just makes me feel inadequate.

Believe me, I've never still had the tree up this late in the season. (Or am I just early for Christmas 2008?) My excuse? Being…


Added by Writers Plot on January 23, 2008 at 12:30am — No Comments


Posted by Sheila Connolly (caution: long post!)

In case you haven't heard, my first book is coming out in five weeks (eek! five? I'm not ready!). Therefore I am in the throes of promotion. Or rather, I'm trying to figure out what promotion is and what I can do about it. (I know, some of you out there are going to yell at me because I was supposed to start this the day I had a contract in hand. Or maybe earlier, like when I first started writing. Well, I did do some things right,…


Added by Writers Plot on January 21, 2008 at 10:46pm — No Comments

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