Cheryl Bradshaw's Blog – April 2011 Archive (8)

Those Pesky Yet Important Red Herrings

A red herring by definition is a person that gives your readers a false trail to follow. They fall under the "whodunnit" category and can lead the reader to falsely believe someone else committed the crime while concealing the identity of the true villain. You cannot have a mystery without them.

When I was growing up I loved the game CLUE. And it serves as a good example of what a red herring is. Lots of suspects who all look guilty in some way. There was nothing as satisfying as…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 15, 2011 at 5:32am — No Comments

The Persnickety Protagonist in a Mystery or Thriller

The Persnickety Protagonist

Creating an interesting protagonist that characters will be invested in takes some time and research as well as a lot of thought to put them all together in one fun, exciting, messed up package.

One of the first things you need to decide is the profession they are in. Are they a…

Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 10, 2011 at 6:19am — No Comments

Hook, Line, and Sinker

About a year ago I opened up the first page of the novel I just started reading and it said:

It was one hell of a night to throw away a baby (Julia Spencer-Fleming)

And whoa nellie, I was hooked! And you want to know the interesting part? I had JUST read a how-to book that said never, never, ever, start a book with "IT". As a reader, I couldn't have disagreed more - I was completely wrapped up in this baby. Why was the baby thrown away, who's baby was it, where was it… Continue

Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 8, 2011 at 4:20am — No Comments

Writing the First Chapter

It's one of the most important if not THE most important part of the novel - the opening. Daunting to say the least! I remember when I first created my list of potential literary agents that I wanted to query, it was stressful to read that if the query passed muster, a lot of agents wanted to look at the first chapter or two only.

It's hard not to overthink the beginning because it's the first impression, and it really matters.

That being said, here are some tips I have…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 7, 2011 at 2:21am — 1 Comment

Back Door The Backstory

Behold, the info dump.

The backstory by definition: events that happened prior to the start of the plot, essentially the history, the characters past. You know...once upon a time in a land far, far away...

Newbies tend to want to start with a ton of backstory about their protagonist thinking that a big info dump is necessary for the reader in order to understand everything. But what is important to understand is that readers are smart. And they don't need all that info in…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 6, 2011 at 3:02am — 4 Comments

Book Review: A Touch of Deceit by Gary Ponzo

Today I am spotlighting Gary Ponzo. His latest novel is called A Touch of Deceit, and it's doing well in the Kindle market. Really well. One of the reasons for this is that I believe his book offers something a little different than many others out there, and the fact that he incorporates his Sicilian background into the story also helps.

The novel opens well with the line, "There was a time when Nick Bracco would walk down Gold Street late at night and young vandals would…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 5, 2011 at 1:48am — No Comments

Permissions: Use of Song Lyrics in Your Writing

You are at a pivotal point in your novel where it would be truly amazing if only you could add just a line or two or three from a song.

The question is, can you?

I have read a lot about this and I definitely have come across a lot of conflicting answers. That in and of itself is frustrating with a capital F! In my quest for the answer, I came across some legitimate resources to share with all of you.

To get started,…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 3, 2011 at 7:44am — 1 Comment

Tick Tock - Establishing a Timeline

One thing that works for me is to set up a timeline for the novel I am writing. I do this so that I don't lose track of how many days are passing by and that everything falls in line as it should.

For example, let's say you need something to happen on a specific day, if you have a timeline set up it will help keep things on track and ensure it falls in line as it should.

In my timeline, I include the day, day of the week and chapters and then I write a short description…


Added by Cheryl Bradshaw on April 1, 2011 at 2:24am — No Comments

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