Peg Herring's Blog (752)

Writing What You Like

I had lunch with a writer friend the other day and we got into a discussion about what we write. I'm about to be published in historical romance when I really love writing mysteries. She's published in cozies and wants to start a series with a paranormal detective. Conventional wisdom says to write what you know, but there's also the consideration of what will sell versus what you really love to write.

My friend's written two series, one she devised herself and one she was asked to…


Added by Peg Herring on July 26, 2007 at 9:40pm — No Comments

Mistakes Writers Make-con't

In addition to long asides that take the reader out of the story, there is another practice all too common in modern cozy writing that drives me crazy. Because of "themed" mysteries, we all have to learn about a craft, a job, or a hobby as we follow clues to whodunnit. That's not terrible, but authors should be careful not to let their theme overshadow the plot. There's a tendency to get so detailed that the text reads like an instruction manual rather than a story, and in the end I get the…


Added by Peg Herring on July 25, 2007 at 9:49pm — No Comments


The hardest thing for me about the publishing business is waiting. You send queries to agents and you wait while they wade through the stacks of queries they receive each day. You get an agent and he/she sends out MS packages to publishers and you wait while some assistant reads it, passes it on to the next person up, and so on. A publisher nibbles, and you wait while editors confer and decide. They take the book and you wait while an editor goes at it to make it fit their guidelines. You…


Added by Peg Herring on July 20, 2007 at 9:18pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #6

As I crouched in the trees wondering how to get the drop on Rocky and his stone-cold buddies, an incident began that might define poetic justice. Things happened so fast I hardly had time to comprehend what I was seeing.

Rocky's two bodyguards were bored, uncomfortable, and obviously not into hunting. There must have been an incident before I got there, and the pot was simmering. Only a few minutes after I arrived, the Asian said something in a low, gravelly voice, something I didn't…


Added by Peg Herring on July 19, 2007 at 10:02pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #5

Added by Peg Herring on July 19, 2007 at 6:30am — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #4

When I stepped off the plane in Savannah, it was hot enough to turn a guy to lava. I made my way to the spa where I'd been told I could find "Hard-hearted" Hannah Granitelli, a nightclub chanteuse and sometime girlfriend of my target, Rocky Cahoney.

I found Hannah in the atrium, taking some sort of beauty treatment. She looked me over at a distance and made her decision. Her face turned stony as I approached. "I got nothing to say to the likes of you," was her greeting.



Added by Peg Herring on July 17, 2007 at 10:55pm — No Comments

Blogging Rocks #3

My search for Rocco Cahoney led me first to Detroit, where I met the oldest criminal ever, Adam Antini. He sat in the shady corner of a park, feeding the mourning doves and pondering his life's misdeeds. "Before I sink into the ground," he told me, "I want to make things right."

"Good," I told him. "You can go a long way toward that if you tell me where to find Cahoney."

"If I help you, I won't last out the week," Antini said, "but it'll be worth it to clear my conscience. I'm…


Added by Peg Herring on July 17, 2007 at 10:06pm — No Comments

Short Post-It's a Holiday!

Just a quiz today and the answer to yesterday's. Cleopatra, of course. This one is more difficult, and you have to be a student of history...

Accident or Spousal Abuse?…


Added by Peg Herring on July 4, 2007 at 11:20pm — No Comments

Finding Good Readers

One of the things I've found hardest in writing is getting someone to read my work with a critical yet encouraging eye. First problem: I was for years an English teacher in our small town, so most people think if I wrote it, it must be okay. Not true, of course, but many would never "dare" to criticize and are therefore out of the running as first readers.

Then there are the people who would love a chance to axe something I've written, just to prove that they're smarter than I am. Not…


Added by Peg Herring on July 3, 2007 at 2:51am — No Comments

A Simple One, But...

I used to teach high school, and that's a job where you see a range of writing skills, from pretty darned good to downright awful. One mistake often made but easily corrected is starting sentences with the same word over and over. Particularly in passages where things are happening to a protag, it's difficult to avoid repeating "He" or "She" or in the case of first-person narrative, "I" as the first word of a sentence. This isn't limited to student writing. I've seen some big-name authors,… Continue

Added by Peg Herring on June 27, 2007 at 11:22pm — No Comments

Favorite words

Almost everyone has "catch phrases" of conversation, repeated words or groups of words that we unconsciously use as fillers. As a speech teacher, I can't tell you how many "Ums" and "You knows" I've drawn to the attention of novice speakers. Those are easy to identify, but in writing we tend toward certain words, too. Sometimes they're qualifiers ("it seemed as if"), sometimes modifiers ("very"), sometimes just a word or phrase that somehow makes the writer comfortable. Mine is "just", and I…


Added by Peg Herring on June 26, 2007 at 10:15pm — 1 Comment

Joining in

It seems to take a lot of writing to be a writer these days. Post on a blog, on several chat sites, and several forums. My posts tend to be things I've picked up having to do with communication and publishing. Stop back often and see if my tips help you!

Added by Peg Herring on June 26, 2007 at 7:46am — No Comments

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