Monday, April 26, 2010

Write it... Get it done


I think it must be a sign. I read a blog this morning about an anti-procrastination campaign and then after lunch, saw a tweet from Michael Nobbs that led to his blog about "Just Do It..."

Okay, I'm committed now. I'll finish the first draft of my book by the end of May and I'll report back to you on that...

If you want to become motivated too, read the following blog posts

From Michael Nobbs: http://bit.ly/cDf5vG

From Routine for Writers: http://bit.ly/bRFvOY

Get busy....

Book Review: More Health, Less Care by Peter J. Weiss, M.D.


More Health, Less Care How to Take Charge of Your Medical Care and Write Your Own Personal Prescription for Lilfelong Health
by Peter J. Weiss, M.D.
LaChance Publishing, New York
175 pages; $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-934184-24-0

Reviewed by: Lou Belcher, editor of FloridaBookNews.com

Who doesn't want more health and less care? We all do, but few of us know how to go about reaching that goal. The most common approach to taking care of ourselves is to go to the doctor when we think something is wrong and to follow the doctor's recommendations.

Dr. Peter J. Weiss, in More Health, Less Care, proposes an innovative plan. Rather than relying on only your doctor to tell you what to do, Dr. Weiss recommends patient involvement and a team approach. Joseph S. Alpert, MD, states in the foreword, "This short volume may well be one of the most valuable self-help books you will ever read." I agree.

The intent of the book is to "...show how and why traditional healthcare isn't working for many people..." and to "...describe a personal approach to improving your health that does work." This book does not tell you what to eat and how to exercise and it doesn't tell you what to do about every medical condition that you have. Rather, it gives readers something more important: a plan on how to design and implement a workable approach to becoming more actively involved in their health care.

Dr. Weiss guides readers from the shortfalls of our traditional healthcare system to an innovative approach to healthcare that is geared to where we are today. We can be our own best advocates when it comes to our health and this books tells us how. The introduction sums up this book the best when Dr. Weiss writes, "...the principles outlined in this book provide a general philosophy of problem-solving and self-improvement that can be applied to any condition, problem or situation in your life where you desire a positive change."

I highly recommend More Health, Less Care for the valuable information it provides in a clear, concise format with excellent examples. Tony Ferretti, PhD, clinical psychologist, states it up beautifully when he says, "Dr Weiss inspires us to take charge of our health and reap the benefits of our life-changing efforts. Experience the powerful effects of managing your own healthcare!"

My recommendation? Read this book. Your health may depend on it.

Available at www.amazon.com or visit Dr. Pete's website at http://www.drpeterjweiss.com/

Friday, April 23, 2010

Save your Big Bang Words for a Big Bang

The other day I heard a news interview where a man said the ash cloud was a tragedy because he might have to cancel his vacation to Europe. The word tragedy struck me a too dramatic for the situation. Canceling a vacation would certainly be a disappointment but not a tragedy.

When you call canceling your vacation a tragedy, what do you call a true tragedy such as a plane crash or car accident?

Be sure to think though where you are going with your story when choosing your "ultimate" words. For example, if your story is leading from

falling down, resulting in...

  • --breaking a fingernail (remedy... go to the manicurist), you might describe it as an annoyance.

whereas falling down, resulting in ...


  • --spraining your wrist (remedy... visit the ER for an x-ray and Ace bandage), you might describe as an unfortunate accident.
whereas falling down, resulting in...

  • --breaking arm (remedy... admitted to the hospital for surgery), you might described as an unfortunate accident.

whereas falling down, resulting in

  • --multiple breaks, bruises, cuts, and brain damage (remedy... surgery and ICU), you might describe as a tragedy.

Obviously, the word you choose to describe each example would be different. They are certainly not all tragedies.

Are you seeing the point here.? It's important when writing to save the Big Bang words like "tragedy" for the Big Bang events.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mixing it up ... Marketing your book

I guess we all know that the old style of book marketing is out. That print ads and book signings do not produce the sales that they used to.

I went to a talk by Bethany Brown from The Cadence Group this past Saturday and she confirmed that I'm on the right track with my marketing, but she added so much more to my To Do list and helped me organize my direction.

I'll be passing along a little of what I'm doing in my blog. I've talked for a long time about writing fiction and non-fiction. Now, I'll be interspersing posts about my adventures in marketing my book and what works and what doesn't. Maybe through the comments section, you'll feel free to share some of your successes and failures as well.

To start. You should always mention that you are the author of.... Putting that below your signature on emails is a start.

So, today, my assignment to myself is to go to my email accounts and add Author of Ready...Set...Tweet! A Speedy Guide to Twitter to my signatures. And don't forget to link it to where readers can purchase the books. I'm going to make it easy for people to buy my book ... that's the least I can do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Before You Write a Mystery: Main Character Development - Beyond Basics

Once you have the basics about your main character in place, including physical characteristics, likes, dislikes, skills, shortcomings, etc., you'll want to dig a little deeper into the background to make sure that you have sufficient details about him or her to carry the character through a series of books.

I suggest that you devise several of your secondary characters first. These are the three or four or more characters who will travel through life with your main character. To have them seem authentic to your readers, you'll need to devise the full scoop on these buddies as well.

Start by recording the basic characteristics about these characters and then move on to making a list of the major interactions each character has had over time with the main character. These are past events that you will be able to draw on as a writer as you write the current story. You need to make notes of these stories in sufficient detail that you will be able to weave them into whatever book in the series where they will do the most good.

The core group of sub-characters are very important to your story. Don't make them mirror images of your main character. They call them "characters" for a reason. They add spice to your story. Your readers learn their likes and dislikes over time and they learn how they will react in certain situations. As a consequence the reader feels right at home, because they can anticipate how these core characters will react.

It's important to put as much detail as possible into this back story. Don't be too anxious to write on the novel until you know you've done a thorough job on the biography of your main character and the biographies on the sub characters. When you're writing the fourth, fifth, sixth, etc., book in your series you'll be glad for all the detail and wonderful stories you wrote into your notes for later use.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Before You Write a Mystery (6): Main Character Development-Start with the Basics

Character development for any novel should be a meticulous process. If you're thinking of writing a series of mystery novels revolving around your main character, you need to give him/her an even deeper background.

In the first novel in your series, you will use certain details from your major character's past to get things going. In each subsequent novel in the series, you will need other details from the past to renew interest in your character and in his/her part of the story.

Character authenticity is a necessity. To ensure authenticity, you need to know the details of your character's life. For example, it's not enough to know that he hates cranberries. You must know why he hates cranberries. Maybe the answer is that they taste bitter to him or maybe he's allergic and almost died from eating cranberry bread. Knowing why, increases his authenticity.

Before you can compile the background stories you'll need to carry your character through a series of novels, you need to get the basics down. Here are some categories that need to be addressed:

physical characteristics of your character
likes
dislikes
skills
shortcomings
attributes
settings/locations (hometown, vacation spots, etc)
quirks
professions
hobbies
pets

Make a list for each of these categories and add other lists that may be appropriate for your character. We'll move on to how to go about looking into the past of your character and significant life events in the next session.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Day Off from Writing


Often my brother laughs at me because when I take a day off from writing, I usually end up writing anyway. What can I say... I'm addicted to it. Life just makes more sense to me on paper.

Today, however, I am going to take the day off. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Florida. I need to be outside replenishing the ol' vitamin D and enjoying the spring flowers. So, I'm not going to write today.... just as soon as I finish writing this, that is.

Wishing everyone a happy day filled with activities that will replenish your zeal for writing.

Now, time for a walk.......