Tag: writing process

writing process

What is your superpower?

Do you have superpowers? How about the characters in your mystery novels? I was reading mystery author and fabulous agent Paula Munier’s recent blog post on Career Authors, titled GO FOR BROKE: 6 Ways to Make Your Story Stand Out. One of her suggestions was that the best protagonists have superpowers, “that is, something that sets them apart from your run-of-the-mill characters. They don’t have to fly faster than a speeding bullet, but they should have some quality, ability, or talent that makes them smarter, braver, wiser, something more than the rest of us.”  That got me thinking about my protagonist, Maggie Dove, and what her superpowers might be. She’s a person of faith, and I think that’s a huge superpower. I hope that gives her courage, and hope. She’s also a good listener and because of that, she’s able to get people to talk. (I do sort of wish she could fly though.) When I asked my fellow mystery-writing Miss Demeanors, I discovered their characters had a wealth of superpowers!   Emilya Naymark Self delusion! Ha! Seriously, though, my protagonist, Laney Bird, is excellent at being an undercover because she can act. She can transform her looks and behavior […]

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Visiting A Christmas Carol

I’ve lived in New York all my life, but up until about a week ago, I had no idea that the original version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was in New York City, in the Morgan Library, which is a brief walk from Grand Central.

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I did it!

This past November I’ve been on a journey to write 50,000 words in one month, and on Sunday, I hit my goal. Got a certificate and this cute little badge. I was very proud of myself because I had some monumental distractions to overcome. First of all, I have a new little granddaughter who is absorbing my brain. Then, we went on a family vacation to Cape Cod. Then there were various hair-raising visits to the doctor, all of which went well, but occupied a certain amount of mental space. Then there was Crime Bake and Thanksgiving. Oh, and on Nov. 7, my third Maggie Dove mystery, Maggie Dove and the Lost Brides, was published. So the fact that I wrote any words is remarkable. Not all 50,000 of the words I wrote are fabulous. I suspect that by the time I’m done, I’ll wind up using about 10,000 of them. But even the words I cut will have helped me to get to where I needed to go. I know what the book is about now! I know who the main characters are and what’s worrying them. I’ve got a pretty good idea of how they talk. Best of […]

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What does it mean to be a Miss Demeanor?

Finding a good illustration for a post about friendship is not easy, but, as always, the trees led the way. What better way to show what the Miss Demeanors mean to me than to show this picture of three strong and beautiful trees. (In a perfect world there would be seven trees in the picture, but oh well.) The Miss Demeanors have now been a formal group for about five years. Our membership has shifted around, but most of us are connected through our fabulous agent, Paula Munier. It’s been an eventful few years, filled with publishing contracts and awards and disastrous news and discouragement and oh, a pandemic. Through it all we’ve dragged each other along. When I was recently in the hospital, my fellow Miss Demeanors sent me a plant that is actually the size of a tree. Several of us were at the recent Crime Bake conference (and missed those who weren’t there) and we later went out to dinner and I was thinking about what a pleasure it has been to be a Miss Demeanor these past few years, and how much I enjoy everyone’s company. So my question of the week is, what does it […]

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Death at Greenway: Lori Rader-Day

I was honored to receive an advance copy of Death at Greenway annotated by the author Lori Rader-Day, which I won in a charity auction. I made myself read it slowly, savoring the experience of having the insight of the author as I read her fabulous story about Agatha Christie’s holiday home. Lori generously answered a few of my questions to share with Miss Demeanor’s readers.

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Stories, stories, everywhere

Recently I spent twelve days in the hospital. One thing I discovered is that there is actually a limit to the number of Law & Orders you can watch. But, when I turned off the TV, I discovered myself awash in some of the most profound and moving stories I’d ever heard.

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The Misses Procrastinate. Or Not.

Procrastination and writing seem to go together (though not for all of us. Read on.), and as a result many writers have very clean closets, fridges, and bathrooms, and their friends/family are often nicely outfitted with hand-knit thingies. Staring at a screen or a notebook can be so intimidating, the critic’s voice so snarky, that I, for one, will invent any project to free me from the angst. And I like writing!

So, I asked the Misses if this was a thing for them.

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