Tag Archive - writing tips

Give Your Readers a Ride They’ll Never Forget

Today’s guest post is by suspense author Erika Mitchell:

When I was ten, a family friend took me to Disneyland. As we stood in line for Space Mountain, he leaned over to me and said, “You’ve gotta be careful on this ride. The ceilings are so low, they’ll take your head clean off if you sit up too straight.”

As soon as my butt hit the hard metal seat, I felt myself break out into a nervous sweat. The darkness up ahead was a patch of night sky without any stars in it, and as the ride jerked into motion I scooted down as low into my seat as I could and held on tight to the metal lap bar.

In pure darkness, I felt the car going up, slowly, interminably, just long enough to make me regret ever having gotten on the stupid ride in the first place. When we reached the top, I felt us teeter on the edge just long enough to grab half a gasp and then we were plunging down into Stygian black at what felt like a thousand miles an hour. Before I had a chance to recover from the plunge, the car was bucking left and right in a series of tight turns I couldn’t see coming, the thrill magnified and intensified by the very fact that I couldn’t anticipate anything up ahead. By the time I got off the ride, head still attached to my shoulders, I was hooked. I rode Space Mountain five times that day. Continue Reading…

A Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Sitting on the Bench

Today’s post is part of a series on professionals sharing tips and expertise in order to help novelists convey accuracy in their fiction. If you are writing any scenes that include doctors, lawyers (posts here and here), investigators, or law enforcement officials, be sure to study these posts (and print them out for reference).

The following guest post is from Judge S. V. Brown, a former attorney who has been on the bench in California for three years:

If you are writing legal fiction, chances are you will have a scene in a courtroom. If you choose to include such a scene, don’t forget that the judge does not have to be a boring fringe character who issues rulings without emotion.

A courtroom is an emotionally charged environment, and judges are not immune to it. Give your judge depth and character and think about how your judge would respond in the scenarios you create. I have been a superior court judge a little over three years, and here are a few insights I can share about sitting on the bench.

Judges Are Not Know-It-Alls

When you see a judge, it’s easy to think, “This is the person with all the answers.” While judges have special training and access to resources, there is no special endowment of wisdom you get when you put on that robe.  Continue Reading…

5 How-To Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Today’s guest post is written by historical fiction author Kat Flannery:

When an author sits down to write a novel, there are many things she must consider. A writer does not simply sit down and pen a Pulitzer Prize novel. It is never that easy, and despite what you may have been told, writing a novel takes determination, perseverance, and a tough skin.

The writing process can become long and tedious with many bumps along the way. There is a long list a writer needs to keep in mind before beginning any novel: plot, subplots, characterization, pacing, backstory, conflict, and resolution. Continue Reading…

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