Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Her First Day (Part 1)

She studied her face in the mirror. Her porcelain skin was flawless. It was the first day of her new job and not a blemish in sight. Normally, her nerves would have gotten the best of her and she would have seen the stress on her face. Today, there was nothing. She was excited to start this new adventure in her already illustrious career. She hoped the day went just as smoothly as the interview process. She finished getting ready. Her black pinstriped pencil skirt paired perfectly with her white three quarter sleeve button up blouse and matching jacket. She accented the entire outfit with her red pumps, ruby earrings and the ruby solitaire necklace her mother gave to her when she landed her first job as a lawyer. The slight punch of color made for a perfect ensemble. She checked herself over in the full length mirror one last time before grabbing her briefcase and heading out the door. She didn't want to be late her first day on the job.
She drove to her new office. She parked her car in her newly designated spot in the parking garage. Checking in with security, she made her way to her new office. The elevator ride to the fifty second floor seemed to take forever. There were intermittent stops along the way for extra passengers getting on and off. No one spoke to her. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get their office and start their day. She relished the quite as the doors finally opened up to her floor. She was greeted by the same woman who she saw before her interview. Her warm, friendly smile lit up the room.
“Good morning, Ms. Herring.”
“Good morning.”
“Welcome to our firm. Please let me show you to your office.”
“Thank you.”
“Follow me,” she said rising from her seat. They walked down the hall to the back corner office. It was small, but it would suit her needs just fine. The oak desk sat at the center of the room. There were books shelves on both sides lined with law books. She sat her briefcase down on her desk as she walked around to sit in her chair. She turned her computer on as her phone began ringing.
“Good morning, Melissa Herring’s office. How may I help you?”
“Good morning, Ms. Herring.”
“Good morning.”
“This is Mr. Holland. Can I see you in my office for a moment? We need to consult on a case.”
“Sure, I will be right there,” she said standing up from her seat. She could see a man across the office watching her. He waved at her. “I am going to guess that is you waving at me?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Okay, I will be right there,” she said hanging up the phone and grabbing her legal pad and pen. Making her way across the office, she noticed his striking features. His piercing blue eyes were the first thing that grabbed her attention as she entered his large office.


To be continued………

Friday, August 22, 2014

***Exclusive Sneak Peek of Her Tale of Two Lovers (unedited)***

Annie was a dark haired hazel eyed beautiful girl. She lived in a very small town that really had nothing for her to do in terms of the things she liked. Annie was and always had been a lover of music in general. She never discriminated against a genre. As far as she was concerned all music deserved an audience. Music to her was a form of one’s self-expression. The more people heard the songs the more they could relate them into their own lives. Everyone has their form of expressing themselves. For Annie, it was poetry. She had days where all she did was write poetry to express the hurt she had felt from her past and to move on from it. Annie had always been a shy girl that never seen herself as everyone else did. Being the shy girl that she was, Annie was a keep to herself kind of girl until one day she embarked on a whole new journey in her life. She decided to actually leave the confines of her happy home and try something completely out of the ordinary, especially for a girl like her. She would take long drives on the weekend to see live music. That became her favorite thing to do from the moment she stepped foot in that place and seen her first local band. That is where she met him. The guy she gave her heart to and he never knew. Jake was the lead singer in a band that she fell in love with for their music before she noticed him. Jake was a fair haired, blue eyed guy, full of tattoos and piercings. He was the complete opposite of Annie, but always the guy she fell for. For almost a year, she did nothing but think about him. How much she wanted to be with him, how much she just wanted him to love her like she did him. He flirted and so did she. Neither one of them made that first move. Then one day during a music festival she had been drinking and had decided she would tell him her feelings. That is the day he walked in with her, Stella, the girl he had chosen to date. Stella was the complete opposite of Annie. She was beautiful and seemed to be really nice. Annie never looked at herself as beautiful in anyway shape or form. She was the “sweet” girl that everyone seemed to like once they got to know her. Annie was the girl that always had her guard up from things stemming from her past tryst. But when she let you in, she gave you her all. For better or worse, it was who she was.
            The same night that Jake showed up with Stella was the same night Annie met Markus. Markus was the bass player in another local band that Annie had seen before. Markus was like Annie in a lot of ways, more ways than the two of them could have ever imagined. They both had the same shy qualities and both seemed to be guarded. They had a small group of people who they could trust and those are the people who they kept close to their hearts. They quickly learned a lot about one another and became friends. Annie enjoyed going to see Markus’s band play as well as still seeing Jake’s band. Markus had chocolate hair and dark mocha eyes and just a hint of tattoos and piercings. Their first conversation lasted a good two hours. They talked about everything from the different types of music they liked to movies they both enjoyed. They both missed their home states. Annie was from Pennsylvania and Markus was from Wisconsin. They both now resided in Florida where the local music scene was prominent with musicians that wrote their own material and just wanted to be heard. There were very few outlets that would allow these musicians to be in the spotlight and showcase their heart felt songs. The ones that did are where Annie would run into Markus the most. They both shared a love and appreciation for the local music scene. Annie might not have been a musician but she knew talent when she heard and seen it. Markus being a hard working musician would go out as often as he could to show his support and understanding to his fellow musician. When Markus wasn't on stage and just hanging out is when they did most of their talking. Both would have smiles that could light up the room. Their group of friends soon noticed a connection between the two of them that they hadn't seen either of them have with anyone else. Annie and Markus began dating. Annie always enjoyed walking arm in arm with Markus so she could feel his bicep.  At the end of their dates, when he would pull her in close and wrap his arms around her for a tight hug, she never wanted it end.  They had been dating for two weeks, and tonight was the night she decided they would be together.  When Markus picked her up for their date, he was wearing a pair of charcoal grey slacks with a tight-fitting black t-shirt that showed off all his upper body muscle definition.  Annie could hardly contain herself.  She was in a red knee-length dress that defined every one of her curves.  He reached to give her a kiss and hug.
“You look sensational,” he said.
“Thank you, so do you,” she replied, smiling.
He kissed her with more passion than he ever had before.  She didn't want him to stop.  She pulled him in for another kiss and this time she wasn't stopping there.  She reached and pulled his shirt off.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered, breathing heavily.
He kissed her again, reaching behind to unzip her dress.  He pulled her dress part of the way down and held it there, restraining her hands.  Her mind raced.  She was getting more excited at the possibility of her being tied up and him having his way with her.  She kissed him more fiercely and he responded with a harder kiss of his own, he let her dress drop to the floor.  He picked her up and carried her to the bedroom, all the while still kissing her.  He laid her on the bed, where she undid her bra and then she reached to undo his belt.  She slipped it off and he took it from her.  Slowly raising both her arms above her head, he looped the belt and slipped both her wrists through it and tied the other end to the bedpost.  When he leaned over her she could smell the sweet scent of his cologne, she took a deep breath. She was growing more excited as the moments passed.  He leaned over and kissed her hard, sliding his hand over her breasts and down her stomach.  She arched her back in anticipation of what was coming next.  He slipped his hand into her panties and she moaned.  He could feel her wetness at his slightest touch.  He slowly slipped off her panties and his pants.  He knelt between her legs and kissed and bit gently on her inner thigh.  She moaned loudly and he smiled to himself.  He ran his tongue up her clitoris just to taste her, and she quivered.  He kissed her navel and worked his way to her nipples.  She wanted to run her fingers through his hair and was even more turned on that she couldn't.  He gently licked and bit each nipple.  Her breath caught in her chest and she gasped.  He continued to work his way up to her neck.  He kissed her neck and nibbled her earlobe.  She was on the verge of exploding. 
He finally entered her, and that was all it took to send her over the edge.  Her entire body shook with pleasure.  He smiled and continued on slowly, determined to drive her to that point again.  She wrapped her legs around him and moved her hips at a faster pace.  Without a word spoken between them, he got the message and matched his strides with hers.  Within moments they both reached the point of ecstasy.  This time she moaned loudly with her release and he let out a deep, guttural sigh.  He kissed her deeply and reached up to release her wrists from their restraint.  She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him again. 
“I wasn't sure if you would be into that,” he said.
“I had no idea that you were into that kind of thing.  It was a complete turn on for me,” she said.
“I could tell.  Maybe, we can try something a little more in-depth next time,” he said with a sly smile and a wink.  She smiled as her mind raced with the possibilities of just where this could go. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Dive

While I may not have won the flash fiction contest I entered.  I am still very proud of my story. We are given a prompt, aka a painting or picture to get inspiration from. Here is what I wrote:


Carolina had been on 50 dives. To her, solo dives where more exciting. Diving off the coast of Florida allowed her to see so many wonders. The beautiful, rusty, orange coral peeking up through the floor of the crystal, blue waters and the many different colors of fish swimming all around her always gave her joy. She found a cave and began to explore it.

There was a small opening in the cave above her. She could see the water above with bright white of the sky. A shadow passed overhead.

Curiosity and fear took over. She was afraid the shadow may have been a shark. What she found was something completely different. A boat of pirates had stopped just past where the cave was. She could see them diving one by one into the ocean and headed her way. She swam back toward the cave, swimming deeper into the confines of the cave than she had before. She came upon what she believed the pirates were after. There was jewelry hidden in the cave. She heard their approach. There was only one way in or out of the cave. Panic set in. She tried to hide in the shadow of the water. One of the men had an underwater light. He shined it around the cave, spotting her. One of the men swam toward her. Her back was against the wall. She kicked and flailed her arms wildly. He smashed her head against the back wall. All went dark.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Shattered Mirror

She lived alone in apartment 3c. It was a small quaint place that she decorated herself. It consisted of 2 rooms. An open spaced living room, dining room and kitchen and a bedroom with an attached bathroom. It was not in the best part of the city, but she felt safe there. She lived in an artsy neighborhood. She loved the eccentric people that she was surrounded by. She could step outside her door and see a street performance taking place or find someone painting a portrait on the street. There were singers who would walk the street, gathering crowds wherever they went. 

She would purchase paintings from the local artist to decorate her apartment. She had found one painting that she fell completely in love with the moment she saw it. It was a fall scene. It reminded her of her childhood in the country. Living in the city, she did not see the colors of fall anymore. She had placed the painting behind the couch on the east facing wall of her apartment. Across from the painting was a mirror. She placed the mirror there so she could see the painting even when she was not looking directly at it. It was not until she sat down on the couch after a long day at work that she noticed the shattered mirror. 

There were two questions that came to her mind. Was she alone in her tiny apartment and how fast could she make it to the door?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sara's Way

It was Halloween night when one sleepy little neighborhood went from being quite and peaceful to disturbed. Sara was 12 years old that fall. It was going to be her first Halloween she got to walk the neighborhood with her friends. She could not wait. After dinner, she put her costume on. She was going as Bat Girl. She donned the black outfit with her cape and mask. Her three friends showed up just as she ran down the stairs.

“Sara, take a jacket with you,” her mother said.

“Aw, but mom,” Sara whined.

“It is going to get cold out and you just got over a cold.You don’t need another.”

“Okay,” Sara said. She put her jacket on. She left the house after giving her mother a brief hug. Walking along through the neighborhood the kids stopped at every house with a light on.

“Let’s go to the next neighborhood,” said Heather. “I heard they give out better candy than what we get here.”

“Okay,” said Sara. They cut through the woods to the next neighborhood. Hitting as many houses as they could before the rain began to fall.The girls ran back through the woods. Sara dropped her pillowcase of candy. She stopped to pick it up, falling behind. When she looked up, her friends were gone. Sara walked along the woods. She came to a tree she thought she saw before.  She kept walking until she reached a clearing. She did not remember the clearing before. She began to panic. She saw a light up in the distance. She walked toward it, passing by an oak tree where he was waiting for her. She only got a few more feet before two strong arms grabbed her from behind. One hand went over her mouth to stifle her scream, the other arm around her waist lifting her off the ground. Again, she dropped her pillowcase of candy. The man carried her to the house. Opening the screen door with his foot, he carried her inside. Taking her to the back room by the kitchen, he tied her to the bedpost. Sara struggled, trying her best to get away. She kicked at him and screamed. No one could hear her. He went to the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. He came back with a grin across his chapped lips, revealing gnarled, and blackened teeth. He sliced off her costume and into her stomach, pulling out her intestines. Sara screamed at the beginning, but stopped after only a few seconds. He like the sounds of their screams.

When she did not come home, her mother went looking for her.  Her friends could not remember her following them home. A search party was formed. They found Sara’s mangled, cutup body in the clearing of the woods. A cross was put there in her memory. That clearing is now known as Sara’s Way. They never found the man who mutilated her. It is said he still lives in that town. Children of that neighborhood are warned to never go into Sara’s Way. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Becoming Traditionally Published

  Every writer wants to have his or her book published by a traditional publisher, but it is harder than you would think. You may or may not need an agent, depending on the publisher. As previously mentioned, Simon and Schuster requires your manuscript to be submitted by an agent. Most publishing companies will open their submissions a couple times of year to people who want to submit their manuscripts without an agent. There are steps you can follow to get your book published.

                First, you must read. You have to read a lot. Not only do you have to read the books that are your inspiration for writing, but you want to read everything you can. If you want to write fiction, read nonfiction. If you are writing nonfiction, read fiction. Read classical works, read books from other cultures and times, read poetry. Read books that come from a foreign language. Read books you have already read. This will help you to understand how books are written.

                Secondly, you have to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you writing? What type of book are you attempting to write? Do you want it to be a popular book? Will you be proud of the book you write? Are doing this as a competition with a friend? Do you crave the attention you could receive from writing a book? Are you looking to change the world with your book? Would you be satisfied with a small audience? Are you in it for the fame, money, or respect? Is there something that you really believe in? What are the types of books you enjoy reading? Are you attempting to create a book that is a complete disconnect from what you read? For instance, if you love horror novels and are attempting to write a romance novel, is this the right way to go?   You have to be honest with yourself as to why you are writing. If you choose not to be, then your work will come off as false. Any good reader, including editors, will spot this.

                Thirdly, you will need to delve further into the publishing industry than the advice being given here. Attempt to become an intern for a publishing company or do some volunteer reading. Try to meet and chat with someone who is in the industry. Attempt to work in the publishing industry. Work in a bookstore. Learn as much as you can about the industry. Your chances of succeeding in it will be better.

                Fourthly, make sure to do your research. Knowing the market for the book you are going to write is very important. This is an important step if you are writing a nonfiction book. You will have to know how the topic is covered for the book you are writing.  You will have to see how well the topic is covered and if there is new information about the topic that causes the other books to be outdated. Visiting the library and bookstores will give you a chance to see how books are formatted and how they are priced. You will also be able to see if every area of the topic has been covered or if just the board spectrum of the topic has been covered. This research can give you a chance to cover a certain aspect of the topic that could bring in an audience. When you are writing a fiction book, market research is a bit more difficult. You can see what publishers are publishing the fiction book you are planning on writing.

                Fifthly, take the time to actually write the book. There are writers that will just write a chapter and attempt to land a publishing deal. That only works if you are an already established writer or you are one of the leading authorities on your subject matter. This is one of the best things you can do. Writing the book will help you learn more about your subject of choice. You will be able to understand your topic more. Your book may take a direction you did not plan on, which is great. You have to be open to allowing this to happen. You will just want to write the book until you get to the end to see where it goes. Do not try and go over it and polish it up. At this stage, never worry if it is good enough, it will not be. Do not worry about formatting it or the length of it. Writing a book is all about making it work, not the number of words you can write. Toward the middle of the book, you may feel like you have painted yourself into a corner, you may think the book will not be good enough, or that you may never finish it. You will need to push through the book. When you are almost to the end, the excitement of being done will kick in. When you are writing a fiction novel, the best thing you can do is to start with a few scenes and fill in the gaps between them. Not finishing the book is the most common reason for failing.

                Sixthly, always take the time to rewrite. Your first draft is just that, a draft. Once you have written the book, you will have to put it aside for a while and then look at it with critical eyes. Change the point of view of the book, move chapters around, eliminate characters. Never get the sense of satisfaction too early. Always get a friend or two to look at it before you send it in. If you have a feeling that something may be wrong with your manuscript, it most likely is. Take the time to revise it. Your first few pages should capture an editor’s attention as well as a reader’s attention. Take the time to be sure that is the case.

                Seventhly, after you are completely satisfied with your manuscript it is time for you to do additional market research. If you took the time to go to the bookstores and libraries, then you have already identified publishers who may be interested in the book you have written. It is time to double check your findings. See if the author’s of books with a similar subject matter thank publishers and agents in his or her acknowledgements. The reference desk in your library should have the Literary Marketplace. This will give you the names, addresses, and phone numbers you want.

                Eighthly, write a query letter. A short query letter is the best kind to write. The goal of the letter is to find out if the publisher is looking for a book like the one you have written. You will also want to know if they are going to take the time to actually read your manuscript. Will you need an agent? Not necessarily, if you go with a smaller publishing company. If you are looking to get into a bigger named company, then you are going to need an agent. Agents are also good at looking over contracts and being sure everything is in order. If you are going to opt for finding an agent, do not go with one who charges a reading fee. Before you commit to sending your manuscript, always right a query letter. A publisher will turn you away, if your book is too similar to one of the titles they already have, if they have too many manuscripts to look at, or if they have shifted the focus of what they are seeking. Always keep your letter to one page. In the letter, explain who you are, what your book is about, and the potential market for the book.

                Ninthly, if you have received a positive response from a publisher, then submit your manuscript with a brief cover letter. Included in the letter should be why you think the publisher is right for your manuscript. The publishing company may request a synopsis and a sample of your characters. Keep this as brief as you possibly can. Always make sure your manuscript is double spaced and the pages are numbered. Never send a self addressed stamped envelope, always ask them just to recycle the pages. Never send your photo, but always include your address.
 
Tenthly, always wait two to three months before you politely request a progress report on your manuscript. Never mistake a slow response as interest in your manuscript. The main thing to remember is to not give up. Most people will drop out after a few months, never ever drop it. Keep writing and you will get ahead.  Remember to improve your writing skills, write, write, and write some more.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nonfiction Books

Not only do I write fiction books, but what you may not know is I started in nonfiction.

Bulk Cooking: Everything You Need to Know:

Synopsis: Bulk Cooking: Everything You Need to Know will teach you about bulk cooking, when it started, and how it is slowly becoming popular once again. It will give you tips on how to properly care for the bulk quantities of meat you are buying. It gives you a list of appliances, utensils, and storage items you may need when you are adopting this way of cooking. It will give you recipes and show you how to make them in bulk along with storing them and reheating them. It goes through every meal of the day including snacks and appetizers. It even gives you helpful charts in the appendix of the book to help you in adapting your own recipes to this cooking style. 


Employee Body Language Revealed: How to Predict Behavior in the Workplace by Reading and Understanding Body Language

Synopsis: Only 7 percent of communication is verbal and 38 percent is vocal (pitch, speed, volume, tone of voice). The largest chunk then, 55 percent, is visual (body language, eye contact). People form 90 percent of their opinion about you within the first 90 seconds of meeting you. Understanding body language is a skill that can enhance your life. This understanding can be a plus in the workplace. You can know what an employee or co-worker thinks and feels by examining their subconscious body language. And, like the world's best communicators, you can have strong body language that reflects confidence, competence, and charisma.
This groundbreaking new book will make you an expert on body language. You will have the ability to read people s minds. Would you like to know if a co-worker is interested or attracted to you, when an employee or co-worker is lying or telling the truth, how to make instant friends, and persuade and influence others?
This book contains proven techniques that will make people, including employers and co-workers, like you and trust you. You can use your body language to your advantage by transmitting only the messages you want people to receive. This specialized book will demonstrate step by step how to use body language to your benefit in the workplace and in everyday situations.

The Great Wolf Lodge Travel Guide 2011

Synopsis: The Great Wolf Lodge is one of the best vacation destinations for any child or adult. The lodges are indoor water parks. Most of the lodges have Magiquest which is an indoor interactive game which puts the kids in the game using a magic wand that brings hundreds of books, treasure chests, trees, animals, pictures, and much more to life.
This book is a comprehensive travel guide for your family getaway with water park attractions for every age. Don't miss our themed restaurants, interactive arcades, full service spas for adults and kids, fitness centers, and so much more including Magiquest at most locations.

This book covers not only what's inside of each Great Wolf location but the local area attractions around each location and the places around the hotel to eat and save money.




Two Romantic, Two Suspenseful Teasers

You can purchase Two Romantic, Two Suspenseful here:

Book Country

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Synopsis: Two Romantic, Two Suspenseful has four very different short stories.The Former Student- A shy girl returns to her school to see the teacher she has always had a crush on still there. When fantasy becomes a reality for them both, the teacher becomes the student.The Stolen Child A mother chooses to ignore the warning given to her by a strange and mysterious woman. When her child is taken, it becomes a race against time to rescue the child alive.My Death- A woman chooses to put her career first, but at what consequence. Witness the accounts of a break up gone terribly wrong. Dancing the Night Away - Two people, who have been hurt countless times, finally find love in the unlikeliest of places.






The Paynes Prairie Murder Teasers

The Paynes Prairie Murders is still being written, but you can add it to your Goodreads TBR list.

Synopsis: There is a serial killer on the loose. Women have been disappearing for years in the two states he resides in. How many murders has he committed? It’s up to officers Peter Michaels and Dave Weston of the Ocala, Florida police department to figure that out. They will need to enlist the help of New York Detective Jacob Mason to find out as much as they can about this man and his many victims. Will they catch him before he does it again? Can they break him into telling them just what he has done?


























The Stable Boy

You can purchase The Stable Boy here:

Amazon 
Barnes & Noble
Etsy


















Writing Short Stories

        If you want to be a writer, but you are unsure if writing a novel is the best way to go, then begin by writing a short story or a series of short stories. There are many people who would rather read a short story than an entire novel. There have also been novels that are a series of short stories. These stories can be turned into movies, TV series, and may spawn longer novels. Some of the most famous short story writers include Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Updike, Stephen King, and O. Henry. You could end up in the same categories as these writers. Taking steps to create a short story is essential, if you want to end up like the famous writers.

First, you have to study the language. Studying the art of writing is the best way to begin. Read short stories and novels. Read current short stories and classics. The classics will teach you more about writing than the current stories. Keep a journal; write letters, not just emails to friends and families. You can even take writing courses. All of these things will help you hone your skills as a writer and teach you the art of writing.

Secondly, you have to have an idea of the story you wish to write. A skilled writer can come up with an idea in a flash. Inspiration can come from anywhere. For instance, in Stephen King’s new novel, Full Dark, No Stars, he got his inspiration for one story watching a truck driver change a tire. Another story’s inspiration came from walking along the road and seeing a road side stand. A new writer needs to figure out how to take those moments of inspiration and build upon them. For instance, say there was an important time in your life that you want to write about, perhaps, a vacation. What is it about that vacation that you want to write about? How can you expand on it to make it capture the reader? You have to take you initial concept and expand on it. 

For instance, say you want to write about your trip to Rocky Mountains. You could begin by saying “The summer we spent in the Rocky Mountains.” Then you can expand on this. Say you met someone who seemed a bit shady. “The mountaineer the summer we spent in the Rocky Mountains” becomes your concept. Then you have to figure out what made him shady, perhaps, you could see him committing murders. “The mountaineer who murdered over a dozen people the summer we spent in the Rocky Mountains” becomes the idea for your story.  You can start with this concept and move into your angle.

Thirdly, you have to figure out what direction your story is going to go. Will you cover all of the murders? Will you speak of how he came after you and you escaped, only to find out later how many people he did murder? Will you talk about how he was captured and then you found that he was plotting your murder next? There are dozens of ways you can take the story. If you cannot take the idea and expand on it, then you should rethink your idea all together.

Fourthly, you have to map out your scenes. Having the idea and direction is a great start, but you have to outline your scenes, so you can keep on task. For a short story, there should be about ten pages worth of writing, so three good scenes will be necessary. Let’s use the murdering mountaineer concept as an example.

You could go with: (1) Meeting the mountaineer at the Ranger’s Station; (2) seeing someone outside your bedroom window; (2) encountering the mountaineer on a walk through the woods.

Or another way to go is (1) Meeting the mountaineer at the Ranger’s station where he questions you and warns of the murders happening; (2) reading about the murders in the newspaper; (3) police showing up at your home to tell you about the murder plot to end your life.

The outline you create for the story can be loose and just general ideas of where you want to take the story or it can be very tight and concise.

Fifthly, character development needs to happen. There should be no more than four main characters. You can have as many minor players as you want, but they should not stand in the way of story development. You now have all the basic needs to write your story.

Sixthly, it is time to write. Be enthusiastic about the project. Writing should be as fun for you as when you first learned to ride a bike or danced. Putting life into the story should be your main goal. You will be able to see something from a new perspective for the first time. This should give you the life and enthusiasm you need.

The last thing you will need to do is edit. Editing does not only fix the mistakes that happen your first time out of the gate, but it is meant to make the story shine. No story is written perfectly the first time. Every story needs to be set aside and edited a couple of times before submitted to a publisher. There are writers who will put their stories through 30 to 50 editing cycles before they are satisfied with it. You will learn to know when you have done all the editing you possibly can. The story will not improve with another edit.

The best thing you can do to enhance your writing skills is practice. Write, write, and write more.  If you think this is what you really want to do with your life, then keep doing it. It is the only way you may become good at it and receive recognition.

Writing A Mystery Novel

Many people dream of writing a great mystery novel, a real who done it? There are many mystery novelists who have perfected the craft, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Graton, and many others. These particular novelists create series out of a few key characters. While they are masters at the craft of creating a mystery novel series, there were definite steps they took to creating their first mystery novel.

The first thing that is necessary is the preliminary steps of picking. You will have to pick a protagonist, the person who is going to solve the mystery. This person can be picked based on his or her job, or by his or her personality. For instance, if you are not using a police officer, then the person can be nosy, investigative, driven, avenging, funny, or sardonic. You will need to pick the type of mystery you want to write. It can be a very police oriented, or an academic type of novel, a cozy mystery, or a historical recount of events. Picking the field of work your main character does will be next on your agenda. He or she can be a part of any type of police force, or be an average person who gardens. If you visit your local bookstore or library, you will see that a person who solves a mystery can do anything. Next you have to pick the voice you are going to write the book in. It can be first person voice or third person voice, or you can make it a combination of both. You can pick the tone of the mystery novel. The novel can be funny, serious, or a combination of both. You must pick the additional characters that will help the story move along. These characters can be sidekicks, law enforcement helpers, bad guys, and good guys. This is the part of a series where you decide which characters will continue on to other books and which characters are for only this book. The last part of the preliminary picking steps is picking whether to outline or not. You can use a full outline or index cards or charts.

Your next step to writing a mystery novel is to begin the writing process. The first page of your novel should set the tone for the rest of the novel. You should get into the story. For example, think of something exciting happening to you and you are telling a friend about it. This is how you should approach the writing of the novel. You are your character. You should tell the story in steps. You can add characters along the way as you need them. You have to let the characters speak for you in whatever way needed. It can be bad language, a nasty personality, or a kind personality. You have to set up your story to have points of conflict and danger. There will need to be characters that stand in the way of the crime being solved and things need to happen to your character along the way. You will need to create a murder within the first 50 pages of the novel. This will give a reason for the protagonist to begin snooping around. When you are ending a chapter, create a cliffhanger. You will want your reader to read on. Set up some false leads through the book to keep your reader guessing. Lead the reader to the solution with little clues and hints, but not too much information. You never want them to guess the mystery until the end. If you are writing a novel where the culprit is known from the beginning, then it has to be structured to where the reader knows more than the hero. If you have done some research for the character of your novel, then you have to be sure to include the information in a way it does not slow down the progress of the story.  When you are writing the end, you have two ways to consider ending the novel. You can leaved your reader with the fulfillment that the mystery was solved, or you can leave them confounded by the out come, which will make them pick up the next in the series. You never want to end your novel with a thud.

         The final thing you want to do when you are writing a mystery novel is execute good work habits. Like any job, writing is working on a project daily. You have to set a schedule to write a certain amount of pages a day. Make sure to work through to the end as fast as you possibly can. Revise your draft at least five times before you read it aloud to someone or to yourself. Print out the draft and edit it on paper, not the computer screen. Be sure to check for spelling and grammar errors. During the editing process, you will have to be sure that the key points to the story make sense. You have to be sure that you are consistent throughout the novel. The facts, plot points, names, methods and murders all match up. Save the final version of the manuscript on a disk. Prepare a final outline of the entire book. You will want to send the out line with some sample chapters, generally the first 50 pages of the manuscript to a literary agent or publishing company

Turning a book into a screenplay

               Writing a screenplay based on a book will not be an easy task. You will have to make cuts and changes that will upset some of the people who love the book. The internal conflicts the characters in the book go through must now be externalized. The settings in the book will have to change to make it more cinematically friendly. You might even have to change some details about the characters, in order, for the script to become more visual. You must remember to stay true to the heart and soul of the text for the script to be creative and inspiring.

                The first thing you need to do is obtain the rights to use the material. If the book is not your own, it is necessary to contact the author or publisher of the book before you write the script. While you can make a great screenplay, no one will ever see it, if you do not have the rights. You can contact most authors through a website.

                Once you have secured the rights to create the script, you must read the novel twice. The first read through should be for fun. After reading the book, if you are not inspired or do not feel passionate about the story, then do not progress. If you feel passionate about the story being told, then read it a second time. While you are reading it, imagine the text as a screenplay. You should picture the scenes in your head. This will give you a clear ideal as to what scenes have a strong visual image and what scenes need to be dropped.

                Analyze the characters. Doing this allows you to combine, eliminate, and adapt the characters. Do not be scared of this step.  There may be two characters that are so alike you can combine them into one person to create a better script. There may be fringe characters that do not add to the story. If that is the case, then cut them out completely. You can even take the time to adapt the leading characters to create a theme. You should make the changes you need to make to develop the characters.

                You will need to make the story more visual. This is one of the most important aspects of developing a book into a script.  You will need to look at the internal conflicts the characters are going through and develop them to manifest in an external form. Take the time to examine each scene and setting. You should look to see if there is a lapse in visual content and make the changes necessary to create a more cinematic story.

                Writer the script based on what the story is telling you. Preserving the major scenes and important sub plots will help you keep the heart and soul of the book. You do not want to stray too far from the story, because this is what the audience has come to know and love.

                Finally, after the script is finished, then you should compare it with the book. You will need to make sure that there is a strong relation between the two texts. If you find that the script is complete different than the book, then you need revise the script.