Friday, April 16, 2021

Choosing Character Names

Another interesting topic, Rhobin. How do you choose your characters' names? Are there any you avoid?)

Choosing names, for me, can be a challenge. It also varies with the book. I’m a plotter so I work out a plot before I get to know my characters well.

If I’ve begun plotting and have a hero/heroine and maybe the idea for the mystery or suspense, I may have a name in mind or I might have no idea at that time.

Other times I may pick a generic name when I start writing. It’s like a placeholder. Once I’ve developed my characters and get to know them the name will come to me. It’s a name that fits that person. Often the character's physical appearance, characteristics, or actions will lead to a name that fits.

If I’m writing in a different local, perhaps Mexico or in the Caribbean, I will look up names for male or females in that country and their meaning. If I’m writing a different generation, I may look up popular names from that era. In my Hawkins’ Family series, I researched names from the Blackfoot tribe. In Death Southern Style I researched names in Louisiana.

When I’m choosing names, I look at all the characters that I’m naming. I make sure that the names aren’t similar. For example, the hero is named Rob, the secondary character is named Ron and the suspect might be Ross. For a reader, this could be very confusing. They might have to flip back to check which name it is. I don’t want to confuse a reader. They might quit reading in frustration. I will probably keep Rob as my hero if it’s a name that fits. The secondary character will be Jack and the suspect will be changed to Murray. So, I avoid similarities in names.

I also avoid names that might be difficult for a reader to pronounce while reading. Again, pulling the reader out of the story each time. It frustrates me when a character has a name I’m not familiar with and it’s spelled in another language.

I look forward to reading how other authors chose their names. I’m off to read their blogs.

Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea

Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/

Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com

Victoria Chatham http://www.victoriachatham.com

Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog

Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2i7

Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/

Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/

Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/

Fiona McGier http://www.fionamcgier.com/

Rhobin L Courtrighhttp://www.rhobincourtright.com

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Check Out Kim McMahill and her New Release

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. Along with writing novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel story anthology. She has had the opportunity to live in Hawaii, New Mexico, South Dakota, Iowa, and Colorado, but has finally returned home to Wyoming. When not writing she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Kim: I write suspense and adventure fiction. I love stories that allow me to incorporate action, adventure, romance, exotic locations, and happily-ever-after endings. In the real world the good guys don’t always win, but in my stories they do. However, in my Risky Research Series the wins in each story will be smaller, rather than unequivocally complete, until I decide to end the series for good since my protagonist and some of the antagonists are recurring characters.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Kim: I had a high school creative writing teacher who commented on one of my stories that with more character development I was well on my way to a novel. I always enjoyed writing, but her comment and encouragement made me think that I could actually construct a novel.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Kim: I love to travel, which always inspires me with ideas for new stories, locations, or characters.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Kim: Growing up my favorite cartoon was Scooby Doo. I guess I’ve always loved a good mystery and a little suspense.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?

Kim: A couple years ago I was able to meet one of my two favorite writer, James Rollins. It was pretty exciting. I had hoped for an opportunity to meet my other favorite author, Clive Cussler. Unfortunately, he passed away last winter before I had an opportunity, but I did get to visit his classic car museum in Colorado which contained many of the cars from his novels.

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

Kim: Whenever I have an unexpected free day I love to go out and try to discover a new site close to home that I had previously overlooked. I’ve been surprised in the past year to find many interesting places that I didn’t realize existed so close to home.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Kim: I just released the fourth installment in the Risky Research Series, A Measure of Madness, and I’m currently working on the fifth, and likely final, installment in the series, A Recipe for Revenge. Here’s a bit more about my new release, A Measure of Madness.

Blurb for A Measure of Madness

FBI agent Devyn Nash's pursuit of a deadly organization heats up in this fourth installment of the Risky Research series.
The FBI locates the mastermind behind Coterie, but attempts to bring him in result in a shootout that sends Coterie’s members scrambling for cover. When Devyn’s partner is left fighting for his life in a Puerto Rican hospital, she becomes more determined than ever to bring them to justice.
Devyn’s decision to ignore her orders and pursue the head of Coterie to Brazil puts her job and her relationship with Sheriff Gage Harris in jeopardy, but she is unwilling to allow those responsible for so much death to live out their lives in paradise
.

Excerpt from A Measure of Madness

Devyn smeared butter on her pancakes and poured an ample portion of blueberry syrup over the large stack. She supposed Nick had a point about her eating habits, but that was far down on her list of worries at the moment. Between drug lords, arms dealers, and Coterie, she had a difficult time mustering up any fear of butter.

Her number one priority was shutting down Coterie. A close second was figuring out what to do about Gage. She wanted Gage to be first, but if she was being honest with herself, he couldn’t be until she brought Coterie to justice. Too many people had already died and the trail of destruction would likely continue as long as any members were out there. For now, she had to keep her head in the game. One misstep could be deadly. 

Buy Links for A Measure of Madness

A Measure of Madness is currently available in ebook from these online book retailers, and it will also be released in paperback soon.

Amazon Buy Link main full: https://www.amazon.com/Measure-Madness-Risky-Research-ebook/dp/B08TX7C1BZ/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-measure-of-madness-kim-mcmahill/1138684987?ean=9781522398837

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-measure-of-madness

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-measure-of-madness/id1550649255

Social Media Links for Kim:

Blog: http://www.kimmcmahill.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KimMcMahillAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimmcmahill/

Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/849945.Kim_McMahill

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kim-mcmahill

Monday, April 12, 2021

This Week - Basic Editing Tips

I talked about proofreading last time. This week I thought I’d talk a little about editing.

First, I’d always suggest you have a professional editor do your final check, but here are some tips for what to check when you’re doing the editing. You might want to use a program such as Autocrit to help you. And you might want to use an editing tip sheet to assist you. The following are a few tips that might help you.

Remember everything needs to be relevant and advance the story. If not relevant cut it and move on.

Omit or delete info that doesn’t add to the mood, character, or plot.

Show don’t tell. Avoid the passive voice.

Avoid negative sentences. The streets were not straight. Instead, the streets wound around the area.

Avoid cliches. You know - It was a dark and stormy night.

Emphasize the words you want to emphasize at the start or end of each sentence or phrase.

Check for word usage, frequently used words or repetitive words in follow-up sentences.

Check spelling and grammar. Use spell check but remember it’s not always correct. If you have specific grammar issues, for me it’s comma usage, research it before you start and have the explanation beside you to check out that specific issue when you spot it.

Em dashes like exclamation points should be used sparingly. Use an em dash because he’s cutting off his speech. Usually, a comma or a period will be sufficient.

An ellipsis indicates more of a slow speech pattern or a trailing off.

No spaces between the words and the ellipses. 

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Pam S. Thibodeaux and her Latest Book

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Mike: Mike Guidry

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Mike: Lafayette, Louisiana

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Mike: 2005

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Mike: I don’t have much of a story of my own, but I’ve been blessed to be a part of my friends, Scott and Katrina Hensley’s story for years.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Mike: To get through the tragedy of losing my best friend and the constant chaos in an ER physician’s life with my heart and sanity intact.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Mike: Other than being in love with my best friend’s wife? Patients going ballistic, hurricanes, death….the life of a physician isn’t easy on the best of days. They’re even tougher on the worst.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Mike: Time, faith, trust, and truth are the only way to resolve any problems in life.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Mike: I’m loyal and faithful even in the worst circumstances.

Blurb for Tempered Truth:

Fate declared them neighbors. Scandal insisted they were brothers. The fact that they looked enough alike to be twins only added fuel to the rumors flying about their parentage.

For fifty-plus years Craig Harris and Scott Hensley have enjoyed a bond nothing can sever.

Not the insinuations that they share the same father.

Not the years of strife and grief and heartache.

Not even death.

Will the truth set them free or will it destroy the friendship that has lasted a lifetime?

Excerpt from Tempered Truth

A movement caught their eye and the entire family faced Scott’s longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Mike Guidry, as he strode through the ICU doors. Crevices of fear, grief, and uncertainty lined his face. Fatigue clouded his eyes.

“How is he?” Craig asked.

Mike heaved a breath. “Right now, he’s stable. We’ve stopped the bleeding, but he’s pretty banged up.”

“What the hell happened, Mike?”

“A patient in ER went ballistic, slinging a knife around and demanding drugs. Scott got caught in the crossfire along with several others. By the time they got the patient under control, most of the ER staff had cuts and bruises. No one, not even Scott himself, realized how often and how badly he’d been stabbed until he collapsed. They rushed him into surgery and repaired what damage they could. Now all we can do is wait and see.”

Purchase Link: 

https://books2read.com/TemperedHearts

Social Media Links:

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Newsletter:http://bit.ly/psthibnewsletter

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelasthibodea/

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pamela-s-thibodeaux

Instagram: https://instagram.com/pamelasthibodeauxauthor

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1268453.Pamela_S_Thibodeaux

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Proofreading

Do you proofread your work? Here are some hints to help you with it.

After you’ve finished writing the book and editing it, probably several times. it’s the time to proofread. You might use your computer's technology, spell check, grammar check, etc. But don’t take their suggestions as always correct. They can assist you, but when you’ve gone through your book with spell and grammar check you still need to go through that book and proofread it yourself.

Here are seven tips for Proofreading.

- Do it last.

- When you finish writing and editing put that book away for at least a week, maybe longer, so you have a little distance from it and you can read it with fresh eyes.

- Read it from a different perspective. Some people say print it out and read it that way. Others feel it’s a waste of paper, so prefer to proofread on a tablet or e-reader, an alternative to what they used to write it. Anything that changes the format from how you wrote it, even a font change or maybe change the print color.

- Read it out loud.

- Focus on one or two issues at a time on each proofread, such as spelling and punctuation, or dialogue and overused words.

- Proofread when you’re alert and fresh. Do it in short time periods, for maybe twenty or thirty minutes. Then take a break. Do something different. Get some fresh air. Then go back for another short period. It prevents mistakes and those eyes from getting blurry.

- A proofreading checklist can help as you go through the book.