Tag Archives: The Mona Lisa Sisters

STUCK? REACH FOR HELP

Recently I was working on a new scene from Book II of the Liberty Trilogy. Reading it aloud, I noticed a decided lack of personal attributes. I needed to give my character something to show of himself.

A few years back, I bought five books by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi designed to help the writer with characters and settings. I keep the books within arm’s length. However, more often than not, I forget them. I reached for The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes.

Searching the index, I couldn’t find a trait that fit what I had in mind. Oh, well, find something. I noticed three characteristics that gave me an idea of how to rewrite several paragraphs. When finished, I was happy with what was now on the paper. I decided to keep the guide on my desk.

Days later, I needed another clue. Reaching for the guide, I noticed the book on my desk was The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws.

I reread the scene and decided the character flaws made for a more compelling character and storyline than positive traits.

Thanks, Angela and Becca.

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THE MONA LISA SISTERS

NaNoWriMo

It’s been almost a month since I last posted. Then I spoke of the inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel, The Mona Lisa Sisters.

In case you’ve forgotten, National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, is an annual event in which participants attempt to complete a 50,000-word novel in the month of November.

As I finalized my research prior to the start of NaNoWriMo, I began filling out Character, Minor Character, and Scene Cards. Introduced to these by Deborah “Jordan” Bernal, I find them invaluable.

Before I started at one minute after midnight, Friday, November 1, 2013, I had three characters, two minor characters, and ten scene cards arrayed in my work folder. When I finished at 5:00 p.m. November 21, 2013, I had twenty-four cards and 51156 words.

As a winner, I’m eligible for a happy face sticker, like this one:

Happy Writer

I try to write two-thousand words a day, every day. Generally, I fail. NaNoWriMo forced me to meet or exceed that goal. Taking two days off, I still managed to average 2400 words a day.

Never having written a “Chick-Flic” story, I struggled with the lack of violence and expletives.

Back in October I gave my readers a hint, “There might even be a mysterious stranger lurking in the background.” I kept him hidden so far back that he could have been an afterthought. That is until I hit 30,000 words. In danger of running out of story line, I took a day off and pondered how to get another 20,000. Inspiration struck, as it often does, at 3:00 a.m.

I went back to Chapter 7, re-read it and inserted a new Chapter 8. The mysterious stranger now delivers in this and six additional chapters. I believe the changes enhance the story and help with character development.

It’s time to set The Mona Lisa Sisters aside and get back to A Tale of Robbers and Cops and Liberty.

underwood-typewriter-009

A Tale of Robbers and Cops is the story of two illiterate Georgia teenage brothers. Brutalized on a chain gang, they commit a revenge murder locking them into a life of crime.

It’s been almost five months since I pitched Robbers to a publisher, and three since the publisher asked me to submit it for reading. I’m assuming the worst, so I will be rewriting once again.

Liberty is story about people, people who happen to be cops, gang bangers, civilians, and innocent by-standers. The gangs are violent and commit both random and orchestrated murders. The cops have flaws. The gang bangers, a few at least, have a good trait or two.

If you can get by the murders that occur in just about every chapter, it’s a fun read.

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Filed under A Tale of Robbers and Cops