The Mystery of Mysteries: 11+ Elements in a Private Investigator Mystery

I don’t know anyone who would call a private investigator mystery a cozy. Now there might be some, but I am unaware of them. However, Jinx Schwartz has a series with a snarky female PI that is tightly plotted and fun to read. Similarly, in Sue Grafton’s series, the violence is not graphic. I guess …
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Don’t Think, Just Write

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.     ~ Ray Bradbury   Does Bradbury’s advice ring true to you? Or do you think he’s gone too far? I have friends who will never finish their novels because …
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Romancing the Genre: That “Guilty Little Pleasure”

I’ve written some sweet romances, but I found I prefer my romance a bit stronger. For whatever reason, I just happen to love writing about sex. Maybe because in real life I love it, too. Back in June, I wrote an initial piece about the romance genre. As recently as August, Sister Caryn considered why …
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The Mystery of Mysteries: 10 Elements of the Caper Mystery

In the dictionary “caper” is to “dance or skip about in a lively or playful way.” The caper mystery is the one that plays most with the mystery genre definition. Capers fit into the cozy mystery category. Think of the movies, “Topkapi” or “Ocean’s 11.” O. Henry’s “The Ransom of Red Chief” is a classic …
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Surviving and Thriving: Part 2 NaNoWriMo Tips

The halfway point of National Novel Writing Month, for me, is usually where it hits a snag. If you’re snaggy, too, maybe the rest of my NaNo tips will come in handy for you. You might want to re-read the first eight tips. Remind yourself that while 50K sounds like a lot, it’s really just …
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Surviving and Thriving: Part 1 NaNoWriMoTips

In my post on my planning process for novels I shared how I got ready for National Novel Writing Month. I went through all the steps, and now, each day, I sit at my keyboard and turn over the next in my set of 40 scene cards. If I were on target, I should have …
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The Pomodoro Technique® for Writers

Created in the 1980s. Picked up by business in the 1990s. But still largely unknown among the general public. And writers need to know! As a student, Francesco Cirillo struggled with time management. We’ve all been there. As an undergraduate, I worked 40-45 hours a week while taking a full load of classes. Oh, and …
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