Happy Thursday. If you like mysteries, I’ve got a treat for you. Joyce is here to share a few insights and her new book.
It’s a pleasure to be here. Today’s requested topic is about writing, in general. So for or those of you who get excited thinking about writing your own novel someday, this blog if for you.
Starting Out As A Writer—5 Things You Should Know
Everybody has a story to tell. Whether a person chooses to share it is a different matter. The important thing is everyone has their own unique perspective. That perspective comes out in the writer’s voice. The plot may be familiar, but the mood, theme, details and overall presentation will be distinctive to each storyteller.
Nothing beats a solid plot. Some people sit down and simply write. They allow the words to flow, unimpeded, content to see the story and characters take shape without much forethought. Others, like me, need a map, a careful, studied progression of clear steps moving from point A to B to C. Plotting is particularly important when writing a mystery. Add the element of romance to that, as in the Cady Delafield series, and it becomes a double challenge. I take comfort in knowing where the story is going and why. What’s important to figure out is the process that best suits a writer’s particular style. Knowing saves time. And the outcome is worth it.
Practice makes perfect. Or…the more you write, the better the outcome. Make time to write daily even if it’s only for thirty minutes. Know when to criticize and when to turn off your internal editor. Establish a writing goal. Then write. You’ll only get better.
Staying connected is vital. It’s easy to get lost in a story, whether you’re reading an absorbing book or writing one. After an engrossing day intertwined in the lives of fictional characters, it’s important to get back to reality. I have a husband and family that need me. We keep each other grounded. The same goes for friendships with other writers. They keep me focused in the right direction. The benefit from their support and feedback is essential to growing as an author. And it’s true. You learn so much more when you help somebody else.
Getting published takes longer than you think. For me, a year seems a reasonable time to write a book. But what’s manageable to one person may be unworkable to someone else. Since writing is what I do, to the exclusion of any other full-time work, it isn’t impossible to meet my deadline. For others with different circumstances, completing a novel takes years. Whatever the challenges and obstacles—and pop up they will—just keep writing. Write until the story is complete. Then submit it for publication. While you wait for a reply, pat yourself on the back for a job well done and then start on that next novel.
In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke.
Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted. Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.
Doyle sat in the carriage, his brain frozen and his limbs unable to move. He watched Cady run up the steps and disappear into Ophelia’s impenetrable stone manor. When the front door boomed shut with the noise of a cannon blast, he jumped. He lurched forward and exploded out of the vehicle. She wasn’t getting rid of him so easily. In fact, she wasn’t getting rid of him at all. He had a voice in the matter. He intended to be heard. Just as soon as he thought it, his steps faltered and he ground to a stop. “Damn!” Now was not the time to try to reason with her, not when she was in a cold fury. He pumped a fist against a thigh and stared at the mansion’s rock façade, aware her current state of mind was as solid and unshakable. Even if he managed to get beyond the front door, she wouldn’t listen. Not now. His head fell back. A piercing ache tore through him, as if his heart and soul had been shredded and tossed aside. Gunmetal storm clouds reeled over the sky, bleak and threatening. The bite in the air made his cheeks sting. Inside he was hollowed and gutted. His fingers curled and uncurled. Muscles coiled, he pivoted with a fierce twist, snapped an order to Phelps then threw himself back into the carriage. His next move must be deployed with utmost care. The carriage jolted forward and thrust him back against the seat cushion. She needed time to cool. Then he’d be back, and she’d listen to what he had to say.
About the Author:
Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health as a clinical social worker, she retired to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. A Burning Truth is the second in the Cady Delafield series. When she isn’t writing historical suspense or romance, she loves to travel, winter in Florida, swim, read and walks almost every day. She loves chocolate almost as much as crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.
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