royal caribbean oasis of the seas
Oasis of the Seas
If you’ve been wishing to study with me in person while drinking mojitos, this is it! Royal Caribbean is partnering with Florida-based Go Travel to introduce "Forensics at Sea: Mystery Writers Cruise" a 7-day western Caribbean cruise on Oasis of the Seas, sailing March 31-April 7, 2019 from Port Canaveral, FL. I’ll be giving an expanded version of my Mystery-Thriller Workshop. And I’ll be joined by Kelly Gillis, coroner and forensic anthropologist, and Jeffry Mouer, crime scene specialist and advisor to TV’s "Forensic Files."

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Time for Change

Zestful Blog Post #244

All of my New Year’s resolutions have to do with writing, publishing, and teaching, and all of them are basically “achieve more.” Oh, and plus “somehow make a million dollars.”

We are all the main character of our own lives. But let’s first talk about writing fiction. Part of what makes a character compelling is how they respond/react to change. Here are some ways to spark a character to change:

-        Give the outside world some agency. A layoff, an award, a subpoena, a snowstorm, a tantrum in the cafeteria, a market correction, a fortune cookie.
-        Give the body itself some agency. An infected tooth or toe, a false positive, a false negative, baldness, wrinkles, an inexplicable rush of lust or passion at first sight, new muscles from exercise, flab from too much beer, a forgotten wallet.
-        Create internal motivators. Realizations and resolutions occur when a character pauses to consider and decide—and possibly challenge beliefs and assumptions. Any of these things could involve years or seconds.
o   I just found a syringe with blood in it under my daughter’s bed.
o   I’ve let laziness creep into my life.
o   Hey, that guy just grabbed that woman’s purse!
o   I wonder what an injection of heroin feels like.
o   As soon as I paid for his silence, I was a different person.
Top 100 Writing Blogs

By the way, the writing/reading website Booksie sent this along recently.
Zestful Writing says thanks, Booksie users of 2017!

Characters react, respond, grow, shrink, deceive others and themselves. When you remember that every character has the power of choice, rational or not, you have everything you need to create magic on the page.

So hey, it’s a new year. We all have the power of choice as well, with its potential to create magic in the real world. How about this as a simple resolution:

I will recognize and apply my power of choice to best benefit.

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  1. Congrats on the Booksie award! Well deserved!

  2. Congratulations on the award. Thanks also for another great blog. This came at a perfect time as I outline my next project. Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks and HNY back at you and yours, Bev.


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