How I Write: Thank You Drew Carey

There are a number of ways to write a book. Generally, it is split into two camps. You have your plotters and you have your pantsers. Plotters have their story outlined in great detail prior to adding text. They have a roadmap that tells them exactly where they are going. Pantsers fly by, well, the seat of their pants. They sit down and let the story come as it will. This, of course, is a bit simplified. There are any number of permutations of each. Some loosely plot and fill in as they go. Some plot and outline the story to within an inch of its life. Others write scenes out of order and rearrange as the story needs. And still others start at the beginning and write straight through. The types go on in a fascinating pattern that illustrates that the creative process is as creative as the work that ends up on the page.

So how do I do it? Well I plot and pants it. I like to use the “Whose Line Is It Anyway” method to writing. If you don’t remember the show then you missed out. I started watching the British Improv television show when I was in High School. I came home every day and watched it before I even thought about doing my homework. Then the show made its move to American Television with Drew Carey as the host and I loved that too. I won’t argue the difference between the two, I loved them equally. If you must, then argue in the comments and maybe I’ll join in.

So how does Improv theater games relate to writing? Simple. You have characters and you have situations. People react to situations. This is how we work. We may have a general idea of where we are going and how we would react should a situation occur, but we never really know until it happens. The fact that we are terrible at prediction actually makes it all the more interesting. Inevitably the way we thought something would turn out is completely wrong. This is what makes life rich and experience all the more valuable.

I start my stories with two things. First I have a cast of characters with certain personalities and tendencies. I may not know everything about them, but we have the basics down. Then I throw them into a situation with a problem they must solve. Their personalities determine the way the scene will go. There are a million ways a scene can go, so it becomes something akin to a Choose Your Own Adventure for the characters.

But, you may say, what about story arc and plot structure? Can things get out of hand and throw you completely off track? Of course they can. But the characters and I have a general idea of where we are going. They have an ultimate goal and I keep a few situations up my sleeve to throw at them just to keep it interesting. If we never lose sight of the ultimate goal, things begin to fall into place.

When we finally reach the end, the characters and I can lift up a beer together and say, “What a ride. I never expected that to work.”

And so, I give you Whose Line Is It Anyway

B&N doesn’t, but Fictionwise does

I found out accidentally, through one of those addicted, obsessive web searches, that Storm Chaser is available for the Nook and most other e-book formats now that it’s being sold on Fictionwise:

Fictionwise was acquired by Barnes & Noble in 2009, and is reported to be one of the largest e-book sellers in North America, distributing about 1.5 million e-books a year. That makes Storm Chaser available not just for Kindle and Nook, but for just
about every device out there.

Although Whiskey Creek Press already has it for sale in PDF and HTML format, which can be transferred to most e-readers, some people prefer to skip the extra step!

Review Of Karla Telega’s Humorous Mystery, “Box Of Rocks”.

 This book is going to have you laughing your ass off. However, sadly, my ass is still as big as ever, so don’t count on it as a diet aid.

Ted strolled into the kitchen in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms, looking way too
chipper for present company. He snagged a muffin and poured a cup of coffee. “What are you girls up to today, and should I notify the authorities?”

     “I’m planning to starch all your shorts before lunchtime,” Maggie grumbled, adding, “Bwa-ha-ha!”

     “I think that was specifically addressed in our marriage vows.”

     Cher looked over the list they had made. “Our first hobby is paranormal investigations”, she mused. “Does that mean we have to stay up all night staking out some graveyard?”

     Maggie grunted and propped her head up with one hand. She turned a bleary gaze up to Ted. “If we don’t come out alive, there’s a pot pie in the freezer.”

Ok, if that’s not classic Karla-style humour, than I don’t know what is. Her new book, “Box of Rocks” is something that everyone should read if you like to laugh. And, even if you don’t like to laugh, than this will at least brighten your day.

I’m not a huge fan of mysteries. I’m one of those kind of people who likes to know whodunit at the beginning of the book. But, even if you don’t like whodunit’s, you’re going to love this one. This one is so funny and bumbling that you can’t help but laugh.

Cher and Maggie are a couple of girlfriends in their 50’s who are looking for a hobby to hopefully help Maggie overcome her need for therapy sessions and to allow her best friend, Cher to get a story to publish.

There are some other characters in this book that will have you shaking your head. Sam is looking for the site where Paul Lakeland found this old Indian jar, but what he really wants is the directions to an old gold mine, long since abandoned.

Then there’s this other guy, Bear, who is out to murder someone. He does, in cold blood. But, he realizes too late that it’s the wrong guy. Bear is kind of a bumbling criminal, not really thinking ahead….which then puts him behind. He kind of reminds me of the criminal running away from the scene, only to step on a rake, getting the handle in the face, sort of humour.

I love how Karla, who has her own humour blog, has incorporated her brand of humour into her book. From the girls’ mishaps while panning for gold, to them getting kicked out of the paranormal investigations class for being too noisy and giggling, these two will be in your hearts. Oh, and let’s not forget the dogs.

And, if you’re getting up there in age, you’ll understand the friendship, the love and the humour between Cher and Maggie. And, if you don’t think this book is funny, then there is something seriously wrong with you.

This book rocks and I give it 5 stars!

Review: “Remember the Eyes Book 1” by Beth Muscat

Remember the Eyes Book Cover

Remember the Eyes is available in eBook format for $1.19.

A paranormal romance that doesn’t involve vampires!? I thought that was a dying theme. Well, if it was, Beth Muscat has resurrected it with “Remember the Eyes”, the first book of a trilogy that does not star a vampire. I’m not putting down vampire romances, it’s just nice to see something different.

We are introduced to Riley. She’s a young woman getting ready to go to college. She doesn’t have a high opinion of her appearance but she has something few other people have: psychic ability. Not just some cheesy, vague future predictions either. She can read minds, astral walk, use telekinesis, and is even learning to astral travel.

We have Michael, a young man who lives in London and is looking to go to college somewhere out west. Actually, he is drawn to it. As you might have guessed, it’s the same school Riley is going to. He’s in a band with a group of his friends who are also going to the school.

So everyone manages to get to school. Michael and Riley literally run into each other. Their interest is sparked immediately. Actually, it’s so intense, at first you may say huh? Keep reading. Keep the title in mind. It makes sense.

Now, you can’t have a paranormal romance with out some pesky malcontent getting in the way of the intense love of the main characters. In this case, enter psycho chick Brenda. She’s about as mentally unbalanced as they get.

What is Brenda’s secret?

What is the mystery behind Michael and Riley’s intense connection?

What is the truth behind Riley’s dreams?

Fans of paranormal romance definitely need to check this one out. I am not a fan of paranormal romance and I still found this book to be cool so that should tell you something. At $1.19 on the Kindle, the price is definitely right.