Monday, July 29, 2013

MichiganMurderMayhem Monday: How To Create Mystery By Chrys Fey #amwriting #mwn #mmm

Expert Author Chrys Fey
Mystery is not just a genre but an emotion that can be used in any story. Here are ten tips to help you create mystery in your story:

1. Setting and Tone. Yes, when it comes down to it, the setting and tone of your book is very important, and sometimes amateur writers take them for granted. A true writer will take advantage of the setting to play into whatever emotion they want to give. An affective setting can be scary, delightful, or even mysterious.

For example: A room suffocating with dust and clothed in cobwebs with newspaper clippings cluttering the walls is a mysterious place. It makes you want to know what is on those newspaper clippings and who put them on the walls.

By far, the best way to make your writing mysterious is by writing mysteriously. It's all about your tone!

2. Give your characters a secret. When your protagonist has a secret, your reader will want to know what it is -especially when he/she fears that their secret is going to come out and vows to do anything to prevent that from happening.

3. Give your characters a past. Just as mysterious as a secret worth dying (or killing) for, is a past that keeps haunting your protagonist and/or antagonist. Revealing their past one piece at a time will keep your readers curious, but make sure that you tell them all there is to know by the time you get to the climax.

4. Put a mask on your antagonist. When your protagonist and readers do not know who the culprit is it guarantees mystery.

5. Show your characters point-of-view. I'll say it again because I can't say it enough: Revealing your protagonists' and antagonists' thoughts and feelings is extremely important to not only help your readers connect with them, but to also provide suspense and, of course, mystery.

6. Use emotional responses. How we react to certain things can be very mysterious. Perhaps your protagonist becomes angry when another character says or does something. The reader will want to know why they responded that way.

7. Pose questions. Bringing mystery into your story can be as simple as asking a question and not revealing the answer right away.

8. Reveal clues. This is especially important for murder mysteries. Start by uncovering small clues that seem strange and irrelevant but leads to the bigger picture, whatever that may be.

9. What all of the above boils down to is to be secretive! Even if you're not writing a mystery novel and you
don't have an antagonist, you can still create mystery by being secretive and not telling your reader everything right from the get-go. Instead, draw out the anticipation by revealing the facts one at a time.

10. The most effective method in my opinion is to keep your readers guessing! Throw something at them that makes them believe someone else is the murderer, or provide a plot twist that will cause your readers to doubt what they thought they knew.

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

MichiganMurderMayhem Monday: How To Write Action By Chrys Fey #amwriting #mmm #mwn

Expert Author Chrys Fey
Every writer has tips that help them write, rules they follow, and methods they use. Below are ten tips that I find helpful when I am writing action.

1. Show action and reaction. In a fight, every movement from one person causes a reaction with their opponent. What happens when someone receives a punch?

Their head turns with the impact, they stagger, and sometimes they fall. Bones breaking and blood gushing is also a reaction.

Examples of action-reaction:
• He shot off a round of bullets. She dodged them and fired back.
• Her fist connected with his face, breaking his nose.

2. Describe, describe, describe! Remember that prose we were talking about? Use it here but go above and beyond! Give a crime scene details so that the reader can see the morbid site imprinted on their eyes. Describe each step of a fight, the cocking of a gun, and the pain a character feels from injuries. Bring a car accident to life with speed, bending metal, and shattering glass. Let your words make the suspense!

3. Use action verbs! If you can, try not to use the same verbs over and over again. A thesaurus can help you to find a good alternative.

 My favorite action verbs:
• Bombard
• Explode
• Hammer
• Thrust
• Assault
• Slither
• Growl
• Mangle
• Vanish
• Pummel

4. Write short sentences. Short sentences quicken the readers pace and give the illusion of fast action.

5. Use "All of a sudden" and "Suddenly" sparingly. Back-to-back paragraphs starting with this will become annoying to the reader and is a bit lazy.

6. Don't forget dialogue! Action is not all about what a character does, but also what a character says. Have your characters spit threats back and forth, and let them curse. Also, injecting a characters thoughts can add a great deal of suspense.

This is it, he thought, I'm going to die.

7. Read books by your favorite authors and study how they write action. Note words and phrases they use, but don't plagiarize!

8. Get into the mood for writing action. Listen to rock music or any kind of song with a fast beat that makes you want to get up and cause havoc.

Songs that help me write action:

* Shoot It Out by 10 Years
* Your Betrayal by Bullet For My Valentine
* Hold On by All That Remains
* Blood On My Hands by The Used
* I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

9. Act it out. Remember when I said that I sometimes talk aloud to create dialogue between two of my characters? Well, I also act out fight scenes. Granted, I can't move or do half the things a fighter can do, but by acting it out (the best I can) I can understand how a body moves and better describe the movement with words.

10. Watch action movies. Watching movies can help you to understand the rhythm and flow of fighting. It can also give you ideas. Depending on what you need to write, find movies that show a lot of it and then study them. How do the characters move in fight scenes? What do you see when there is an explosion? Now, write the scene in your book as if you are watching it unfold on a television screen. This is how I do it and it is my best strategy for writing action.

Movies that help me write action:
* Underworld Awakening
* Matrix Reloaded
* Fast and the Furious
* The Day After Tomorrow
* UltraViolet

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

ARTICLE: Writing – An Essential Part of Me Article by Kai Mann @Kaiology, Author of #AbandonedProperty #motownlit #mmm

Welcome Readers to our Featured Author Blog tour for:
 Kai Mann
 Author of her second release:  Abandoned Property.
Get your copy, click here.

Abandoned Property

Rating: Not yet rated.
Published: June 09, 2013
Words: 92,516 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9780984828135
 Short Bio
 Kai Mann is the author of 30 Day Notice and her newly published book Abandoned Property. She is an independent contract writer for as Detroit’s Best Friend Examiner, a member of the Motown Writers Network, and a contributor to the online poetry community.  Kai’s purpose is to inspire thoughts pertaining to the themes of love, friendship, self-love, and self-progression.
Author’s Website
About Abandoned Property
These characters all have something in common; they’ve been abandoned.
Even though their issues of abandonment stem from some of the same situations, how they play out is different in nature.
Will they go to the extreme opposite to ensure that the cycle ends with them? Or will they realize the blessings in being abandoned by people who never knew how to care for them in the first place?
Get your copy, click here.

Writing – An Essential Part of Me Article by Kai Mann  

One day while sending out copies of my first novel 30 Day Notice a clear concept came to me about my next book. The book was to be called Abandoned Property. The plot for one of the male characters Darius was given to me in detail. I use the term “given to me” because I belief that the crux of my stories come from the Creator and are not my own. I remember driving home from the post office excited and talking everything out while in the car. I can imagine now that I probably looked crazy to anyone driving near.

The full story didn’t come to me until almost the end of the book. I started out writing down the characters, their characteristics on two white boards in my office. I wanted to be sure that I told who they were and what I wanted to convey in the stories about each character. As I wrote in those characteristics I would erase them until I had touched on everything for each character.

When I started to write the stories I started writing for one character at a time and decided somewhere after the tenth chapter that I should probably begin to put them in order so that the jist of the story flowed freely. There were times that I was writing chapters and was so excited by where the stories were going that I would even get up and do a little jig.

I have never written a book non-stop. I write until my thoughts of the story run out and as ideas and concepts come to me I add them to the story.

My writing style is not one of a schedule but I try to let the creativity come to me and not force myself to fill pages. I try to take the time to listen to my inner thoughts so I don’t miss anything. After I have written the final page I don’t go back to change anything until after my editor has looked at it. Once my editor has taken a look at my manuscript is when I go back and make necessary changes.

Writing for me is an essential part of who I am. I feel like I am in a perpetual stroke of the pen because even when I am not physically writing, I am mentally writing.

Blog Tour for Kai Mann, Author of Abandoned Property.
Books by this author:
Kai Mann (kaiology)

Abandoned Property
Price: $9.99 USD

30 Day Notice
Price: $5.99 USD

Monday, July 15, 2013

MichiganMurderMayhem Monday: Writing A Series By Chrys Fey #amwriting #mmm #mwn

Expert Author Chrys Fey
I started writing when I was twelve years old and the series that I created then is the four-book series that I am finishing now. No one can ever tell me that writing a series is useless or that trying to get one published as an unpublished writer is impossible because I will not listen. Writing is my life! My series is my life! I am not writing it because I think it will get me published, I am writing it because it burns inside me, and I want to publish it to share it with others who would appreciate it.

Writing a series really shows your commitment to the art of writing, and to the love you have for the first book in the series, because if you feel the undeniable urge to continue that story then that book you just wrote is a powerful creation. However, you shouldn't write a series just to write a series. There has to be a reason for it; a story line that can be built upon and expanded through three or more books.

The role of the first book in a series is just like any other book. It has a beginning that captivates, a middle that informs, and an end that explodes. It introduces the characters and the story, but it also has to make readers want to read more.

The books that follow the first in a series have to grow and essentially get better. After all, no one wants to read a series where the first book is the best. What would even be the point of writing a sequel if it's not as good as, or better than, the first? Essentially, the second book has to remember everything that happened in the first one, but at the same time it also has to create a new story.

What happens in each book has to quilt together even if the plots of each book are vastly different, which is the catch! A series is a segment of stories; each is different but they are all linked together.

Whether your series is four books long or thirty, each book has to grow. Perhaps not in pages but with the overall impact: what happens, what's at stake, what the protagonist goes through, etc. Then the very last book has to tie all the books together with a tidy little bow. It also has to be more explosive than all the others. More importantly, it has to end the entire series, which is a big job.

Don't feel daunted though! Your characters will tell you how the series should end, so listen to them! If you do get stuck, take a step back to clear your mind. And don't be afraid to rewrite!

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more.
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Monday, July 8, 2013

MichiganMurderMayhem Monday; How To Write A Fight by Chrys Fey #mmm #mwn #amwriting

Expert Author Chrys Fey
Nothing is more thrilling than a fight whether it's in a real life, on a movie screen, or in a book. But writing one is not nearly as easy as witnessing one. First, you'll need to decide what kind of fight you want to write. There are four options you can choose from:

* hand-to-hand combat
* sword fight
* gun fight
* a fight with supernatural powers

Of course, you could do a mixture of all four as I have, but that is also four times more complicated to write.
After you decide what type of fight will be in your book, you need to know how to create action through writing. This can be done with action-reaction, revealing prose, action verbs, fast pace, and exciting dialogue.

When you understand the methods to show action, you need to do some research to learn how to give details to a fight. This can be achieved by talking to professionals in the art of combat and weapon specialists. If you do not have these resources at your disposal, the next best thing is to use the internet for a crash course, or to study books that you can find at the library.

Along those notes, I highly recommend reading fictional books with an abundance of action to find out the author's secrets. Many fiction crime novels (mysteries, suspense, etc.) have fights of all kinds in them. Once you read them, you'll have a much better grasp on how to write fights. And I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy reading them too.

TIP: Before you begin writing the fight, plan out key moments of the fight first. This will make the process of writing the fight much easier!

Once all of your research is done, it's time to write the fight! Picture the fight in your head and write it out the best you can with as much prose as possible.

* Who are the players in the fight?
* What causes the fight to start? (Tell us why the characters are fighting, lead us up to the action.)
* Do they use weapons? (Guns, swords, daggers, fists, supernatural powers? You can also put a little creativity into the objects they use on each other.)
* What do they do in the fight? (Describe every move, every hit.)

Every movement in a fight is followed by another movement either by the character giving it (another movement in their attack sequence) or the character receiving it (their reply to the hit with an attack of their own). When one character hits another, show the reaction of that hit. Do they stagger, bleed, or fall?

* How does the atmosphere aide or complicate the fight? (Describe their surroundings.)
* Are words exchanged? (Are curses spat at each other? Are threats exchanged?)
* Describe the pain the protagonist feels and his/her thoughts.
* Finally, how does it end? (Who wins? Who loses? Describe the physical damage.)

TIP: I find that listening to music rock music really helps when I am writing fights, and I have written too many to count!

As I said before, writing a fight is not easy, but it can be fun!

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more.
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Michigan Murder & Mayhem Monday: How To Build Suspense by By Chrys Fey #amwriting #mmm #mwn

Expert Author Chrys Fey
Suspense makes your reader's heart pound uncontrollably, their hands sweat around your book, and drives them to read faster so they can turn the page to find out what is going to happen next.

Not every genre calls for suspense, but if your story is driven by it then here are ten tips to help you build suspense.

1. Plot is the biggest key to suspense. To being with, you have to create events in your story that can be suspenseful like a fight, a kidnapping, a car accident, etc.

2. Setting and tone. A place can be very suspenseful -especially if it's a dangerous place such as an alley, an abandoned building, or a drug dealer's home. Lighting is also a factor in suspense. If your protagonist is in pitch darkness and can't see two inches in front of their face, the suspense is much higher.

Tone is equally important. Actually, aside from plot, tone is more important than anything else is. If you use a dark suspenseful tone then you heighten the suspense just with your voice. Imagine you are telling a scary story, how would you talk to your audience to create suspense and fear?

3. A good protagonist and a good antagonist can make all the difference.

4. Show your character's point-of-view. Whatever sort of suspense you are creating, it should always be your top priority to reveal what your protagonist is thinking and feeling. When you show their fear to the reader, then your reader will fear too.

Don't just focus on the protagonist though. Take the opportunity to get into your antagonist's mind. Just by revealing their twisted thoughts and motives, you are building the suspense.

5. Use short sentences and fast pace. Just like when you're writing action, a fast pace means there's more action and more suspense.

6. Set a time limit. Nothing creates more suspense than a ticking clock, like a bomb that is counting down its last seconds. Perhaps your character is a detective investigating a series of crimes and they have to catch the suspect before they kill again. Have the antagonist reveal that he/she is going to kill again in a certain amount of time then make your protagonist scramble to try to stop him/her.

7. Create high stakes. Your character's life (or the life of someone they know), their sanity, or the fate of the whole world could be on the line. It's up to you! Whatever the stakes are, make the threat and the danger real. If there is a bomb, make it come within seconds from going off. Heck, make it go off just as your character is escaping. Now that is suspenseful!

8. Set the odds against the protagonist. If there is no struggle, there is no suspense! It has to seem almost impossible, or that the protagonist may not win after all. Throw complications and dilemmas at your protagonist left and right, something that will make them stumble in their investigation or cause a problem.

9. Fear! Using the protagonist's fears against them is a sure way to build suspense because when you use fear, suspense is right around the corner. You can even play into your reader's phobias by writing about fears many people share, like the fear of spiders, drowning, heights, etc.

10. And my favorite weapon to use to build suspense is... SURPRISING THE HECK OUT OF YOUR READER! This is the best way to build suspense and is quite fun to do when you know that your reader won't ever suspect what you just wrote. A twist in the plot will make their jaws drop and their minds race. After all, when your story is unpredictable it has suspense written all over it.

Chrys Fey created Write With Fey, a how-to blog about writing a novel. Every Tuesday there is a new post containing tips, inspiration, insight into her series, and much more.
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