Sunday, August 5, 2018

How To Write Bad Characters

image by neskita_flickr
How many ways are there for your characters to fall short of the compelling, three-dimensional ideal? A nearly infinite variety.
Flat. Two-dimensional. Thin. Stereotype. Underdeveloped. Implausible. Placeholder. Caricature. Insufficiently complex. Not fully fledged. Mere outlines. Sketches. Functions, not people. Poorly thought out.
For our purposes today, let’s call them “bad,” and let’s talk about the best ways to make your characters as bad as possible.
(Of course, what we really want is “good” characters – compelling, interesting characters who feel as real as people – but sometimes the best way to figure out how to do something is to start with how notto do it.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Michigan #SistersInCrime presents On Human Trafficking Aug4th Romeo Library via @Mi_SinC

Michigan Sisters In Crime presents On Human Trafficking August 4th Romeo District Library 

Michigan Sisters In Crime speaker, Lt. Wendy Reyes of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, is on the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force.Human trafficking affects individuals across the world, and right here in Michigan. It is commonly regarded as the second largest criminal enterprise after drugs. Human trafficking affects every community in Michigan across age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Open to members and non-members - Free Event
Date: Saturday, August 4, 2018
Time: 10:45am - 1:00pm
Location: Romeo District Library
Cost: FREE
For more info and to register, go to:
Michigan Sisters in Crime Member Info:
* We will be represented at Bouchercon. If you have a published book and want to donate it in a Bourchercon gift basket, bring it along on Aug. 4
* Also, for published members, send a headshot and link to your website or Amazon page to and we'll post it on our webpage.
Contact us for questions
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Monday, July 30, 2018

Writing Fiction: How To Write Evocative Characters Through Action And Strong Language


In this article, Damon Suede outlines how to use character action and strong language to lift your characters off the page.
One of the odd myths of fiction is that characters are just like people, only imaginary… as if Darcy and your mailman differed only in their fame, wealth, and relative eligibility. That’s nonsense, of course.
Characters share some characteristics with people but only enough to help them fulfil their function: to extract satisfying emotion from an audience.
One of the most obvious differences is that characters have to earn belief, while actual people get the benefit of the doubt. If we can see them and talk to them, then we assume they exist.
Characters have to convince an audience to believe. Characters don’t feel. Characters aren’t born. Characters don’t actually disobey their creators, although at times it feels like they do. The feelings are real. The characters are not.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Dialogue Tips for Mystery Writers

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Playing with sentence length in crime fiction. Is it time to trim the fat?

Today’s post is about creating tension in crime fiction with sentence length. I look at how overwriting can mar the pace of a novel and frustrate a reader, and how less can sometimes be more.
Playing with sentence length
This post featured in Joel Friedlander's Carnival of the Indies #93
Around eighty per cent of the books that end up in my editing studio are in the crime fiction genre.

One of the most common problems I encounter is overwriting. That’s not because the authors are poor writers. It’s because they’re nervous writers.

It takes a lot of hard graft to put enough words on a page to make a book. Yet it takes an equal amount of courage to remove them ... or some of them.

‘What if the reader just doesn’t get it?’
‘What if they’ve forgotten what I told them above?’
‘What if I haven’t provided enough detail?’
‘What if I just love both ways I’ve said that?’

These are the kinds of questions that result in anxious authors bulking up their prose.

In a bid to help you trim the fat, I’m going to explore the following:
  • Trusting your reader
  • Feisty fragments and snappy shorties
  • Damage by dilution
  • Letting go of what you love
read more

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Writing About Acts of Violence via Michigan Murder & Mayhem #motownwriters

by Jane Friedman  

As an editor who has seen countless first pages over the years, I’m familiar with the go-to scenes (and cliches) that often end up there. Alarms buzzing, phones ringing, and sun shining through the bedroom window make for common and often boring openings. In an effort to avoid that everyday boredom, some writers end up on the other extreme: sexual violence, murders, fatal car wrecks. They can pose some of the same problems—because they’re used so often and without distinction.
In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, writer Kim Brooks discusses how her creative writing students have been producing stories with shootings, stabbings, overdoses, and other TV-inspired physical insults. When she asks her students to avoid adding to the body count, their response: “Violence is interesting.”

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…So Much We Take For Granted* (via Michigan Murder & Mayhem) #MotownMoxie #Motownwriters #Michiganwriters

I’ll bet you’ve had this experience. You walk into a room, flick the light switch, and… nothing happens. Or you click to get online, only to get the message that there is no Internet connection. It’s a bit of a jolt when that sort of thing happens. Part of the reason is, of course, that you’re annoyed when the electricity, or the hot water, or the Internet, or…. isn’t available. But another part of it is that we take a lot of those things for granted. When something we take for granted suddenly isn’t there, this can be quite a jolt.
That jolt’s irritating at best in real life. But it can add interesting tension and even suspense to a crime novel. And the way in which characters cope with those jolts can add character depth.

Monday, May 21, 2018

What Exactly is a Cozy Mystery?

read more

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly
PG hadn’t checked on the mystery categories on Amazon lately. When he did, he discovered more than one cozy mystery listing.
Cozy mystery readers seem to enjoy titles with a pun.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Michigan Sisters in Crime Presents a Forensic Handwriting Seminary May19th @Mi_Sinc Metro #Detroit

On May 19, Ruth Holmes, a certified forensic handwriting examiner, will discuss the process of examining handwriting to determine the identity and psychological characteristics of crime suspects. 

"People are what they write. The brain does the writing; the hand responds to what it's asked to do," says Holmes, CDE, president of Pentec, Inc.

On Saturday, May 19, she will discuss how she's helped police and the criminal justice system solve crimes through forensic handwriting analysis. She frequently assists the Oakland County Sheriff's Department and Office of the Prosecutor and serves as an expert witness in major trials.
Both Michigan Sisters in Crime members and non-members are invited to join us at 10:30 on May 19 in Troy. Event cost is $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Pizza lunch included. Click on the following link for more information and to register.

We hope to see you there! Feel free to contact us | Join Us


Sunday, April 15, 2018

upcoming Event: #AWAOA #Detroit USING BLOGS & BOOKS TO ROCK YOUR LITERARY CAREER Facilitated by @SylviaHubbard April17th

April 17th with Aspiring Writers Associations of America – Detroit Chapter as I facilitate a workshop on
Meeting Location at:
7 W. Square Lake Road at Woodward
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The general public and attend one meeting free. If they join it’s only $10 a month.
For more information about membership to AWAOA please go to

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

upcoming Event: #AWAOA #Detroit USING BLOGS & BOOKS TO ROCK YOUR LITERARY CAREER Facilitated by @SylviaHubbard April17th

April 17th with Aspiring Writers Associations of America – Detroit Chapter as I facilitate a workshop on
Meeting Location at:
7 W. Square Lake Road at Woodward
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The general public and attend one meeting free. If they join it’s only $10 a month.
For more information about membership to AWAOA please go to

Thursday, March 29, 2018







Best Wishes

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Are you reading the new live story #BlacksInnocence? Catch up with over 100 readers and leave your comments

Catch up with Black's Innocence now at


Subscribe for updates to work in Progress from Sylvia Hubbard by clicking here

What's next? Black's Innocence.

If you haven't already read the Prologue of this story, you need to click over to Innocent Vengeance. The story that gives you everything you need to know about Black's Innocence.

BlacksInnocence.jpgBlack's Innocence

(this will be paperback and ebook)

Taking her virginity was easy, damning her soul will be fun.

Adopted out to another family before he knew his real parentage, the cruel Black's blood runs through Tyler's veins.

He was trying to be a nice guy, but when his best friend wrongs him, his revenge will be nothing less than stellar.

Lauren prided herself on saving herself for marriage. Ten dollars a week on her measly income also provided her with a dowry any man would be proud to have, along with her virginity.

Yet, from the first day she met her fiancĂ©'s best friend, her life became hell on wheels INNOCENTvengeanceand there was nothing she could do about it.

Catch up with Black's Innocence now at

Black's Innocence is a standalone novel to the Black Family Series. See more of them at:

Author's Note/Reminder: No it doesn't have to do with the Stealing Innocence Series. Yes, this does have a short story excerpt from the beginning. Innocent Vengeance | Click here to start reading.

related characters:
blacks family banner 2018

Catch up with Black's Innocence now at

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