Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lake County Library Book Fest 2014

I am looking forward to attending several of the events of the Lake County Library Book Fest this week. First, I am attending a session from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. today where best-selling author Lisa Black will provide a glimpse into the world of forensic science and the characters who inhabit that world.

Then, on Wednesday, March 12, I will attend Authors Going Rogue from 2:00 to 4;00 p.m. Mystery Writers of America authors Julie Compton, Vicki Landis and Ann Meier will discuss why some authors have left traditional publishing for the wild world of DIY. Today, authors who want to get published have many options. This workshop will focus on the two most prevalent—traditional publishing and self – publishing, as well as the respective pros and cons.

I’ve learned a lot about writing by attending events such as these and listening to other successful writers.

SleuthFest 2014

I just got back from attending SleuthFest 2014 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek, from February 27 to March 2, 2014, sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, of which I am proud to by a member.

The conference included four tracks of panels on the craft and business of writing, meals with keynote speakers, an agent or editor appointment, and much more. I attended the MWA University last year in Deerfield Beach and learned a lot. This year, I gained similarly from this conference.

I was also been selected to moderate a discussion with well-known mystery writer Ace Atkins about his book Wonderland.

SleuthFest is an annual event of the Florida Chapter of MWA.

How to be a better writer–words to avoid

2009 approx Port St. Lucie News2

Certain words dilute the power of fiction. After I finish my first or second draft, I search the text file to find the words from the following list. Then I see if I can omit or replace them with more powerful words.

  • about
  • all
  • almost
  • already
  • also
  • and
  • anyway
  • appear
  • be (is, am, etc. all forms of the verb “to be”)
  • by
  • can
  • could
  • even
  • get, get(s) to
  • has to, have to
  • his, hers (and other possessives and pronouns)
  • -ing (replace the gerund–” I was running”–with the action verb–“I ran”)
  • just
  • -ly (most adverbs mean that the verb should be replaced with a better verb. Replace “He walked heavily down the hall” with “He trudged down the hall” or “He stomped down the hall.” Get it?)
  • might
  • need(s) to
  • of (replace “The house made of wood” with “The wooden house”)
  • ought to
  • seem
  • -self (as in myself, himself or herself)
  • so
  • should
  • some
  • still
  • that
  • the
  • then
  • there
  • think
  • to
  • up
  • very
  • want(s) to
  • well
  • would
  • yet

Try replacing most of these words and your writing will be tighter and more powerful.