Do You Want to Know a Secret?

Have you ever noticed how keeping secrets or telling secrets sometimes get the best of people. Everyone loves to receive privileged information, and many times we love giving it away. So take advantage of our tendecy to be curious. Give your character a secret to keep or to divulge against his/her better judgment.

What will happen if Sue’s boss suspects she is falling in love with him? What about a teen-ager who joins a gang? How will his poor mother feel if she finds out? How does he keep her from finding out?

Secrets are great for causing suspense, and they can add another dimension to your character. How will your character hide his secret? What will be the fallout if he is found out?

Will giving your character a secret fear or desire broaden the story? Was there something degrading or shameful in his/her past that they choose to hide? Is there an aspect of their lives they want to keep a secret. Do they pretend to be someone they’re not?

He/She is your character. Build him/her any way you want. Give him/her a secret that will blow your readers away. Just go it!

What About Story Endings?

There can be no question. Your first page, your first paragraph must catch the attention of your reader – or they won’t read. But suppose they read your work to the end. A story that begins well must end well. The ending is what your reader will remember. It forms the final impression for your reader, not just of the story, but of you, the author. Consider the following:

Your readers are looking for something. They hope to find it in your story. Wht are they looking for? Most likely, an emotional payoff. The ending should reward them for their emotional investment in your tale.

It should show the result of the conflict (Hopefully, you’ve developed a clear conflict). Has your protagonist reached the goal? Maybe – maybe not. Sometimes a good ending might leave your reader wondering about the final outcome. The ending may not be clear, but may be suggestive of things to come.

A good ending shows the results of your protagonist’s character arc. How has he/she changed because of the struggles encountered in the story? What has been learned?

A good ending will collect all the loose ends and tie them up in a suggestive way – no need to go into detail as this will likely bog down the story.

These are just a few things to think about when ending your story. Take them for what it’s worth.

Rainy Days and Mondays

Hello, again. It’s Monday and it’s raining. Rainy days and Mondays always get . . . well, not necessarily. There is much to do. Places to go. People to see. Business is good as long as it doesn’t turn to busyness. I do believe there is a difference.

Business is actually accomplishing something, regardless of its importance. Busyness is doing for the sake of doing, and that takes away from accomplishing your goals – whether they are goals in writing or anything else you undertake. 

The older I get, the more I realize time is short and there is none to waste. I look back and see all the time that has already been wasted, and I don’t want to go that route anymore. You know what! By looking back, I’ve already wasted time. Keep moving ahead, one foot in front of the other. 

It’s okay to look back if you can learn from your mistakes, but please don’t dwell on them (I’m assuming you’ve made some mistakes, too).  Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” I don’t believe that’s a blank check for anything we may desire. I believe if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will place within us His desires for our life. His desires become our desires. If we delight in the Lord, our goals, our dreams, come from Him and He will fulfill them. Of course, this doesn’t apply if we are full of busyness. Focus on business, and your attempts will be fruitful.

Time Flies

The old saying, “Time flies” certainly is true. My only question is, where is it flying to? It is here for a fleeting nanosecond, and it’s gone forever. There is much to write about. There are many other areas of our lives we need to address. There is much love to share, but in a split second, it’s all gone.

So I will ask, How are you spending your time? Is it profitable? Is it wasted? Will it count for all eternity? The term, “spending time”, means exactly that. You are spending time just as you spend money. You will get what you pay for. There are no special deals or sales in the world of time. Every second you spend is worth something. What are you buying with your time?

Your choice of how you spend your time will determine what comes back to you. Time is fleeting. Time is never still. Time waits for no man (or woman). So I ask again, and hopefully you will seriously consider it – how are you spending your time?

Tonight’s the Night

Tonight’s the night – and today is the day. My eleventh book, Pinpoint Analysis, is now live. You can get it from Amazon or order it from your favorite bookstore, but your best option is to order it directly from me here at MVOWC. I never charge shipping so you’ll be saving at least $3.00-$5.00. Just go to the Books and Resources page.

Tonight we will be celebrating at the launch party. You all are invited. It will be held at 756 Axemann Road in Pleasant Gap, PA. If you’re able, please stop by and say “Hello”. We’ll begin at 7:00 p.m. There will be plenty of food, lots of free give-aways, and tons of fun. Hope to see you!!!

One Week and Counting

It seems like sucha long time since I began the rough draft of Pinpoint Analysis. Actually, it’s been over a year. Time passes quickly. Today the book is available at both as a paperback and e-book. You can also order it at your favorite bookstore. Unfortunately, because it is now live, the book goes to full price.

But – here’s the deal!

The launch date isn’t until May 20th, so if you order from me here at this website, you can still (until May 20th) get the book for only $5.00 which also includes shipping. That means that in reality, you practically get the book for free. You can’t beat that, can you?

The official launch date is May 20th. The party is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and if anyone is in the area, let me know. I’ll send you directions and would love to have you stop by. I wish you all could be there. There will be refreshments, book give-aways, a short powerpoint discussion on why we write, and of course, books.

I’ll try to post some pictures and maybe a video after it’s over. It’s been a long journey, but for me, it’s been well worth it. Now it’s on to my next project.

Interviewing Lawrence Hebb, Author of Scorpion’s Vengeance

Author Lawrence Hebb

I’ve had the fantastic opportunity to interview author Lawrence Hebb this past week. I was able to gain insight into what drives him and what excites him about writing. I placed the full interview on the Featured Excerpt page. He goes into detail about his writing and his process to get “things” done.

I think you’ll find it interesting, and you might even gather some ideas of your own to spur your writing efforts. For sure, it will spur your desire to read.

His latest book, Scorpion’s Vengeance, will be available April 30, 2019. I hope you will take a few minutes and check out the interview, and then consider ordering this book to add to your library.

Marketing for Dummies – Part 2

The above picture is from my latest photo shoot. I hope you like my pink bow tie.

Okay. Okay. Seriously, last week we bgan to look at marketing and I left you with the following thoughts.

The public must be aware of your product, which in the case of writing, is two-fold – your book, and you. It’s not enough to get your book in front of people. You must also sell yourself. By that, I don’t mean to be pretentious and put on a front. Be yourself. What I do mean is that people must learn to trust you. That calls for building relationships, and that’s not an easy task.

So, how do we do that? There are several things to consider . . .

If you are to “sell” yourself, people must first know of you. In this world of technology, the best way to do that may very well be through the internet. The best way to do it through the internet is two-fold.

1.) You really need to have a website. You need a place to share your thoughts, not just about writing but about life in general. You are more than a writer. You are a person with interests, goals, emotions. While you don’t want to overdo the emphasis on you as a person, do be transparent. Let your readers know what makes you tick, what drives you. Show a bit of your human side.

2.) Your website is the place to highlight your work, whether it be books, ebooks, or blogs. Shine the spotlight on your projects. Let people know what’s going on. As they get to know you, they will begin to trust you (don’t violate that trust). As they begin to trust you, they will begin to trust your work.

Your website should include a page where people can purchase your material easily. There should be a contact page where your readers can contact you, preferably through email. It can be dangerous making phone numbers available over the internet. A picture of yourself is always helpful, and the best place to put it – high on the home page. It’s a proven fact that folks notice pictures more than the written word. People surfing the net will react more positively to a picture than to what you write. If there is no picture, they may not even read what’s written.

There are many free and low-cost website builders available on the internet. Do some research and see which works best for you. We will continue with these thoughts next week. See you then.


Marketing for Dummies – Part 1

Yes, I’m one of those dummies. I love to write, but I hate to market. I recently began a journey to learn more about marketing because, like it or not, if I’m going to get the written word to the reader, I have to market (and I don’t hvae thousands of dollars to pour into it).

The first thing I asked myself is why is marketing necessary? It’s only necessary if you want people to read your work – whether that be a blog page, a short story, a how-to article, or a full-blown novel. There may be different reasons why you want people to read you, but they won’t unless they know about you. So, marketing is a necessity.

The public must be aware of your product, which in the case of writing, is two-fold – your book, and you. It’s not enough to get your book in front of people. You must also sell yourself. By that, I don’t mean to be pretentious and put on a front. Be yourself. What I do mean is that people must learn to trust you. That calls for building relationships, and that’s not an easy task.

So, how do we do that? There are several things to consider, and that will lead us to Part 2 next time. Until then . . .