Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cozy Mystery is one of the fastest growing areas in CBA. More and more people are discovering the fun, quirky characters and twisted tales that make up the genre. But what distinguishes a cozy mystery? What makes a cozy…well, cozy? In an effort to help readers better understand the genre, and also assist authors interested in trying their hand in writing one, I’ll be offering a four week course on writing the cozy mystery. The best part? It’s absolutely free! Here’s what you can expect:


A. What is a cozy mystery?
B. How does a cozy mystery differ from other genres?

I will offer a definition of a cozy mystery, and include
information regarding how a cozy mystery differs from other genres similar in nature.


A. Developing believable characters using Goals, Motivation, and Conflict
B. Choosing a setting

I will write a paragraph showing an effective use of setting. I will also teach you how to write a detailed character sketch which includes any backstory
important to helping understand the goal and motivation of the primary character.


A. The importance of a detailed outline
B. Planting clues, red herrings, and suspects

The best way to avoid plot holes is to use a detailed outline. I’ll provide a basic outline and show you the best tools for filling it in.


A. Conducting proper research
B. Penalty, perjury, and prejudice—knowing the correct police procedures

In mysteries, it is very important to determine the exact penalty and police procedure for the crime determined in your outline. If the crime in an old one, I’ll show you how to determine the statute of limitations, as well as provide you with the best links for conducting proper research.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Simple. Progressive. Perfect. Perfect Progressive. Where is all this tension coming from?

(Laughing) Okay, it’s about tenses, not tension, but if you’re like me, one can easily lead to the other. To better understand what makes writing active vs. passive, one must understand the tenses and all their various forms. I’m still learning, but here are a couple of websites that have really helped me see the difference.

Home of the University of Ottawa, this extensive website lists all of the tense forms, and a few easy to understand examples of each.

Another good resource can be found at Click on the Verb page and you’re on your way! And if you still think writing is easy, check out the Gerund page. It’s full of fun exercises to help you keep from splitting those infinitives.

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