Category: Random Friday

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 5. Never neglect setting.* It’s key to everything that follows. What does it look like, smell like, sound like, feel like? What effect does the setting have on the characters, and why? Once you figure out setting, you can figure out who…

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 4. Make your protagonist a hero, if not in his own eyes then in everyone else’s. A hero is better than you and me; that’s why they are heroes and why they deserve their own novel and you and I don’t. How?…

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 3. Put your protagonist at risk. Physically, mentally, emotionally, any or all. Liam Campbell jumped out of an airplane (on purpose), was nearly flattened by a herd of walrus, and has been shot at and missed far too many times. We won’t…

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction by Dana Stabenow (written for Writer’s Digest) 2. Love your creeps. Put the villain on display and do it early in the narrative. Get your reader invested in the character and then betray the hell out of both of them. Read the rest at Writer’s Digest here.

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7 Tips for Writing Crime Fiction (written for Writer’s Digest) by Dana Stabenow I only wish I’d had this list when I began writing, but thirty-seven novels later I do have a few things figured out. I don’t follow all these rules slavishly. I say begin with the murder but…often I don’t. Every writer does…

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One week after… Disappearance of a Scribe, the second Eye of Isis novel, is out there in the real world now (instead of existing just between my ears). A body in Rhakotis sandals gives a nasty shock to passing fishermen, and Cleopatra’s Eye, Tetisheri, is called to the scene to investigate. Thereby hangs a tale of…

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This is what my dining table looks like these days. I’m beginning the third novel in the Eye of Isis series, and I’ve written enough of Tetisheri’s story now to revise her calendar. Calendars are very important in series–when did she do what, where, and to whom? Writing a calendar for the Kate Shugak novels,…

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The Noble Nagoonberry

[from 2011] Some of you wanted to know what a nagoonberry was, so photo above is this berry of kings in the wild. It is a secretive little fruit, hiding its light in the deepest, darkest recesses of the forest, usually under air cover of a hundred or so squadrons of mosquitoes. That’s per plant.…

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Driving the AlCan 2021

Log for 2021 Alcan Drive, aka Dawn and Dana’s Excellent Adventure. Covid-19 has made nothing easier but it has not made everything impossible, either. [All photos by Dawn.] May 9, 2021 First day–Got to Sumas, Washington at 9am, across the border by 11am. Four cars/campers/RVs in front and behind. Very nice, very efficient Canadian border…

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Looking for Women Warriors

[From 2011] Great blog post by Meg Clothier on heroines in fiction in The Guardian. Click here to read it in full, but here’s my money quote: …the most egregious example comes in Lord of the Rings (bear with me). In the climactic pages, when every man on the battlefield flees before the Lord of…

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