A Milliner, a Haberdasher, and a Scrivener Went to a Bar

Does that sound like the beginning of an arcane joke?

The other day, somebody asked me what a haberdasher was, and I started thinking about words I haven't seen since school.

I don't recall when I first encountered Haberdasher, but I know  it was in a British story taking place a couple centuries ago. I associated it with gentlemens' hats, handkerchiefs, and the like.  The Canterbury Tales includes 3 of the notions peddlers.

Cool Words ya Just Don't See Anymore

I don't remember my first literary encounter with a milliner, but since ladies' hat-making isn't that big these days, it was also in an older story.

Where I met "scrivener" sticks out clearly inmy mind. IT was in a super-annoying story I had to read in sophomore year of high school, "Bartleby the Scrivener.." Maybe it says something that the story stuck out for well north of 3 decades, but not for the right reason. Scribes back in the day, writers in more modern parlance.

Here are a few other words I first met in grade school that aren't used in the same aspect today.

  • Ginger, as in careful (not the root),
  • Ecstasy as in supreme joy (not drugs), and
  • Elated, as in overjoyed (close cousin to ecstatic).

What out-of-date or out-of-time words do you remember from school? Add them to the comments below.

If you love words, come play Word Streak, Word Chums, or Words with Friends with me.

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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Author Resources: Writing Inspiration, Tips, and Tools on Pinterest

Looking for writing tips? I have a board called Writing Tips and Tools that's here to help!

If you need help in any of these areas, this is a helpful board to follow:

  • Novel writing
  • Short story writing
  • Character development
  • Plotting
  • Pacing
  • Word choice
  • Setting a scene
  • and more

Please follow my board, because every time I find a great resource, I share it with you

Follow the Writing Tips and Tools Board

Writing Tips & Skills Pinterest Board

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#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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Grief Is Like a Tea Bag: Book Excerpt from They All Died Smiling: Kassidy and Russell First Kiss

I just did an interview for a funeral home. Not a job interview. The kind a writer gives to an interested party.

Yeah, I don't know "why Ronda" either, but there it is.

Writing Challenges

Anyway, the topic of grief naturally arose, and I mentioned how grief infiltrates life the way a teabag infuses its essence into water. Grief can be a powerful motivator for a wide variety of actions a character takes (or does not take).  For the reader, seeing how the protagonist or other character responds to grief can make for fascinating  reading. The more a book or short story brings out emotion in the reader, the better.

That means a writer needs to infuse each tale with any and all emotions that comprise life. An author who is a student of human  nature and a keen observer has a clear advantage in potraying these emotions on the page.

Here is a book excerpt from my upcoming novel They All Died Smiling, .showing how Kassidy's grief over the death of her husband makes it hard for her to consider being with another man, even though she knows full well Randy would want her to move on. Continue reading "Grief Is Like a Tea Bag: Book Excerpt from They All Died Smiling: Kassidy and Russell First Kiss"

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Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

Having taken Jan Morrill's live workshop on creative characterization, I was thrilled when I saw the announcement that she had made a print (and Kindle) workbook to accompany it.

Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

cover of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill

 In Creative Characterization, award-winning author Jan Morrill discusses six different methods she uses to develop characters such as those in her historical fiction, The Red Kimono:

• Interviewing
• Describing Photos and Paintings
• Writing Letters
• Writing in a Different Point of View
• Accessing Character’s Inner Child
• Internalization

The exercises in this workbook will help develop characters, and may even lead to a bit of self-discovery along the way!

Do I find this book helpful for me as a fiction writer? Continue reading "Writing Skills Book Review of Creative Characterization by Jan Morrill"

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Writing Skills: What Flaws Does Your Character Have?

I once read a series called The Celtiad. It was good in many ways, but the hero was a superlative bard, an expert shot, and more. While everyone has great skills, flaws are essential for interesting characters.

Is your character overly sensitive? Easily offended? Protecting a secret? Here are some possible character flaws yours might possess. Be sure to remember this when writing to keep each scene realistic within its context.

Common Character Flaws

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About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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How Can Fiction Writing Techniques Amp Up Your Nonfiction? Video Tutorial

PoIf you're only or primarily a nonfiction writer, you may not have thought about blending good fiction writing skills into the mix.

Just like a good novel, your nonfiction, how-to or self help book will capture your reader's attention much better when you see the world through the eyes of a storyteller.

Watch this video tutorial to see how.

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About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Writing Tips: Writing British Characters? Use These Britishisms

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If you're British, you might be offended if someone says , "Please hand me my fanny pack." That particular "f word" means  something less tasteful on that side of the "pond."

I've read books by American authors that include a British character Few make the dialogue sound real. There's a different cadence, and the idioms  are nowhere near th same.

If someone calls you a tosser, they're saying you're an idiot.

A dodgy person is suspicious.

Here's an infographic that might help you!

British Expressions

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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How Do You Make Readers Care about Your Characters?

Have you ever read a book or story  and put it down because you simply didn't care what happens next to the main characters? That is a HUGE flaw in writing! You don't want to do that, and neither do I.

This article by Natasha Lester is great, because she shares the 4 emotional elements she considers when writing a scene.

I believe that fear is at the heart of all good drama: what we are afraid of doing, or of not doing, what we are afraid of feeling, what we are afraid of learning, what we are afraid of losing, what we are afraid of loving.

-- Natasha Lester

I happen to love this useful emotions quadrant Lester uses when writing each scene. I'm going to whip I out and give it a try myself. Thanks, Ms. Lester! Read original article source here.

Creating Emotion in a Story

Let me know if you try it and what you think.

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Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

Join Ronda's readers for free stories, sneak peeks at her next books and more at WriteOnPUrpose.com/read

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Writing Skills Book Review: Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Point of view is perhaps the most difficult skill to develop. SOme writers have more trouble with it than others, but whether trying for deep POV or not-so-deep, it tends to vex every writer to some degree. So if you find it a challenge, you're in good company!

I came across this book and decided to read it so I could see if it's a worthy resource for you.

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by jill Elizabeth Nelson

Deep point of view is so fully in a characters mind that the reader doesn't just read your book; she lives the story. Go deep enough and your rreader will feel the joys and sorrows so completely that those people on the pages come to life.

Yet there are so many ways, subtle and not so subtle, that an author can ruin the mood and come out of the character's perceptions so much it annoys the reader.

How is this book organized? Have a look at the table of contents. Continue reading "Writing Skills Book Review: Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson"

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Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker

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elcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week, it's an Amish science fiction novel called Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker.

Yes, I said "Amish science fiction." Have you heard of it?

It sounds like a strange combination, doesn't it? Yet in the hands of a skilled wordsmith, it can definitely work.

Here's the book description from Amazon:

Dr. Chris Alexander, a borderline sociopath and Brother, Frankenstein amish science fiction book by Michael Bunkertechnological genius, has designed an advanced cybernetic life form from prototype decommissioned military drones and top-secret experimental DARPA technology.

The HADroid was supposed to be a military grade robot with the transplanted heart and brain of a human donor that would “transform” into a devastating state of the art war machine when activated by its onboard human operator.

But when the mad doctor steals the dying child of a simple Amish couple and transplants the brain and cardiovascular system of their dying eleven year old autistic son into the incredibly lethal robot the dark forces of government come looking for their investment. Dr. Alexander and the monster escape into another Amish community to hide among the plain folk while Frank, the autistic eleven year old boy trapped inside the body of the world’s most deadly robot, befriends another child who will help the prisoner inside the machine to leave the world of autism and understand what it means to be human and Amish.

But tensions arise among the plain and pacifistic yet closed minded Amish as they begin to suspect just what kind of technological monstrosity is hiding among them, and before long hard men who do the government’s most dirty deeds will come looking for a killing machine only to find a boy named Frank who has the power to defend a closed society from the worst of the world.

Did I think reading Brother, Frankenstein  was a good use of my time? Continue reading "Book Review of Amish Science Fiction Brother, Frankenstein by Michael Bunker"

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Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?

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(NOTE: Post updated to add new material to aid with dialogue writing).

I love writing dialogue! The characters speak and I take dictation. At least, that's how it feels to me. Here is a snippet of dialogue from my work in progress, They All Died Smiling. Kassidy, a writer/demon hunter, talks with her friend Floyd:

While finishing an assignment for the paper, I dialed my phone. “Floyd, I’m borrowing your studio for a half hour this afternoon, OK? Thanks. I appreciate it.”

“Uh…you’re welcome. Thanks for asking ahead of time.” I heard the smile in his voice and imagined him brushing a stray lock of blond hair out of those eyes that look like the sea.

“My pleasure. You won’t be in the throes of artistic fervor this afternoon. You will be at the gallery for your viewing.”

“You truly are a mess, Kass. It’s a showing, not a viewing. A viewing is what they do for dead bodies.”

Floyd was a good verbal sparring partner; I let him tease me in honor of our first meeting. I made that faux pas for real when interviewing him for a story about green pottery. Having come right from a wake to the gallery, I accidentally used the wrong word.

“Floyd, just the reception room, not the part full of your cherished creations. And I promise to make it up to you.”

“Ooh, that should be fun. I’ll hold you to it. You owe me big time for using my space.”

“Yes, I do.” My face flushed. “Sell lots of pots.”

“It’s a good thing you put an s on that.”

So many authors I know struggle with dialogue. Maybe I as a blind person have a distinct advantage over you sighted people, because I pay so mush attention to what I hear.

What's at the Root of Dialogue Problems?

My observations tell me that problems with dialogue come from 2 main issues with writing dialogue:

Dialogue Problems

Continue reading "Fiction Writing help: How Do I Write Great Dialogue?"

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7 Keys to Writing a Profitable Book

7 Keys to a Profitable Book

Want your book to bring you PROFITS?

It's not just about writing a good book. There are 7 key elements in nonfiction, 6 in fiction, you can add to boost your book's profits.

For example, you need to write a page turner, so give the reader a reason to turn the page at the end of each chapter.

"ENd each chapter with a reason to keep reading." -Ronda Del Boccio / Get your FREE mini-course 7 Keys to a Profitable Book at WriteOnPurpose.com/free

Find out what they are so you can implement them in this FREE mini-course, which includes a printed special report + a quick video tutorial to help you implement.

7 Keys to a Profitable Book

Grab it now WriteOnPurpose.comfree

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author, speaker and mentor

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Looking for Blog Post Title Templates?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Blogging

Need Blog Post Title Templates?

Templates are like stencils or recipes. Just fill in the blank and adapt these templates to write great blog post titles.

It's like that game Mad Libs. Remember that? Look no further. than this infographic for 74 terrific blog post title templates.

blog post title teplates

You could even use some of these for

  • book titles
  • article titles
  • video titles

Just sayin... be creative with a little help from templates.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio,

best selling author and inspirational speaker, this time helping you with blog post title templates.

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Book Review of Romance Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter

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Book Review of Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter

Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible read. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers. This week's good read is Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter. It's a light read with interesting characters. It reminds me of a "typical" woman's Sex in the City, because the key characters are interesting women who have more common lives and jobs than the glitzy shopaholic movie/TV series.

What makes this a good read? Continue reading "Book Review of Romance Thursdays at Coconuts by Beth Carter"

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Writing Skills Book Review: Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall

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As an author, I read books about the craft of writing, publishing, book marketing and similar topics writers need.  Today, I'm reviewing an excellent book about writing battles.

Ronda Del Boccio holding Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall

Have you ever been reading a good book but found yourself brought right out of the story by a ridiculous fight scene? I have.

One book I read is otherwise excellent, however, the author wrote a hand-to-hand combat scene in which a man bit out a woman's Adam's apple.

Wh-wh-wh-wha-???

In case you, like this author, don't know your anatomy, only men have that bobbing little apple-like protrusion. It's not possible for someone to bite a woman's (nonexistent) body part and ruin her vocal chords, leaving her with a permanently husky voice.

I've also read stories in which a tiny woman wields a battle axe. If you've never picked up one of these weapons, it's heavy and requires a solid wallop. Not something a tiny woman, or man for that matter, could manage.

I read a sword fight scene in which the warrior pulled a heavy, long sword from his back, when it would not be possible.

Feel free to share any battle blunders you've read in he comments. I'd love to read them, and I'm sujre others would as well!

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall is a top-notch resource for authors writing fight scenes. Chapters cover everything from true crime to were-creatures to nautical fights to fantasy to swordfight, and everything in between.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne HallThis is the bestselling original by Rayne Hall, published in 2011 and updated in 2013.

Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.

The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader's emotions.

You'll decide how much violence your scene needs, what's the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.

There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns.
For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more.

You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders.

Please note: This book assumes that you have some fiction writing experience. You'll benefit most if you've already mastered the basics of the craft and want to learn specialist techniques. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.

The book uses British English.

I like how the book is structured, beginning with  what the author should consider before the fight  commences.  Then, various weapons have their own chapter.  Male VS female combatants, self defense, and psychological barriers take you deeper into planning. Finally, the book moves into writing skills such as pacing, dialogue, making the reader care and creating erotic tension.

The first decision is whether your scene is to be "gritty or entertaining." Each style has a different presentation on the page.

Chapter Two is all about location.  Different battles lend themselves to different weapons. This chapter helps you decide upon staging.

The third chapter is one of my favorites, because it gives a six-step method for weaving the fight scene into the story. It's not just about the battle.

You'll be able to pick and choose the chapters to read when planning your battle. If you're not sure which polearm or sword to incorporate, you'll get the basics here. That will help if you need to do ore research.

I love that Rayne Hall includes blunders to avoid in each chapter. This helps the author avoid rookie mistakes that ruin the story's credibility.

Read my Amazon 5-star Review of Writing Fight Scenes.

About Rayne Hall

Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction. She is the author of over fifty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England. Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more. Outside publishing, she worked as a museum guide, apple
picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and belly dancer.

She is the editor of the Ten Tales anthologies (themed short story collections). Her books on the writing craft are bestsellers.

 Connect with Author Rayne Hall

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Buy Writing Fight Scenes on Amazon

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About Ronda Del Boccio

Ronda Del Boccio is an award-winning and best Click for Member Home Pageselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She tells transformational tales and helps visionary authors turn their dreams and imaginings into published books. See and order Ronda's books on Amazon.

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PS Want to republish this review?

I am delighted for you to repost this review on your blog or website. You are most welcome to republish this review following standards established by best practice and copyright law. This is true of any blog post, by the way.

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Book Review of Thriller The Geneva Decision by Seeley James

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Welcome back to another Write On Purpose book review. Each week, I review a well-written book, highlighting what makes it good from the reader’s perspective and what writing skills and techniques make it an irresistible book. Thus, each review serves both writers and readers.

This week's excellent read is The Geneva Decision by Seeley James, a thriller about an athlete embarking on a new and dangerous lifestyle.

Like any good thriller, the lead character Pia Sabel is both flawed and larger-than-life in equal measure. That's part of what makes thrillers exciting to those who enjoy them.

Read the book description of The Geneva Decision on Amazon

Cover of The Geneva Decision by Seeley JamesPia Sabel plays to win.

Until a few weeks ago, she was an international soccer star. But now she’s taken the helm of her billionaire father’s private security company, and she’s playing against a whole new set of opponents – the kind who shoot to kill.

On her first day on the job, Pia’s client is assassinated in front of her. There’s no time for training, so Pia must trust her instincts and athletic skills to unravel the complicated maze of money laundering and piracy that will take her from Swiss mansions to the jungles of Cameroon.

Her battle-hardened employees suspect she’s just a spoiled rich girl with a mean corner kick. But Pia’s got some unexpected moves of her own. Will they be enough to bring her team through its mission?

Read my Amazon review.

What makes The Geneva Decision an exciting thriller?

Continue reading "Book Review of Thriller The Geneva Decision by Seeley James"

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Grammar RULES: Overcoming Comma Confusion

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Ah, that little pause, but not the pause that refreshes. It's an annoying little punctuation mark that causes more bickering than most.

I've been in writing critique group sessions in which people argued over whether that coma should or should not be there.

Poor use of commas can show your "greenhorn" / newbie status immediately. You don't want that, even if you're penning your first article.

In a case like "Let's eat, Uncle John," it's clear. Unless you're a cannibal, you want the coma! But in many other situations, the waters become murky.

A writer I know said she sent her publisher a whole page of commas and said, "Put them where they go." She has written a bunch of books (north of fifty, I believe) and perhaps she can get away with that. You and I, however, benefit from knowing the rules! So here they are. Comma Rules One thing to note is that if your publisher uses a certain style manual, there may be some slight differences. I believe it's the AP style book that uses a comma after the second word in a sequence of three. Not all style books recommend this.

As a writer, it can be good to get a good style guide I have Elements of Style Volume 4 by Strunk & White.. You may have one for your industry/niche.

There is a style book for gardening writers, and there are others. Use whatever your publisher or employer says to use.

Follow your BLISS

Ronda Del Boccio

best selling author, speaker & Top Reviewer

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Book Review: Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda Brotherton

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Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013.

I have to be honest. I'm not usually a romance reader, unless there's suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.

I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.

Her writing is so strong and compelling. I'm glad I read this book.

When a writer is so gifted you'll gladly read a genre you don't normally enjoy, that's quality wordcraft.

SEXY, DARK AND GRITTY TALES Tough gutsy heroines, strong and gentle heroes, villains to die for.

The Romance Reviews

Here is the description from Amazon.com:

COver of Once There Were Sad Songs by Velda BrothertonIn the summer of 1985, Mary Elizabeth flees a fanatic husband and a cult-like life to search for a meaningful existence.

Camped in Ouachita State Park she falls in with three scruffy motorcycle bums after one of them rescues her from some young hoodlums. That one, despite all his nightmare memories, teaches her the true meaning of love and changes her life forever. Steven, a Vietnam vet and war hero set on the path to destruction with his buddies, never expected to find a woman whose love could help him see how to atone for his misspent life and find happiness again.

But once he's cofound her and realized the way he must go, it's impossible to keep her in his life. Or is it?

Read my 5-Star Review here

5 Star Review Graphic

 

Details that Reveal Character

I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:

Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn't help but smile back.

That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That's the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.

Power of the Past

I have come to feel that the character's past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.

People--real people, not just characters in books--react based upon the past That's why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.

Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character's now:

With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa's coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in 'Nam, like he should have ben.

A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.

This is how memory works. I'm not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It's messy and mostly unconscious.

The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.

Deep POV (point of view)

I've brought up deep point of view more than once. It's currently the "in fashion" way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.

Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we're inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:

No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he'd snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.

This pulls the reader into Steven's perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.

Deep POV is something that you don't get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you're deep when you're not. Practice and read great examples.

Twisting the Romance Mold

Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.

Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma's formulaic romance. While ere are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.

I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's not typical.

A Reading Tip for Authors

Writers must read. Reading good books helps you improve writing skills.

Get a highlighter. If you're an author wishing to improve your skills, read books with a highlighter in hand.

I highlight passages on my Kindle all the time when I come across something juicy. Yes, it helps me write these reviews, but most importantly, doing this makes it easy to go back and review passages from which I as an author can learn.

Maybe it is a bit of character development, the cadence of dialogue, or a loaded description. Later I can easily see those highlighted bits.

Order your copy of Once There Were Sad Songs

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Connect with Velda Brotherton

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Visit her website.

Velda Brotherton book table including Once There Were Sad Songs, Beyond the Moon, Rowena's Hellion, Wolf Song and others

Similar Books by Velda Brotherton

Brotherton has published several books in which one of the main characters is a wounded warrior (veteran) with PTSD.

Beyond the Moon is a darker tale of a hospitalized veteran with raging PTSD and the artist dragged into his life. This is an intense tale published by Foyle Press, an Oghma Creative Media imprint.

Rowena's Hellion is the second in the Victorians series, also published by Wild Rose Press..

See all her many books on Amazon.

Book Reviews

Before posting here, I first write a review on Amazon, and I am an Amazon Top Reviewer; read my reviews at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviews.

Each Tuesday, read  a book review on WriteOnPUrpose.com. I delve deeper in these than I do for what I post on Amazon

Focusing on what makes a good read, these reviews benefit authors and readers alike. Each contains  hints to help authors make their books more compelling.

Book Review Requests

If you are an author desiring a book review, go to my Review Request Page at WriteOnPurpose.com/reviewrequest and complete the form. You will need to provide a digital copy of your book and be willing to accept my honest review.

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.

Ronda Del Boccio
#1 best selling author, speaker, and Amazon Top Reviewer

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How to Just Keep Writing a Novel: NaNoWriMo Day 12

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One of the best writing skills you can develop is to save edits for the second draft.

Today as I was working on my novel They all Died Smiling, I thought of a few minor changes I wanted to make to earlier scenes. Since I'm in speed writing mode, I didn't stop to "fix" those scenes.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) partiipant badge 2014)

I simply made some notes about what chapter and what to do. Now I know I won't forget, and I can put that out of my mind and...

Just Keep Writing.

As I said in yesterday's post, when writing, don't stop to edit. Taking notes lets you stay out of your own way.

May your must inspire you. Keep writing.

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

#1 best selling author and speaker

Find my books on Amazon

 

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Authors Wear Two Hats: Wear the Right One for the Job: NaNoWriMo Day 11

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Whether you're writing a novel, short story or nonfiction piece, you as a writer have two hats:

  • Writer hat
  • Editor hat

Your writer hat is the creative side, responsible for conveying the story.

The editor hat is the stickler for grammar, punctuation, and structure.

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady - Follow Your B.L.I.S.S.!

As you only have one head, presuming ou're a human reading this, you can only  wear one hat at a time.

So when you're in writer mode, these are things you do NOT want to do:

  • Don't worry about synonyms.
  • Don't bother with typos.
  • Don't fix scenes..
  • Don't go back and re-read past scenes to get yourself in the mood to write fresh material..

Wearing the Writer Hat, DO these things:

  • Just keep writing.
  • Leave typos to the Editor Hat.
  • Leave synonyms to the Editor Hat.
  • Leave grammar to the Editor Hat.

When you're writing, WRITE. When you're editing, EDIT. If you mix the two, you'll squash your creativity.

Remember... one head = one hat at a time!

Remember (image of a hand with a string tied around rhe index finger

They All Died Smiling Updatte

I'm writing this paranormal suspense novel during NaNoWriMo. Nice push goal to keep butt in seat and fingers on keys. I'm nearing the halfway mark and will get there on the 12th. Yay!


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Ronda Del Boccio

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Novel Writing: How Do You Keep the TImeline Straight? NaNowriMo Day 10

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I'm currently writing my second novel. Everything takes place within a tight timeline. My first 300+ page novel covered a timeframe of 2 weeks.

Keeping time is important. You don't want someone who's eating dinner with his wife in once scene be across town five minutes later in another.

People ask me how I keep time straight.

I do a couple of things to make my life easier. Maybe they'll help you with your novel.

The Time is NOW!

Add notes to the start of each chapter.

You'll take out the notes before sending your book to publishers, but while you're writing, the notes can really help. Especially when you're in the editing phase.

One of my notes reads as follows:

(NOTE: Saturday train ride 5 pm)

My story takes place in November. This cue tells me it's dark and feels like night even though it's still early evening.

In this book, They All Died Smiling,  I'm in one point of view the whole time , so this is sufficient. When I wrote Rue the Day, several people told the story, so I employed my other method.

Create a Timeline of who's where when.

Even though I don't need it as much for Smiling, I do have a paper list in a spiral notebook timeframe by each  Sure, I could do it online, but I still like to have aper notes near at hand. Plus, if I'm not at a computer and remember a detail or get inspired, I can write it down without major inconvenience.

My timeline notes for Smiling begin thusly:

  • Capter 1: Friday night commute
  • Chapter 2: Late Friday night, insomnia, cat fight
  • Chapter 3: Saturday AM  Kass + Julie,  commute

Now, as I go along, I can keep track of things with ease.

Don't be afraid to kick it old school

Sure, I love my computer. I'm thrilled to have a tablet. I feel all Star Trek with it. But I wouldn't do without my spiral notebooks either.

Sure, I could take notes in a file or with a voice app, but it's still good to have a way to track work that doesn't involve a power cord.

I like a steno pad or spiral notebook of a similar shape, but you'll figure out what works best for your preferences.

Don't forsake paper just because you have a phone, tablet, and/or computer that does it all.

My NaNoWriMo progress

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is all about writing a first draft of a 200 page book in the 30 days of November.

Today I will hit the halfway mark. Yay! I need to get ahead, because this weekend I will be at a writing conference and will anticipate only being able to produce small word counts Friday and Saturday.

Here's my progress chart:

Keep to your writing goals and be sure to join Ronda's Readers for stories, sneak peeks of my upcoming books and more WriteOnPurpose.com/read

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Ronda Del Boccio

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Inspration Doesn’t Come at the Keyboard: NaNoWriMo Day 9

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This weekend I had commitments that meant being away from home much of the day Did this keep me from keeping up writing my novel? No. It simply means planning.

Ronda's set of Writers Blocks

Whatever your writing goal, whether you're in a competition like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), a publisher's deadline, or a self-chosen goal, you'll soon discover that life happens.

A Tasty Morsel paranormal fantasy novella cover

There will be family commitments, book signings, dinners with friends, going to the store, taking care of your family, and so forth.

I knew this weekend would probably be lighter on writing, so I worked more during those days I could so as to stay on track. Simple as that.

Here's my progress toward that 50,000 word (200 page) goal for the month of November:

Yesterday, I had the book signing at the library. Today I had a lovely visit with friends. And here's what you need to know:

Inspiration doesn't come from forcing yourself to sit at the keyboard. It comes from living life! Then you transmute what you discover into words.

My novella The Assassin ad the Prince came entirely from a dream. I scribbled down the gist of it as soon as I woke  up, then in a few  hours, it was a complete story. This can happen to you. Perhaps it already has.

Inspiration for A Tasty Morsel came from a trip to Dogwood Canyon. Our guide said a cave  had just been discovered. We saw an old elk who had a horn growing over his eye. Those two elements made it into the tale.

My current novel in progress, They All Died Smiling, started as a short story that did not win a contest. The judge wrote me and said I had the basis for a novel. I'm finally getting that tale expanded as it should be. The idea for the book came from a "dolly girl" hair dresser , more fake than real.

So don't think sitting at tje desk pulling out your hair will bring you a great idea. Go out and live life as you keep writing.t

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio

bestselling author and speaker

My books on Amazon

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