Friday, October 29, 2010

Changing Plot Theme for NaNoWriMo

In the process of defining my characters, a bolt of lightening came down and smacked me! The characters that I was defining were based on the plot - not the other way around. Maybe that would work, maybe not. What wasn't going to work was that the plot was for a very involved story that was light years away from a cozy mystery - and this book, my very first NaNoWriMo book, is meant to be the first in a series of cozy mysteries!

Toss that plot, not a problem. I do have several more at the ready, and I went straight to one that I have been developing in my head for some time now. It involves an elite spa, a stunningly unique Tarot deck that was painted in the early 1980's, and a group of people that were in and out of each other's lives during that time.

The deck was unique in that it was drawn by hand, presented at a small gathering of Tarot afficianados, and then disappeared, along with the artist. The figures on the deck were people that were prominent in the Tarot world at that time, and the scenes were taken from the area in which they lived.

Is the deck resurfacing, and, if so, is the artist also resurfacing? Why did he disappear? Why are certain people very nervous at the thought that he may be reappearing?

Off to develop a new cast of characters!

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Importance Of SEO

We all nod our head that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important. As writers, we want our work to be found, and to be read. Unless we wear two hats - writer and techie - we are probably a bit (or more than a bit!) haphazard with our SEO work. The importance of SEO was brought home to me this past week, when I was contacted by an individual that was looking specifically for information that was contained in an article that I had just written. It was a two part article (with the second part going up this weekend), and she was looking for the second part to use in work that she is going to be doing int he coming week. I was thrilled that she found my article, and even more thrilled that she was searching out Part 2!

Here are some things that should be taken into consideration in optimizing your site:

1. Is your content relevant?
2. Are you linked to other sites?
3. Is your site frequently updated?
4. Is your header relevant to your content?
5. Are your keywords repeated?
6. Does your content provide something of value to your site visitors"
7. Are your site pages linked in a logical manner?
8. Is your content clear, concise, and does it offer value?
9. Do you have a clear picture of who your site visitors are?
10. Do you have a clear idea of what is currently important/of interest in your market?

Note: SEO as I am addressing it here is for unpaid, or algorhythmic search results. If you are looking for paid results for your site, you would need to take different steps towards optimizaiton.

One last note - I just came across Google's Website Organizer, whic is a free service that checks your site for . While i have not used it yet, I am going to run my site through it, and see how bad a shape I am in! To try this on your site, go to .

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Defining Your Characters

This is my first time writing for NaNoWriMo - no pressure at all! I am takng the next few days to define my characters, after which I will be working on defining theme and plot. I have five characters in mind so far:

1. My protagonist.
2. An oriental gentleman that moves the story along, appearing and disappearing at will.
3. The (allegedly) deceased father of my protagonist.
4. A mysterious woman who is connected to the allegedly deceased father.
5. A close friend of the allegedly deceased father, who has taken on the role of mentor since the father's alleged death.

The areas that I am going to use to define them are:

1. Age
2. Physical characteristics
3. Career/work environment
4. Home environment
5. Family/cultural background
6. Friends
7. Schooling

This should give me a fairly good idea of what drives my characters, and how they will act/react in any given situation. That's the plan, anyway! I am quite sure that in the end they will take over the keyboard, and I will end up as the editor, and not the author!

(c) October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Sunday, October 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo - Moving Forward

This is my first year participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I am incredibly excited about this whole thing! I want to be very ready to begin writing at 12:01 am on November 1st, 2010. To that end, I am doing two things: defining my characters, and defining my plot. (The theme is set - the book will be the first in a series of cozy mysteries with a female lead character.) Throw in a few felines, some esotericism, and loads of independent thinking ... and you have my book!

A few notes about what I need to do to define my characters:

1. Visualize their physical characteristics.
2. Visualize where they live.
3. Visualize where they work.
4. Visualize who they socialize with.
5. Create their back story.
6. Visualize their strengths and weaknesses.

A few notes about defining my plot:

1. Why is my lead character involved in the story at all?
2. How are the secondary characters involved in the plot?
3. How can I best create false trails of evidence?
4. How close do current events do I want to tie the storyline?
5. What kind of ending do I want?
6. How can this plot lead to the the next plot in what I envision as a series of mysteries?

(c) October 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

Accepting The Challenge: Sharing Books

I was very pleased to be challenged on Face Book by fellow author Ruth Stefanowitz to post books that I value over a seven day period. ...