Sunday, May 29, 2022

Confusion Reigns!

 


I am having a bit of difficulty finishing my Kindle Vella book. I am almost finished with episode ten, and could not remember the name of an (important) secondary character. I had gone through and created a bible for the first nine chapters, but it did not contain a name for this individual. So I had to search through the chapters to find it. Guess what ... I had not given this character a name! Well, he is the primary antagonist and the head of a global syndicate about to make some major changes in the world, so perhaps he should remain unnamed. That is exactly what I am going to do - leave him unnamed.

I feel that it will move the story forward better this way. Have you ever wanted to just not give one or more of your characters a name? To just describe them, give them a solid background, and let them talk? I have learned to listen to what my characters want - and this character, and an individual working for him, wished to remain nameless.

This goes against all writers' protocol, which says, amongst other things that all major characters should have names, that if a character provides a clue they should be named, and that if the character recurs in a story they should be named. 

What do each of you think? Do all characters need names? If the setting is present-day referencing another era (WW II), and global spying is involved, is that enough to not use names?

(c) May 2022 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Friday, March 18, 2022

The "Magic" In The Magic Blanket

 


Wouldn't we all love to have a magic blanket? Artist/Author Judy Mastrangelo, through her amazing use of imagery and words, has created just such a blanket. I truly admire this book on many levels - for the amazing, gentle artwork, for the connection between the child taking the journey, the mother that created the blanket that takes her on the journey, and for how the journey itself encourages the use of the child's imagination.

As writers, we can look at a work like this and easily see how our stories, our books, can be tools of empowerment, gateways into other worlds. Mastrangelo does this in several ways. The first way would be the story itself. The words and the images are powerful and act to take the reader into another world. In the case of this book, it takes the reader (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, family friend) and the child/children being read to into the wonderful world of imagination.

This book includes the story (a fantastic journey in and of itself), ideas on nighttime dreaming and daytime dreaming, how to write and perform your own play about the magic blanket, coloring pages, how to bake delicious tea cookies, and more. What a marketing bonanza!

As writers, I think we can use Mastrangelo's work as a gateway, or even a guideline for how we can expand our writing into something very meaningful, into something more than a one-time read. While not a mystery, I place Mastrangelo's work on the same level as Joann Fluke's Hannah Swensen cozy mystery series (Fluke includes amazing recipes in her books), Laura Child's Tea Shoppe Mysteries (including tea lore and the history of Charleston SC), and Cleo Coyle's Coffeehouse Mysteries (which include an incredible amount of information about sourcing and brewing coffee, as well as delicious recipes). All of these books act as gateways into other worlds through story.

If you are interested in more information on Mastrangelo's book "The Magic Blanket", click here.

(c) March 2022 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without permission.  


Sunday, January 2, 2022

Writers Resources For 2022!



 Welcome to 2022! Quite frankly, 2021 was not my best year as a writer. I have a half-finished project that I need to address, and then I can start on goals that I set last year, but did not meet. Among those goals would be my first Christmas cozy mystery, and my first cozy mystery.

To start out the year I would like to share a few writer's resources. The first two were brought to my attention by a writer friend, Jean Maurie Pullman. Thank you, Jean Maurie!

  • Master Class is a paid-for Internet site that offers unlimited access to over 100 instructors, with new classes being offered monthly. 
  • Open Culture is a free site that offers free movies, classes, online degrees, and more!
  • Resources For Writers is part of the Writers Helping Writers site, focusing on marketing.
  • Dragon Anywhere presents software that makes dictation easy.
  • Medium is a place where people meet and share ideas.
  • Vellum is a great software for creating/formatting e-books.
  • GoodReads is a great place to create an author profile and promote your books, and leave reviews on other people's books. 
  • Substack is a newsletter platform where writers are paid by readers for their writing.
  • National Centre For Writing is a jackpot for writing resources!
  • Writer's Resources This is a great site for writing contests, writing conferences, and more!
Wishing each of you a stellar writing year for 2022!

(c) January 2022 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

Monday, December 6, 2021

Holiday Book Recommendations

 


The holiday season is here - a time to celebrate with friends and family, to enjoy good food and good times. It is also a season for giving. Below is a shortlist of books that I think you might find interesting. 

Enjoy!

Cozy Mysteries

  • Claws For Alarm: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery. Rita Mae Brown, Bantam, 2021.

  • Wedding Cake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery). Joanne Fluke, Kensington, 2016.

  • Broken Bone China (A Tea Shop Mystery). Laura Childs, Berkley, 202 (reprint edition).

  • Mistletoe Cake Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery). Lena Gregory, Lyrical Press, 2021.

  • Deck The Donuts (A Deputy Donut Mystery). Ginger Bolton, Kensington, 2021.

Fiction

  • State of Terror. Louise Penny & Hillary Rodham Clinton, Simon & Schuster/St. Martin’s Press, 2021.

  • The President’s Daughter. James Patterson & Bill Clinton, Little, Bantam and Company and Knopf, 2021. 

  • The President Is Missing. James Patterson & Bill Clinton, Little, Brown & Company, 2018.


(c) December 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.




Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Short Chapters versus Long Chapters

 


Which do you prefer - short chapters in a book or long ones? I really prefer shorter chapters, possibly because I like to read a couple of chapters in one of my current books before Igo to sleep at night. Shorter chapters fit into this very well. 

Shorter chapters offer more frequent stopping points in a book, which are sometimes necessary. We can read to the end of a chapter, put our book down, and then return to start a new chapter. We don't have to reread something to figure out where we are (or where the author is). As writers, if we use the tool of shorter chapters, we have the advantage of holding our reader's interest.

 We can fit shorter chapters into our day, as we have our morning coffee, during lunch, a few quiet minutes in the afternoon, or a few minutes before we go to bed. Books can take our minds off of the stress of the day, and give us a bit of respite. A ten-minute reading window is a perfect way to recharge!

Chapter lengths of 1500 to 2000 words are good, but I find that I also like the occasional 500-word chapters. A single page, imparting pertinent information.

Longer chapters give the author time to expand on a given theme, to "connect the dots" as it were. IMHO, it also slows down the pace of the book. When I have a limited amount of time to read, I don't want to have to stop in the middle of a chapter and pick it up again later.  

As writers, we can use chapter length to set the pace for our books. We can use it to hold our reader's attention, and we encourage our readers to want more.

Where do you come in on the short chapter versus long chapter discussion?

November 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Do Not Play Your Readers For Fools

 


I hold in high esteem authors that create a series around their protagonists. Their characters can and should grow over time, but their essence should remain the same. I have several such authors that I follow, and so far I continue to enjoy their work, with the sad exception of the last two books that I read from a specific author that shall remain nameless.

All of a sudden the protagonist is accused of murder, arrested and placed in a holding cell. This is a small town, so we see not only their lawyer but family and friends traipsing through the holding cell. (It's a small town - our protagonist is the only person in said cell all weekend.) Then the family member making bail for them doesn't know how to make the bail, so a close friend steps in. This does not present the character of the family member as they have been presented so far in the series.

In the second book (from the same series) another family member is accused of murder. This is totally out of character for this individual. To make matters worse, the victim is being presented as this horrible person, while so far in the series they have been presented as a womanizer, and a bit ignorant, but not as the devil incarnate.

Throughout both books, the protagonist has a running conversation in her mind with herself and the devil on their other shoulder. Which, while out of character, might not be so bad if the author had not made the questionable decision to place these thoughts in italics. 

Too many changes that make absolutely no sense. As a writer, if you cannot think of a way to keep your series going, then end it and start another one. Do not play your readers for fools!

(c) October 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author. 



Saturday, August 28, 2021

Here Is What Bonnie Is Up To!


This is going to be a very short blog and one in which I promote myself. 

As you all know, if you follow this blog, I decided to place a serial story on Kindle Vella. The app is now live, and my continuing story can be seen here. If you enjoy my story, please take the time to follow the episodes, and comment on them. I look forward to reading your comments!

My second offering is an interview that I did with Joy Ruffen, founder of Leading Ladies Leaving Legacies. Joy is an incredible lady, one who is bringing out the best qualities in the ladies that cross her path. I was honored to be able to do this interview.

Wishing you all the very best on your writing path!

(c) August 2021 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

 

Confusion Reigns!

  I am having a bit of difficulty finishing my Kindle Vella book. I am almost finished with episode ten, and could not remember the name of ...