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Stephen Lawrence Brayton's Blog (200)

Around the Globe with ANNE GLYNN

 

It’s across the sea to the lovely country of Italy with this week’s featured author…or rather authors. I wrestled with ”Anne” at the transporter control because I wanted to go see Pompeii, but after a look from her much larger and peculiarly silent partner “Glynn”, she won out and we’re here at the ruins of Herculaneum and I must say, they are fascinating.…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on May 18, 2012 at 3:28pm — No Comments

Around the Globe with WILLIAM STEINFELDT & MANDY CRANE

This has been a glorious week and this morning I don’t even need the transporter. It’s extra special because I’m honored to be able to interview an extra author this week. A father/daughter team. We’re along a stretch of the Iowa River and our fishing lines are waiting for the big catfish. Can there be any better place to relax on a Friday morning? I think…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on May 11, 2012 at 3:34pm — No Comments

Aroundthe Globe with KATHLEEN KASKA

So on this rainy May day, I hop in the transporter to pick up this week’s featured author. When she tells me where she’d like to go for the interview, I politely tell her, “Uh, it’s not that type of transporter. ” Then she slips…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on May 4, 2012 at 3:53pm — No Comments

Around the Globe with MIKE MCNEFF

Iowa has turned cloudy and cold. Spring can't settle in properly. So, today, I picked this week's featured author and we transport to Local Grown, a coffee house at the end of the wharf in Coupeville, Washington, which juts out into Penn Cove…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on April 27, 2012 at 4:00pm — No Comments

When Do You Edit

Katherine Hinkson, a writer friend, and I both agree editing is probably the worst tribulation about writing a manuscript. Certainly, it is the most tedious and frustrating. One of the reasons is because we are constantly finding mistakes, even after the third, fifteenth, and fiftieth read through. Then, when the publisher’s editor(s) get a hold of it, they’re finding even more. Plus, they’re coming back and mentioning not just the fundamental errors (grammar, spelling, punctuation), they’re…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on April 20, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Around the Globe with WILLIAM DOONAN

As the rain pours today after a week of cold temps, and seeing this is Friday the 13th, I'm looking for a little Irish luck (and possibly an Irish lass to stroll by) as I pick up this week's featured author, William Doonan, and we transport to Kilronan which is on the Aron Islands of the west coast of Ireland. We're sitting in teh pub of a bed-and-breakfast Mr. Doonan…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on April 13, 2012 at 3:06pm — No Comments

The Fight Scene

Near the end of August 2011, I attended the Killer Nashville writers’ conference. This was my third year and this time, besides meeting some wonderful people, authors, readers, and fans, I was honored to be invited to sit on a discussion panel. The seminar dealt with the subject of writing combat scenes.

 

For a moment I felt touch of an inferiority complex because the other three gentlemen on the panel had accumulated between them about 90 years of experience in the military…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on April 6, 2012 at 3:19pm — No Comments

The Cut

By George Pelecanos

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/features/georgepelecanos/

 

Plot

Ex Marine and Iraq vet Spero Lucas works as an investigator for a Washington, D.C. defense attorney. He also has a sideline business finding lost items for people. Drug runner Anwan…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on April 2, 2012 at 3:29pm — No Comments

The Devil's in the Details

As a book reviewer, one of the areas of the book I analyze is writing style. I try to inform the potential reader about what type of book I’ve read.

 

Think about the different authors you’ve read. Besides the different genres having, or sometimes requiring, different styles, consider the multitude of authors in only one genre.

 

Horror – H.P. Lovecraft wrote lengthy sentences with details galore.

Stephen King writes flashback scenes with a lot of detail.…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 30, 2012 at 3:00am — No Comments

Deadly Currents

By Beth Groundwater

www.bethgroundwater.com

 

Plot

In the whitewater rapids of Colorado’s Arkansas River, Tom King falls out of his raft. Mandy Tanner, ranger and river guide rescues him but King dies anyway. Mandy subsequently finds out King died from poisoning. Who killed him? The suspects are…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 26, 2012 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Self Defense

I conduct several self defense seminars for high school students and women, as well as the various techniques shown in my regular classes. One of the things I teach those who participate in self defense courses is to have options available to immediately utilize.

 

For example, let me keep it simple and discuss a basic wrist grab. After determining the level of threat indicated, the person would pull his/her wrist against the opponent’s thumb, that finger being the weakest part…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 22, 2012 at 11:00pm — No Comments

Around the Globe with JAMES BARONI

I'm ready to post my weekly blog when suddenly James Baroni, author of The Legend of Rachel Petersen (see Brayton's Book Buzz from this previous Monday) storms into my apartment, grabs me by the collar and throws me into the transporter. Before I can recover, he flicks the switch and we're off to...



Hec if I know. Before I can tell him it'd be a nice sunny…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 16, 2012 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Novel Evolution

Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser your story, from the moment you have an idea, your book will go through several evolutionary changes. Make note of those changes because they will help you in subsequent endeavors.

 

I’d like to discuss the evolutionary stages of my book, Beta, and perhaps looking at the process, you may find something to help you with your stories.

 

Beta was supposed to be the sequel. The first, Alpha, I wrote in the…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 9, 2012 at 11:11am — No Comments

More Than Pretty Wrappings

Opening a new book is like unwrapping a present on Christmas morning. You see a pretty dust cover over the formed cardboard like shell and you wonder what’s inside. Will it be a story to excite you or make you laugh? Will the hero be fearless and the bad guys extra evil?

 

Many times, the book ends up being the annual Father’s Day tie. Nothing special, same unexciting characters, standard plot with a few new twists. Once in awhile, however, you do get something shiny and fresh…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on March 2, 2012 at 12:02pm — 2 Comments

Lighten Up!

Unless you’re the prude of your generation, everybody likes a humorous story. Some light-hearted anecdote to bring a smile or a gentle chuckle.

 

Many authors will insert humor into their stories, even if the subject matter is serious or the tone is dramatic. Humor gives the reader a rest, a small break before diving back into the deep end. My favorite example comes from the Hitchcock movie “Topaz”. The entire movie concerns spies. However, the one small moment comes near the…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 24, 2012 at 12:32am — No Comments

Fear, Part 2

A soft thud in the night. A creak in the hallway outside your bedroom. A lonely road cutting through a dark forest. All of these can cause fear. However, fear need not be felt in these creepy, eerie locations. One can experience fear when going in for a job interview, on the first day of college, or even writing your first novel. We fear the unknown. What made the thud upstairs? The creak in the hall–just the house settling or something else? What if the car stalled on the road? You wonder…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 17, 2012 at 5:54pm — No Comments

Fear, Part 1

As the first anniversary of the publication of Night Shadows approaches (February 16), I want to present two blogs regarding fear.

 

I once read an article stating how fear is an acronym for False Evidence Against Reality. The article went on to discuss how most fears aren’t as devastating when the reality of the situation is revealed.

 

For instance, I fear change. Change in my residence or employment usually produces a queasy feeling in my stomach.…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 10, 2012 at 9:12am — No Comments

Distractions

I’ve been a member of several writers’ critique groups over the years and I’ve come to realize a major factor in each group’s downfall has been the lack of writers. This may seem quite logical, but it’s true for any group. Knitters, martial artists, foreign language studies, puzzlers…if you are a part of a group and aren’t involved in the activity, the group suffers. A few more lackadaisical people and the group collapses, becomes less fun, or has less worth for those who are…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on February 3, 2012 at 3:53pm — 2 Comments

Creating Character Quirks

When you hear the name Sherlock Holmes, what are some of the things you imagine? The distinctive deerstalker hat? The curved pipe, maybe a magnifying glass? It’s a classic image, somewhat created by those who portrayed Holmes on stage. Maybe some remember Holmes playing the violin during periods when a case particularly perplexed him. Or maybe his storing his tobacco in a stocking. Possibly the true fans will remember his use of cocaine.

 

Nero Wolfe brings to mind a large man…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on January 28, 2012 at 3:07pm — No Comments

A Study in Character

Many things I've learned over the years are self taught. When I worked as a graphic designer at a local newspaper, I was unfamiliar about the software being used to create advertising. Slowly, through the months, I discovered new things to be done with the program others hadn't.

 

So it was with writing. I didn't know anything about outlining, or formatting, or even too much editing, but throughout the years, I developed a system that worked for me. When I started writing my…

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Added by Stephen Lawrence Brayton on January 20, 2012 at 4:02pm — No Comments

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