Nancy's Notes From Florida

Scenes and Series

October 15, 2022

When you’re writing a series, you need to be aware of scenes written in previous books that might impact your current story. Has your sleuth encountered a similar character before, researched a familiar topic, or visited the same place? If so, this might change how you approach a scene for your work in progress.

During my revision for Star Tangled Murder, #18 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, I had two scenes that made me realize more research needed to be done. One involved a local history museum and the other a casino run by a Native American tribe.

It suddenly hit me that this wasn’t the first time for either scenario. Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, had an episode in the same museum curator’s office in Trimmed to Death. And she’d interviewed a shaman at a Seminole casino in Hanging by a Hair. I realized I had better look up what I wrote before so I don’t contradict these previous settings.

My casino descriptions didn’t match. This fix was easy. Billy, the shaman in the current story, would work at a different gambling hall. I added a few lines bringing back Marla’s memories of visiting the other place for a prior case.

Regarding the local history museum, again my description didn’t match what I’d written before. That meant I had to modify what I’d written this time around since it was the same place. No need to reinvent the wheel in this instance.

The same precautions apply to conversations. Are you relating what two characters might already know about each other? How much background do you need for new readers without repeating information? This requires a delicate balancing act. It’s best to sneak in this info in small doses.

These are only a few of the hazards in writing a series. You have to remember what came before not only so you don’t repeat yourself but also so you get descriptions right and have your character reflect upon similar incidents from the past.

GIVEAWAYS

Oct. 1 – 18 Booklovers Bench
Enter to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench https://bookloversbench.com/contests/win-a-free-book-oct-2022  ‎

 

Oct. 7 – 31 A Scary Good Giveaway
Enter Now to win a $400 Amazon eGift Card from The Kindle Book Review in A Scary Good Giveaway! Go here: https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/a-scary-good-400-giveaway/

 

STARTS TOMORROW! Oct. 17 – 26 First in Series Mysteries with Humor
Enter to win a copy of PERMED TO DEATH, book #1 in my Bad Hair Day series, along with 45+ First in Series Mysteries with Humor AND a brand new eReader from BookSweeps. https://www.booksweeps.com/giveaway/october22-win-a-bundle-of-mysteries-with-humor/



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  Comments Off on Scenes and Series


A Scary Good Giveaway

October 8, 2022

Oct. 7 – 31, 2022 BOO A Scary Good Giveaway

What: $400 Spooktacular Giveaway of (1) $400 Amazon eGift Card
When:  October 7 – 31, 2022
Where: https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/a-scary-good-400-giveaway/

 
Enter Oct. 7 – 31 to win a $400 Amazon eGift Card from The Kindle Book Review, the number one site for Reader Giveaways. If you love reading, enter now at https://www.thekindlebookreview.net/a-scary-good-400-giveaway/

P.S. Don’t forget to enter our drawing for a free cozy mystery at Booklover’s Bench.



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  Comments Off on A Scary Good Giveaway


Upcoming Events Oct 2022

October 6, 2022

Please join me for these exciting upcoming events. Be sure to stop by our Booklover’s Bench party tonight for fun and prizes. If you’d like to attend the writing workshop, register now!

Cozy up to Autumn Book Party TONIGHT online at 7:00 – 8:30pm
Cozy Up to Autumn Book Party with Terry Ambrose, Nancy J. Cohen, Debra H. Goldstein, Cheryl Hollon, Diane A.S. Stuckart, Maggie Toussaint, and Lois Winston. Fun & Prizes!

            

 

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
“Characters and Conflict” Writing Workshop with award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen via Zoom. Register Here.

How do you create memorable characters that readers will remember? In this workshop, award-winning author Nancy J. Cohen will discuss how to develop your protagonist and secondary characters, use dialogue, add conflict, and follow genre conventions in regard to plot. Examples of conflict as the engine that drives your story will be given. You will feel confident in being able to create your own main characters and devise subplots for the recurrent cast in a series.

 

Oct. 1 – 18 Booklover’s Bench Monthly Book Giveaway 

Enter to win a free book at Booklover’s Bench 


Coming Soon:

Oct. 7 – 31 BOO A Scary Good Giveaway
Enter to Win a $400 Amazon Gift Card
Details TBA 

Oct. 17 – 26 First in Series Mysteries with Humor
Details TBA



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , |  Comments Off on Upcoming Events Oct 2022


Magical Dining Sept 2022

September 26, 2022

Magical Dining month in Orlando is an opportunity to try new restaurants or to revisit a favorite one at reasonable prices. For a fixed amount of $40 per person, you get a three-course dinner. Our first stop this year was The Back Room Steakhouse in Apopka. We actually went twice, because my husband got a gift card there as a birthday gift. The atmosphere was elegant with good service. The first time, we had Thai Chili Coconut Shrimp, 10 oz. Prime NY Strip, and Key Lime Pie. The shrimp and the dessert were really good. The steak was okay. I wish they’d offered a beef fillet instead. I’m not a big steak person but chose this entrée because I don’t eat much meat at home.

       

The next visit, we indulged in the Braised Short Rib Egg Rolls, Sauteed Norwegian Salmon Filet, and — how could I resist? — Key Lime Pie again. The egg rolls were deeply fried and rather heavy, making me prefer the lighter spring rolls from Trader Joes. The shrimp was much better as an appetizer. The salmon was perfect and I chose a baked potato and broccoli as an accompaniment.

   

My overall impression? If you live west in Apopka, this is a nice choice for a fancy occasion although the prices can be steep. It might be worth another trip for Magical Dining depending on the menu. However, where we live, we do have lots of other options.

Our second experience was at TerraMia Ristorante E Trattoria in Altamonte Springs. Here we shared the Antipasto TerraMia and the Burrata Pugliese for appetizers. Both were excellent. For an entrée, I had the Agnello Abbruzzese, a barolo braised lamb shank served with genovese sauce. It was very tender with lots of meat that fell off the bone. Richard had fish, the Branzino Mediterraneo pan-roasted in a white wine garlic sauce with cherry tomatoes and served over pasta. He enjoyed his dish. For dessert, I chose the Torta Alla Pera, a classic neapolitan cake filled with cream and pear. This did not impress me. I didn’t taste any cream inside and there was a small half slice of pear on top. I can make a better cake myself. Richard got the Selvanera Cake, an Italian version of black forest cake.

                     

Overall, the food was excellent, but the atmosphere was extremely noisy. Maybe it’s better on a weekday, but the bar overwhelms the restaurant and does not make for a cozy, intimate experience. If you’re looking to sit at a lively bar, you might like this scene. We prefer a quieter evening.



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , , |  3 Comments


Chapter by Chapter

August 29, 2022

When we write a book, we go word by word or page by page. If we think of the story as a whole, it becomes too overwhelming. Daily and weekly writing goals help us reach the finish line.

Revisions are a different story. The words are written. Now we must hone them into a fine-tuned instrument. It can take me an entire week to polish one chapter. First, I begin by addressing critique group corrections. This may involve moving passages around to tighten the focus, deleting sections, or refining a conversation. Dialogue tags have to be added to get rid of talking head syndrome, and my sleuth’s internal thoughts need to reflect her reactions.

In addition to the above, sentence structure must be tightened. Issues that are irrelevant are removed and repetitions pared down. Inconsistencies become more noticeable and easier to correct. The story begins to take shape in a more precise manner.

What this round of line editing doesn’t do is look at the book as a continuous story. Because I forget what’s happened in preceding chapters, the second round is where I’ll catch the bigger bloopers, or so I hope. This is a read-through from start to finish. Whoops, characters A and B already had this conversation in their last scene together. Or, this information has already been revealed about suspect C. Paragraphs will have to be modified accordingly. Then another round of reading is in order for overall smoothness.

Revision is a slow process but one that cannot be rushed. Just like a gemstone, every facet must be examined and polished. And once we’re done to our satisfaction, we send our work out to editors and beta readers. Then the process starts all over again.

Revising Your Novel Chapter by Chapter #amwriting #writetip Click To Tweet

Where am I now in this stage? I’m on Chapter 16 out of 25. We’re getting there. How about you? Do you rewrite as you go or wait until the first draft is finished?



• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , , |  4 Comments