Monday, November 17, 2008

Thinking Like a Writer

I had this epiphany today. I realized I have a habit of pulling myself out of a situation and assessing it as if I were a narrator. Of course, I spend much of my life narrating situations. In a big box store this morning, I watched a manager and his female underling walk the aisles. I listened as the manager explained why some items on a nearby shelf shouldn't be there. I watched the facial expressions of the woman, assessed how she felt about her boss, guessed at what she was thinking. By time I moved on, I had written an entire scenario for them in my head.
Then later at the dentist office as I waited for my daughter to have her teeth cleaned, I observed a family of three in the waiting room - mother, son and daughter - as they argued over who hadn't walked the dog that morning. I quickly summed up the relationship between the siblings, the parenting skills of the mother, as well as her marital situation.
When I stopped and laughed to myself at what I was doing, I realized it was something I've been doing for years. I fill in all the blanks of the countless people I encounter in the course of a day. I write their back stories!
Sure, some folks might characterize my behavior as a little weird, a bit on the intrusive side or even presumptuous, but writers get it. We don't find it strange when we hear someone say their characters have conversations in their head. We don't even lift an eyebrow when one of us discuss a villain as if he or she is a living, breathing person. Because to us, they are living and breathing. They are our creation, the flowers we've coaxed from the fertile soil of our imagination.
So rejoice if you find yourself the moderator between the voices in your head. Celebrate if you fill in the details of scenarios you observe amongst strangers. You're not crazy. You're just thinking like a writer.

Monday, November 10, 2008


"Men In Uniform" Romance Novel Contest with NAL Publishing editor, Becky Vinter

Hunky cops, firemen, FBI Agents, etc...historical, paranormal, contemporary,’s all good! :

::::Contest Rules:::
Entry Deadline: entries will be accepted January 3, 2009 -- February 28, 2009
Entry Length: 1000 word excerpt (computer count). Entries over 1000 words will be disqualified. This is a novel length (80k - 100k) contest. Entry length of the excerpt is 1000 words (computer count). Entries over 1000 words will be disqualified. Excerpt can be any part of the story as long as it follows the above theme. Excerpt must be from a new, not yet published, manuscript.

Heat Level: Steamy!

::::Contest Prizes::::
Top 10 entries will be read by NAL editor, Becky Vinter Entry with the most reader votes will be named "Reader's Choice" Becky Vinter will pick one entry to be named "Editor's Choice"

For more information see our website

***permission to forward granted***